SQL SERVER – Using SafePeak to Accelerate Performance of 3rd Party Applications

An exciting solution I found last year (2011) for SQL Server performance acceleration is SafePeak. Designed to specifically to accelerate and tune performance of cases where you have minimum control on the applications, like 3rd party line of business applications. SafePeak performs automated caching of queries and procedures results, returning with very high speed results from memory and reducing the SQL load by factor of 10. No code changes needed. And that is make it very interesting and appealing!

One of the questions I hear many times concern performance acceleration of 3rd party applications applications that are critical to business function, the “line of business” applications. In most cases critical software remain intact for many years, growing and expanding but also losing its performance edge and affecting the business for the worse, instead for the good. The main problem with fixing and tuning 3rd party apps is that it is a closed code or someone else’s code. Those applications are waiting for an upgrade every few years, while the business being affected for the worse.

SafePeak idea: a middleware software that studies SQL Server schema (tables, views, stored procedures, functions, triggers) to learn about object dependencies, and then creates patterns of similar SQL queries and procedures executions while understanding their direct and indirect object dependents. And then it starts actively caching results in RAM, while keeping those update commands (DML, DDL and procs that do DML or DDL) to both effect the cache and the SQL Server. After downloading it the installation is on a standard Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine or a server (different then the SQL server) takes several minutes. Connecting the application is done by pointing the connection string to SafePeak (easy). Configuration is done via their very nice looking GUI and focuses on things SafePeak didn’t understood, which are usually procedures that have some dynamic code inside.

Results can be very exciting: cached queries response time is reduced to 0.25 millisecond or so. Yes, I meant millisecond, pretty impressive. So queries that are slow become extremely fast and queries that are already fast become even faster.

Because it no code change is involved this specifically fits well 3rd party applications – plug it in, play with it for couple of hours of fine-tuning and see the results.

SafePeak supports SQL 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2008 R2 and can run in a private cloud or the public cloud.

SafePeak provides a 14 days trial with all functions available for a single installation (they also have a safepeak cluster installation, which I plan to review in near future). The download is available here: www.safepeak.com/download – Good luck and tell me your stories.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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