SQL Server: Backend Operations and Services

Keeping the Microsoft SQL Server database servers running and in good health is an important step in the backend operations of any environment and application.

However, our experience has taught us that optimal service and server health begins long before the first database comes online. Capacity and high availability planning is a critical first step. This ensures the levels of service demanded, will be available when your customers, both internal and external, need it. This is followed by installations and migrations. Once the database server is up and running we optimize and monitor. Below we outline the services for backend operations we offer.

Capacity Planning

Understanding the capacity needed for operations to thrive in your server environment can be bewildering. We have a tried and true methodology for determining capacity required based on number of users and concurrent sessions, reporting needs, number of transaction and more. Identifying the server resources you require is a critical first step. Identifying growth patterns in your data is the next step. Having the ability to grow in the same server environment is critical to ensure costly server migrations are not necessary. We also have extensive experience with virtualized servers and virtualization platforms and vendors for situations where capacity planning is difficult or impossible and flexibility is required.

High Availability Architecture and Planning

When you need a Microsoft SQL Server solution that requires any level of redundancy or high availability, Leale Solutions is your partner of choice. As a member of the Microsoft Partner Network we have specialized expertise and long experience with architecting SQL Server high availability solutions. You might even say we wrote the book on it. Point of fact is that one of our company founders did write a book on SQL Server high availability solutions, actually 2 of them. Based on your needs we can help you decide which of the Microsoft SQL Server high availability solutions such as Failover Clustering, Always On Availability Groups, Database Mirroring, Log Shipping and even Cloud computing solutions best fits the needs of your business.

Installations, Upgrades and Migrations between SQL Server Versions or from Other Platforms

In order to ensure maximum optimization of your Microsoft SQL Server installation we highly recommend that an experienced SQL Server database administrator be involved (or even in charge) of the actual software installation. The ease of use and ease of installation of early versions of SQL Server were a blessing and a curse. It was blessed with a wizard that allowed for quick installation without much thought. Therein lays the curse. The options available at installation play a major role in the operations and throughput of any active running SQL Server installation. The same is true and even more poignant with SQL Server installations today. The number and sensitivity of database server options has increased exponentially. Upgrading SQL Server from earlier versions requires the same diligence and experience. We also have many implementations involving data migrations to SQL Server under our belt.

Maintenance Operations such as Re-Indexing and Backups

Like any dependable machine SQL Server requires maintenance. We have loads of experience maintaining SQL Server instances. Whether you have a standalone SQL Server instance or an N+1 cluster configuration we have the experience to keep your SQL Server running efficiently. Extremely important operations such as database backups and reindex operations are just a sample of the maintenance procedures we can build and/or configure for you. Database backups, both full and transaction log (if needed) are your lifeline to ensuring that if you need to recover data, whether this is a single record or an entire database server, you can. Indexing is a way to speed the retrieval of data from your database. As new data is entered these index become fragmented and need to be rebuilt to ensure their validity. These simple but business critical steps are good examples of maintenance operations that we excel in creating and maintaining for your business.

Database Server and Instance Health Checks

Perhaps you already have a SQL Server database server instance in place and want to ensure smooth operations. Our SQL Server health checks looks at all aspects of your SQL Server environment. We dig into the details of your environment and compare to industry best practices in the areas of Server and database instance backups, performance, configuration, security and scalability. Our SQL Server health checks are concluded with a detailed results report. Included in this report is trending information. We can accurately explain how the current state of your SQL Server database server environment compares to the last health check. This helps us understand the growing needs of your business in a continued effort to stay ahead of the curve.

Here is an outline of some of the many points that our SQL Server Health Check covers:

SQL Server Performance
  • Identify the top 10 poorly performing TSQL code examples. We include suggestions for improvement.
  • Identify any hardware bottlenecks derived from performance monitor tracking.
  • Identify all blocking and deadlocking instances recorded.
  • Identify database structure and TSQL coding design flaws as compared to industry standards.
  • Review indexing and database file operations to optimize space and efficiency.
SQL Server Configuration
  • Review and confirm your SQL Server instances are installed and configured optimally for your environment.
  • Review and confirm that your available server hardware resources are meeting or exceeding current demand and configured optimally.
SQL Server Security
  • Report SQL Server vulnerability security attacks. Identify patch levels and advise of latest threats.
  • Compare current SQL Server security model to industry standards and recommend roadmap to best practices as needed.
SQL Server backup and Disaster Recovery Plan
  • Review database and instance database backup strategy and implementation. Advise on optimal database configuration and backup plan to meet these needs.
  • Identify needs for high availability options. We offer an a full suite of options of high availability is required to ensure up time.

Database Server and Instance Performance and Bottleneck Monitoring

In our experience we have honed our ability to identify SQL Server database performance issues and bottlenecks. The ability to identify when and where bottlenecks and performance issues may occur puts in position to solve issues before they become problems. We use a robust suite of SQL Server management tools to record and trend database server activities, identify long running queries and compare these results over time to establish trending. Our tried and true methodology results in Root Cause Analysis (RCA) determinations, not problematic symptoms.

Database Server and Instance Performance Tuning

Even in well maintained environments there is a need for performance tuning. SQL Server database table come in many shapes and sizes. We build data structure and managed TSQL code to meet the requirements of your business projects. Database objects that were once required to handle sales operations may also need to support reporting functions. Perhaps more robust reporting functions and services are required for a new project. Tuning performance to support both transactional processing as well as reporting is one of our strong suits. Each situation is different and unique, however, we have the experience to tune performance on you SQL Server instances to maximize the investment in your technology projects.

Final Thought

Leale Solutions team

We have decades of combined SQL Server administration and development experience. Our experience covers all aspects of the product. From capacity and high availability planning to installations and migrations to coding and programming to process automation to reporting and data mining. We have the experience creating world class solutions on the SQL Server platform to maximize the investment made by your business.

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