SQL SERVER – Database Dynamic Caching by Automatic SQL Server Performance Acceleration

My second look at SafePeak’s new version (2.1) revealed to me few additional interesting features. For those of you who hadn’t read my previous reviews SafePeak and not familiar with it, here is a quick brief: SafePeak is in business of accelerating performance of SQL Server applications, as well as their scalability, without making code changes to the applications or to the databases. SafePeak performs database dynamic caching, by caching in memory result sets of queries and stored procedures while keeping all those cache correct and up to date. Cached queries are retrieved from the SafePeak RAM in microsecond speed and not send to the SQL Server. The application gets much faster results (100-500 micro seconds), the load on the SQL Server is reduced (less CPU and IO) and the application or the infrastructure gets better scalability.

SafePeak solution is hosted either within your cloud servers, hosted servers or your enterprise servers, as part of the application architecture. Connection of the application is done via change of connection strings or adding reroute line in the c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file on all application servers.

For those who would like to learn more on SafePeak architecture and how it works, I suggest to read this vendor’s webpage: SafePeak Architecture.

More interesting new features in SafePeak 2.1

In my previous review of SafePeak new I covered the first 4 things I noticed in the new SafePeak (check out my article “SQLAuthority News – SafePeak Releases a Major Update: SafePeak version 2.1 for SQL Server Performance Acceleration”):

  1. Cache setup and fine-tuning – a critical part for getting good caching results
  2. Database templates
  3. Choosing which database to cache
  4. Monitoring and analysis options by SafePeak

Since then I had a chance to play with SafePeak some more and here is what I found.

5. Analysis of SQL Performance (present and history):

In SafePeak v.2.1 the tools for understanding of performance became more comprehensive. Every 15 minutes SafePeak creates and updates various performance statistics. Each query (or a procedure execute) that arrives to SafePeak gets a SQL pattern, and after it is used again there are statistics for such pattern. An important part of this product is that it understands the dependencies of every pattern (list of tables, views, user defined functions and procs). From this understanding SafePeak creates important analysis information on performance of every object: response time from the database, response time from SafePeak cache, average response time, percent of traffic and break down of behavior. One of the interesting things this behavior column shows is how often the object is actually pdated. The break down analysis allows knowing the above information for: queries and procedures, tables, views, databases and even instances level.

The data is show now on all arriving queries, both read queries (that can be cached), but also any types of updates like DMLs, DDLs, DCLs, and even session settings queries.

The stats are being updated every 15 minutes and SafePeak dashboard allows going back in time and investigating what happened within any time frame.

6. Logon trigger, for making sure nothing corrupts SafePeak cache data

If you have an application with many parts, many servers many possible locations that can actually update the database, or the SQL Server is accessible to many DBAs or software engineers, each can access some database directly and do some changes without going thru SafePeak – this can create a potential corruption of the data stored in SafePeak cache. To make sure SafePeak cache is correct it needs to get all updates to arrive to SafePeak, and if a DBA will access the database directly and do some changes, for example, then SafePeak will simply not know about it and will not clean SafePeak cache.

In the new version, SafePeak brought a new feature called “Logon Trigger” to solve the above challenge. By special click of a button SafePeak can deploy a special server logon trigger (with a CLR object) on your SQL Server that actually monitors all connections and informs SafePeak on any connection that is coming not from SafePeak. In SafePeak dashboard there is an interface that allows to control which logins can be ignored based on login names and IPs, while the rest will invoke cache cleanup of SafePeak and actually locks SafePeak cache until this connection will not be closed. Important to note, that this does not interrupt any logins, only informs SafePeak on such connection.

On the Dashboard screen in SafePeak you will be able to see those connections and then decide what to do with them.

Configuration of this feature in SafePeak dashboard can be done here: Settings -> SQL instances management -> click on instance -> Logon Trigger tab.

Other features:

7. User management

ability to grant permissions to someone without changing its configuration and only use SafePeak as performance analysis tool.

8. Better reports

for analysis of performance using 15 minute resolution charts.

9. Caching of client cursors

10. Support for IPv6


SafePeak is a great SQL Server performance acceleration solution for users who want immediate results for sites with performance, scalability and peak spikes challenges. Especially if your apps are packaged or 3rd party, since no code changes are done. SafePeak can significantly increase response times, by reducing network roundtrip to the database, decreasing CPU resource usage, eliminating I/O and storage access.

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

Safepeak, SQL Server, SQL Utility
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  • Testing out a trial version of SafePeak for read intensive web application implemented using SQL Server as back end database. The only interaction between web application and database is through Stored Procedures. As of now, I do not see any decrease in database activity or SafePeak using cached data to serve the data request. Will keep you posted.


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