What is SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) ?

System changes—such as a upgrading a database or adding an index—may cause changes to execution plans of SQL statements, resulting in a significant impact on SQL performance. In some cases, the system changes may cause SQL statements to regress, resulting in performance degradation. In other cases, the system changes may improve SQL performance. Being able to accurately forecast the potential impact of system changes on SQL performance enables you to tune the system beforehand, in cases where the SQL statements regress, or to validate and measure the performance gain in cases where the performance of the SQL statements improves.

SQL Performance Analyzer automates the process of assessing the overall effect of a change on the full SQL workload by identifying performance divergence for each SQL statement. A report that shows the net impact on the workload performance due to the change is provided. For regressed SQL statements, SQL Performance Analyzer also provides appropriate executions plan details along with tuning recommendations. As a result, you can remedy any negative outcome before the end users are affected. Furthermore, you can validate—with significant time and cost savings—that the system change to the production environment will result in net improvement.

You can use the SQL Performance Analyzer to analyze the impact on SQL performance of any type of system changes, including:

  • Database upgrade
  • Configuration changes to the operating system or hardware
  • Schema changes
  • Changes to database initialization parameters
  • Refreshing optimizer statistics
  • SQL tuning actions

You can run SQL Performance Analyzer on a production system or a test system that closely resembles the production system. Testing a system change on a production system will impact the system’s throughput because SQL Performance Analyzer must execute the SQL statements that you are testing. Any global changes made on the system to test the performance effect may also affect other users of the system. If the system change does not impact many sessions or SQL statements, then running SQL Performance Analyzer on the production system may be acceptable. However, for systemwide changes—such as a database upgrade—using a production system is not recommended. Instead, consider running SQL Performance Analyzer on a separate test system so that you can test the effects of the system change without affecting the production system. Using a test system also ensures that other workloads running on the production system will not affect the analysis performed by SQL Performance Analyzer. Running SQL Performance Analyzer on a test system is the recommended approach and the methodology described here. If you choose to run the SQL Performance Analyzer on the production system, then substitute the production system for the test system where applicable.




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