10 Ways To Take Better Care of Your SQL Server

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Humans have an incredible ability to adapt to difficult circumstances.  Tibetans and Andeans are famous for their ability to thrive at altitudes that would make lowlanders ill. During World War II, residents of London experienced famously high morale despite German bombings. In 2012, flooding in Duluth, MN resulted in some residents kayaking through the city streets.  In all of these cases, people have not just survived, but thrived in a harsh environment.


However, this ability to adapt and survive does not mean that your business should accustom itself to poor working conditions!


Don’t let server problems become a normal part of your working environment in Microsoft Dynamics GP. If you consistently experience poor performance when running Smartlists or other queries, have trouble posting batches, or find that application windows open slowly, you should consider improving the health of your server.  Microsoft Dynamics GP is designed to give you the quick information you need and oftentimes if it’s not running correctly, you may have an issue with SQL Server.


Allowing these issues to remain unchecked will eventually result in individual applications, or even the entire server, crashing when they are most needed. You might also experience the loss of important data, security issues allowing for spam or virus attacks, and a slow response time for customers and other end-users.  Here are 10 easy ways you can improve your working environment rather than adapting to this level of server trouble.


1. Conduct a Physical Server Performance Review

Assessing the state of the server should happen before scheduling any routine maintenance. These results can then be incorporated into a long-term server maintenance plan.


2. Inspect SQL Backups

You should have already created and implemented a SQL backup plan. (If not, do so immediately!) However, you still need to routinely check to make sure all data is being backed up properly.


3. Check for Data Corruption

When the SQL server encounters a critical failure, data in the databases may become corrupt as a result. You should routinely look for corruption and deal with it as soon as possible, allowing for prompt data restoration.  


4. Minimize Physical File Fragmentation

Plan ahead to ensure SQL files are contiguous on the hard drive, allowing for easier data retrieval.  If pre-existing fragmentation is found, you must decide what degree of fragmentation is acceptable and determine how to fix any issues.


5. Reorganize Indexes

Rebuilding and reorganizing indexes can eliminate unnecessary seeks to retrieve data. This can also free up previously wasted space.


6. Inspect the Windows Event Log

Periodically review the Log for error messages concerning software problems outside Microsoft Dynamics GP that may be affecting the server.


7. Manage Data File Growth

Estimate future file growth according the growth of your organization and plan software and hardware renewals accordingly.


8. Manage Log File Growth

The transaction log file holds the changes that occurred to the data. The log file itself is also susceptible to corruption and fragmentation, so it should be monitored to make sure it is in good shape.


9. Install Available Updates

Many organizations fail to promptly install available updates.  Be sure to regularly check for these and install them when appropriate.


10. Monitor Usage of Physical Resources

Resources like the CPU, RAM, network, and disks all require periodic inspection and maintenance as well. Software cannot run properly on broken hardware.


Don’t wait for disaster to strike and simply plan to adapt to the negative circumstances – make work easier for yourself by taking care of your servers. Do what it takes to protect your data and keep your daily applications running quickly and smoothly.


For more information about maintaining server performance, contact a Microsoft Partner such as The Resource Group.

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