Thursday, November 20, 2008

SQL Server Full-Text Search Performance Tuning and Optimization

If you are using the SQL Server Full-Text Search service, Microsoft recommends these two settings for optimum performance:

* The virtual memory (PAGEFILE.SYS file) setting for your operating system should be set to an amount equal to 3 times the amount of physical RAM in the server. If you have a non-dedicated SQL Server (a server running applications in addition to SQL Server) then you will want to add the virtual memory needs of these other applications to the amount calculated above.

* The SQL Server MAX SERVER MEMORY setting should be set manually (dynamic memory allocation is turned off) so that enough virtual memory is left for the Full-Text Search service to run. To achieve this, select a MAX SERVER MEMORY setting that once set, leaves enough virtual memory so that the Full-Text Search service is able to access an amount of virtual memory equal to 1.5 times the amount of physical RAM in the server. This will take some trial and error to achieve this setting.

To find out how much virtual memory is being used by SQL Server and the Full-Text Search Service, you can use the Task Manager. By default, the Task Manager does not display the amount of virtual memory used by a process. To see this number in Task Manager, you must first go to the "Processes" tab. Once there, select "View", and then "Select Columns". From the "Select Columns" dialog box, click on "Virtual Memory Size", then "OK". Now you will be able to see the amount of virtual memory size used by each process on your server using Task Manager. Use this information to help you tune your server for use with the Full-Text Search service. [7.0, 2000]

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