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  SQL Server Tips by Burleson

Performance Testing Solutions

Even database professionals who understand the need for real world testing of their databases and know what areas need to be stressed are often at a loss for the practical creation of the scenarios they need for pulling off a true performance test. This is not surprising when one considers all the manual work that has to go into such an effort for it to yield the answers that will give the Go/No Go signal to a database project team. It is often much easier to perform a small test with a select group of willing users and then hope that all goes well on the first day of production or when a massive upgrade begins.

This does not have to be the case. On the market, performance testing solutions exist that are designed to bring peace of mind to a database staff by allowing them to know which areas of a database will break prior to it going into production or experiencing a large upgrade. By simulating production or accelerated user and data volume, these products can make the database unbreakable by revealing the weaknesses of the database before users find them. The end result is ironclad availability and performance for the production systems. Examples include simple and inexpensive products like the SQL/Database Hammer from the SQL Server 2000 resource kit, and more robust, but pricier, products like Mercury’s LoadRunner and Embarcadero Technologies’ Extreme Test.

It is certainly possible to build robust testing solutions in-house; although, the manual effort that goes into creating and maintaining them can be prohibitive. Whether a company is choosing to purchase software to manage testing or deciding to custom build such a solution, someone must make sure that the system adheres to the previously detailed guidelines in order to be successful.

The above book excerpt is from:

High-Performance SQL Server DBA
Tuning & Optimization Secrets

ISBN: 0-9761573-6-5
Robin Schumacher  

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