SQL Azure Query Tuning

SQL Azure is still SQL Server at the end of the day. This means it is entirely possible to write queries against SQL Azure that really… what’s a good word… stink. So what do you do? It’s all in the cloud. You couldn’t possibly tune the queries, right? Wrong. Many of the same tools that you have available to you, such as execution plans and dynamic management objects, are still available in SQL Azure.

Let’s talk DMOs for a second. First off, don’t make the mistake I did of trying to run these outside the context of a specific database on SQL Azure. You’ll get extremely inconsistent results, trust me on this. Anyway, I did a quick run-down on some of the most used DMOs for performance tuning, the sys.dm_exec_* set. Here’s a complete listing of those procs and whether or not they’re available to you in SQL Azure:

The good news, most everything you need is available so you’re really going to be able to go to town on using DMOs as part of your query tuning. The bad news, “most everything” doesn’t include sys.dm_exec_query_optimizer_info is not on the list. This does take away a tool. It’s not a vital tool, but it’s one that allows you to understand some of what’s happening on the system. I’m not going to cry and rend my clothing because I don’t have it, but I will be somewhat disappointed.

This is great news! The tools you’re learning and using (and you are using DMOs, right?) will continue to be available in SQL Azure.

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