The Performance Virtual Group's mission is to empower the global Microsoft SQL Server database community with technical content regarding performance related to SQL Server.

Welcome to the Performance Virtual Group

Next Meeting

Summer Performance Palooza 2013

Thu, Jun 27 2013 15:00 UTC

15:00 - Index Methods You’re Not Using

Abstract: There are index methods in SQL Server that can enhance the performance of your queries - but most likely, you aren't using them! Using examples, I'll show you how indexed views, filtered indexes, and compressed indexes work; how they can improve performance; and what situations each is best used in. If you have a solid knowledge of index basics and want to add to your collection, this is the session for you!

Jes Borland

Jes Borland is a Premier Field Engineer - SQL Server for Microsoft, where she is a trusted technical adviser, deep technical support, and teacher for her customers. Her experience as a DBA, consultant, and 5-time Data Platform MVP allow her to help the business and the IT teams reach their goals. She has worked with SQL Server as a developer, report writer, DBA, and consultant. Her favorite topics are administration, automation, and performance. She is a former President of FoxPASS, founder of Tech on Tap, and a blogger. She frequently presents at user groups, SQL Saturdays, and other community events. She is also an avid runner and chef.

16:00 - Updates to Statistics and the Effect on Query Performance

Abstract: Someone comes up to you and says “my query is slow.” Where do you begin? Do you start with the query itself? The query plan? SQL Server DMVs? There are many areas to investigate and one common area of focus is statistics. Statistics are an easy target for blame when performance is poor, and updating statistics without sufficient background information is a popular response as a “quick fix”. But what does updating statistics really do to your query plans? And is that the right solution? While updating statistics may solve your problem in the short-term, it may bury the true root cause. If you’re not familiar with what happens to query plans when you update statistics, then don’t miss this session. We’ll set the stage with a review of what statistics are, how the optimizer uses them, and discuss the various ways you can update them. Then we’ll explore what happens to plans when you do update statistics, and you’ll see why that might not always be the right long-term solution.

Erin Stellato

Erin Stellato is a Principal Consultant with SQLskills and lives in Cleveland, OH. She has over 17 years of technology experience and has worked with SQL Server since 2003. Her areas of interest include internals, performance tuning, and high availability and disaster recovery. Erin is a SQL Server MVP and an active member of the SQL Server community. She is involved with the Ohio North SQL Server User Group and blogs at You can find her on Twitter at @ErinStellato.

17:00 - 10 Bad Habits that can Kill Performance

Abstract: Bad habits: we all have them. SELECT * is the obvious one; but in this session you will learn about various other habits and why they can be bad for performance. Come learn how these habits develop, what kind of problems they can lead to, and how you can avoid them.

Aaron Bertrand

Aaron Bertrand is a senior consultant for SQL Sentry, makers of performance monitoring and event management software for SQL Server, Analysis Services, and Windows. He blogs at and, has been an MVP since 1997, will soon be a three-time SQL Cruiser, and speaks frequently at various community events.

18:00 - Using Performance Monitor for your Virtual Servers

Abstract: Your SQL Servers have now been virtualized, and you are monitoring them successfully. Do you know what the performance is like on the host, though? Using Performance Monitor (perfmon) we will look at the counters you need to have in place to know if your host is performing well. Set up the counters, collect the data and have meaningful conversations with your Virtualization or Infrastructure team.

Wendy Pastrick

Wendy Pastrick is a consultant in Chicago with BlueGranite, a Business Intelligence firm. She has been working with SQL Server since 2001 and specializes in server maintenance, migration and upgrades as well as architecting for high availability and disaster recovery. Wendy is an active member of the PASS organization, currently serving on the Board of Directors and often speaks at local user groups and SQL Saturday events. She has recently been awarded an MVP from Microsoft for SQL Server.

19:00 - Looney Tuner? No, there IS a method to my madness!

Abstract: SQL Server query tuning is often more art than science and it can quickly eat up a lot of DBA and/or Developer time. This presentation will outline a method for determining the best approach for tuning queries by utilizing response time analysis and SQL Diagramming techniques. Regardless of the complexity of the statement, this quick, systematic approach will lead you down the correct tuning path with no guessing. If you are a beginner or expert, this approach will save you countless hours tuning a query.

Janis Griffin

Janis Griffin has over 25+ years of DBA experience including design, development and implementations of many critical database applications. Before coming to Quest Software, Janis held many DBA positions working with both real-time network routing databases and OLTP business to business applications. Janis has spoken at many SQL Saturdays as a Database Performance Evangelist and mentored many DBAs / Developers on best practices in database performance tuning.

20:00 - Pivoting Performance Data & Pinpointing Problems

Abstract: Got performance problems? Struggling crack the case? Whether the problem is SQL Server, Windows, IIS or anything else. I've got a technique for logging and analyzing performance data using tools you probably have. Using these tools I have been able to find needles in haystacks and effectively communicate the nature of the problems to people at all levels. You don't need an expensive 3rd party product if you've got elbow grease and the code I'll give you. In this session, I'll demonstrate how I capture and analyze DMV and WMI counters. I'll tell some stories how this helped me solve some mysteries. You could use this pattern for any counters you can get your hands on. Join me for some mystery SQL theatre!

Brian Flynn

Brian Flynn has been working in IT since his college days in 1995, beginning as a desktop support technician. Since graduating with a Computer Science & Mathematics degree from SLU in 1999, he has served in many roles such as web and database development, administration and system engineering of multiple disciplines including web, database, mail and networking. He has been functioning in management capacities since 2008 and enjoys promoting social interaction and team building among I.T. pros.

21:00 - How the SQL Server Engine Thinks

Abstract: When you pass in a query, how does SQL Server build the results? We'll role play: Brent Ozar will be an end user sending in queries, and you'll be the SQL Server engine. Using simple spreadsheets as your tables, you'll learn how SQL Server builds execution plans, uses indexes, performs joins, and considers statistics. This session is for DBAs and developers who are comfortable writing queries, but not so comfortable when it comes to explaining nonclustered indexes, lookups, and sargability.

Brent Ozar

Brent Ozar specializes in making SQL Server faster and more reliable. He's a Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server and MVP, and he has over a decade of experience. He coauthored Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting, and he loves sharing knowledge at

22:00 - How to Build an Affordable SQL Server Lab

Abstract: Do you have an affordable lab set-up running SQL Server 2012 on Windows 2012 to learn and play with? In the 70-462 Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases Training Kit, you will need six (!) machines on their own domain to complete the exercises. Using VMWare Workstation 9 ($250), Todd will show how to set up your lab environment on a ~$500 laptop running Windows 7 64-bit, 8GB of RAM, and an SSD drive using less than 40GB of space for the six virtual machines! Using free iso(s), we will run through several of the set-up exercises from the 70-462 Training Kit in order to build out the training lab. Participants will leave with enough knowledge and links to resources to build their own affordable SQL Server 2012 lab.

Todd Kleinhas

Todd Kleinhans has been working with SQL Server since 1999. He has worked as a dba, developer, data architect, manager, and consultant. He is currently a Senior SQL Server DBA consultant at Datavail. Todd is also the current VP of Marketing for the Denver SQL Server User Group. He has presented at user groups, SQL Saturdays, and the Rocky Mountain Trifecta.

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