Performance and Scalability with SQL Server 2012Microsoft development has taken a huge turn with SQL Server 2012. SQL Server 2012 wouldhelp deliver a major leap forward in performance of Microsoft Software Development. Theseimprovements have, to a large extent, made customers rely on SQL Server 2012 to manage theirexplosive growth in data volume and complexity. A few of the major enhancements inperformance and scalability include:Increase in Partition SupportThe number of table partitions has been extended from 1000 to 15000 per table, by default, todramatically boost scalability and performance associated with large tables and data warehouses.With the 15000 limit, partitions can be stored for 40+ years if the data is partitioned on a dailybasis. Large sliding-window scenarios for data warehouse maintenance are now enabled with thehelp of this new expanded support. Also, a change in the sampling algorithm for partitioning hasimproved the query performance and puts the memory to better use. Starvation of partitionswitch due to schema stability lock has been eliminated.Columnstore IndexesMicrosoft has included Column Store index, a revolutionary indexing technique feature in thedatabase world, in the upcoming SQL Server code name “Denali”. It is built directly in therelational engine. It is mainly designed to accelerate data warehouse queries. The performance ofquery in the data warehouse environment is known to have become 1000 times better. Somecustomers have also said to have experienced a 400 percent improvement in performance. Ithelps Microsoft products deliver breakthrough and predictable performance on large data sets tostay competitive.Create, Rebuild, and Drop Online IndexesOnline operation is a key to performance and throughput, as it does not block other operationsaccessing the same resources. Especially in case of those queries that run frequently and are longrunning.SQL Server 2012 enables indexes that contain varchar(max), nvarchar(max), and varbinary(max)columns to be created, rebuilt, and dropped as an online operation.This proves to be highly beneficial for running mission-critical workloads in Microsoftdevelopment scenarios which require maximum uptime and concurrent user activity during indexoperations.Fast Fulltext:FullText queries now use query optimization and parallel query execution algorithms. Fulltextindex creation uses parallel master merge algorithm which creates indexes in parallel and thenmerges them together. So, the operation is faster with minimal blockings. Earlier, the fulltextengine would send all the documents to the database engine that would discard non-qualifyingrows. But now, the fulltext engine in SQL Server 2012 understands the “Top”.
Temporary statistics generation on database snapshotsIf you query the database snapshot in SQL Server 2012, it automatically generates the requiredstatistics temporarily. So, the query would generate a better execution plan and will be fasterwithout any change by the developer.New and Enhanced Query Optimizer HintsThe syntax for the FORCESEEK table hint has been modified. Index and index columns tofurther control the access method on the index can now be specified. The FORCESCAN tablehint has also been added.Windows Server Core SupportSQL server 2012 can take advantage of many new features supported by Windows 8. One of thebiggest improvements in Windows 8 is the Windows Server Core Support. Windows ServerCore Support is a GUI less version of Windows. It works on DOS and PowerShell commands,consumes 50% less memory and has a lower disk space utilization ratio. SQL Server 2012 haspotential to be truly a server product.To sum it up, performance and scalability enhancements in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 enablesmore online operations, interactive response time and business value from data. It also requiresless hardware and reduces the need for summary aggregates.