SQL Performance Anxiety: Why Your Server Might be Running Slow

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You’re new to the SQL game. Maybe you just got hired for a new a job with corporate. Maybe you’re running your own business. Maybe someone is just hitting you up for the customary “Hey, you’re a tech guy” kind of questions. In any case, someone may be asking you to optimize a system you’re just now familiarizing yourself with. And if you’re reading this, then the problem you’re facing is that an SQL server is underperforming (read: slow as snails). But before you go buying a bunch of new hardware for the machine, consider that the problem might be a little more mundane.

“Garbage In, Garbage Out”

The “human” error is probably the most common issue for all computer problems (how many times have you had to tell grandma to plug in the printer cord?). It’s natural for us to make mistakes, but sometimes those mistakes are hard to pin down and rectify. It’s this way with a database.

SQL servers are built on databases, which are built on tables, which are built out of information values. When the information is wrong, untidy, old, or redundant, the tables reflect the sloppy groundwork. Then the databases fail to organize things properly or give …

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