We get questions from time to time from folks asking what SQL Traffic Accelerator does for DBAs since it sounds like a network monitoring tool. Let’s get that out of the way first. This tool is not a network monitoring tool at all. If you take a closer look, you will discover DBAs can and should think of it as a performance enhancement tool to use in a variety of ways for SQL Servers. And you don’t need a network admin to tweak network protocols in order to solve problems. This will be dependent on use cases and environment infrastructure so let’s illustrate a few examples where this tool can help the DBA.
What are some common network issues encountered by SQL Server DBAs?
- Can’t improve SQL Server performance between remote sites because available bandwidth is maxed out.
- Need to perform real-time replication to distributed SQL Servers over slow WAN connections.
- SQL Server applications are moving to the cloud and you need to make sure your data is secure.
- Users experience latency when accessing data on the SQL Server which reduces their productivity.
SQL Traffic Accelerator is helpful in the following scenarios:
- Latency with two tier application environments
- Cloud hosted SQL Server applications
- Latency during SQL Server replication over the WAN including snapshot, transactional and merge replication types.
- Moving SSIS/DTS from a remote office or hosted/cloud based SQL Servers
- SharePoint applications that directly access SQL Server
- Latency when using SSRS
We can’t really cover all of these scenarios in one blog post so let’s talk about one in particular…replicated SQL Servers across a WAN. SQL Server’s poor use of TCP/IP creates latency and congestion issues on the WAN, which translates to users who are limited in what they can do. Suppose you have a distributed WAN across geographical boundaries and some applications use data hosted on replicated SQL Servers on the WAN. If congestion and slow performance occurs and the DBA gets the support call, what can a DBA do to improve performance without having to rely on his/her friendly network admin?
SQL Traffic Accelerator can help. The tool uses a dynamic compression algorithm that compresses TDS packets turning SQL Server’s inefficient protocol into a more efficient one giving it a real boost to performance. There are cases where SQL Traffic Accelerator provided an 80% reduction in TCP packets and between 80 to 90% reduction in latency in a real-time transactional replication environment. No call necessary to the network admin. The DBA improved the performance problem by using SQL Traffic Accelerator.