Sql-server – More Databases Per Sql Server 2005 Instance

performancesql-server-2005

Our company currently hosts about 400 databases per SQL Server 2005 instance. 500-600 databases and we see performance start to deteriorate.
Database size ranges from 50mb to 40-60gb in the extreme, with probably an average of maybe a few GB.

What are some good metrics to collect and how would we get these to determine our bottleneck?

Is it a performance limitation of SQL Server to have too many databases? Is it all of the cached procedure plans for hundreds of stored procedures for hundreds of databases? Is it inefficient queries? Or a combination?

What is likely to help us increase the number of databases per server the most? All of the schemas are identical and the databases separate each customer's data. Maybe refactoring everything so we can combine multiple customers into one db and filter by customer, or optimizing our queries to the extreme? Or maybe its just a SQL Server limitation?

Best Answer

It's going to be a challenge to apply a uniform policy across such a varied estate. My first port of call would be to understand the biggest consumers of key resources (CPU, memory, IO) on each instance, with a view to isolating the problematic databases from the others. Glenn Berrys healthcheck DMVs would be a good starting point.

Who's using most of the memory (buffer pool) on each instance?

SELECT DB_NAME(database_id) AS [Database Name],
COUNT(*) * 8/1024.0 AS [Cached Size (MB)]
FROM sys.dm_os_buffer_descriptors
WHERE database_id > 4 -- system databases
AND database_id <> 32767 -- ResourceDB
GROUP BY DB_NAME(database_id)
ORDER BY [Cached Size (MB)] DESC OPTION (RECOMPILE);

How long are pages staying in the buffer pool?

SELECT cntr_value AS [Page Life Expectancy]
FROM sys.dm_os_performance_counters
WHERE [object_name] = N'SQLServer:Buffer Manager'
AND counter_name = N'Page life expectancy' OPTION (RECOMPILE);

Who's generating most IO?

SELECT DB_NAME(DB_ID()) AS [Database Name],[file_id], num_of_reads, num_of_writes, 
io_stall_read_ms, io_stall_write_ms,
CAST(100. * io_stall_read_ms/(io_stall_read_ms + io_stall_write_ms) AS DECIMAL(10,1)) AS [IO Stall Reads Pct],
CAST(100. * io_stall_write_ms/(io_stall_write_ms + io_stall_read_ms) AS DECIMAL(10,1)) AS [IO Stall Writes Pct],
(num_of_reads + num_of_writes) AS [Writes + Reads], num_of_bytes_read, num_of_bytes_written,
CAST(100. * num_of_reads/(num_of_reads + num_of_writes) AS DECIMAL(10,1)) AS [# Reads Pct],
CAST(100. * num_of_writes/(num_of_reads + num_of_writes) AS DECIMAL(10,1)) AS [# Write Pct],
CAST(100. * num_of_bytes_read/(num_of_bytes_read + num_of_bytes_written) AS DECIMAL(10,1)) AS [Read Bytes Pct],
CAST(100. * num_of_bytes_written/(num_of_bytes_read + num_of_bytes_written) AS DECIMAL(10,1)) AS [Written Bytes Pct]
FROM sys.dm_io_virtual_file_stats(DB_ID(), NULL) OPTION (RECOMPILE);

Which databases are consuming the most CPU and which particular procedures?

SELECT 
    DB_NAME(qt.dbid) AS DatabaseName
  , SUM(qs.total_worker_time) AS [TotalWorkerTime]
FROM
    sys.dm_exec_query_stats AS qs
CROSS APPLY 
    sys.dm_exec_sql_text(qs.[sql_handle]) AS qt
WHERE
    DB_NAME(qt.dbid) IS NOT NULL
GROUP BY
    qt.dbid
ORDER BY
    SUM(qs.total_worker_time) DESC
OPTION
    (RECOMPILE) ;

SELECT TOP (1000)
    DB_NAME(qt.dbid) AS DatabaseName
  , qt.[text] AS [SP Name]
  , qs.total_worker_time AS [TotalWorkerTime]
FROM
    sys.dm_exec_query_stats AS qs
CROSS APPLY 
    sys.dm_exec_sql_text(qs.[sql_handle]) AS qt
WHERE
    DB_NAME(qt.dbid) IS NOT NULL
ORDER BY
    qs.total_worker_time DESC
OPTION
    (RECOMPILE) ;