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  SQL Server Tips by Robin Schumacher

Data Management

Data management focuses on two primary domains:
  • Logical Data Management.
  • Physical Data Management.

Logical Data Management, depicted in Figure 1.2, focuses on the following key activities:

  • Data Definition: This activity involves the logical definition of data. It does not involve the specific assignment of a data model to a particular database engine like SQL Server.
  • Standards Control: This activity revolves around ensuring data definitions adhere to certain datatype assignments. This can have an impact on performance when, for example, the DBA performs a table join on keys that have been mistakenly created with different datatypes.
  • Documentation: This activity is based on the premise that all data models and database/object definitions should be easily documented in a variety of formats (HTML, MS Word, etc.)
  • Metadata Management: This activity concerns the retention and reuse of attribute and datatype definitions, most often in a data dictionary or other repository.

Physical Data Management, may be something that more SQL Server DBAs are accustomed to carrying out than Logical Data Management.

Physical Data Management involves physical design, which will be explained in upcoming chapters. This is perhaps the single most important activity in which the DBA will be involved in that contributes to the overall performance of SQL Server systems.

Another interesting area related to performance in this area of management is data archival. This involves the movement of seldom used data from primary to secondary database servers, and eventually, handles its complete removal. Since corporations are often forced to keep a specified number of years’ worth of data online to meet certain government or industry regulations, this function has grown in importance.

The problem is that much of this data is not routinely accessed, so it sits fairly idle in the database. Knowing that it is much faster to scan 10,000 rows than 10,000,000 rows, the purpose behind archiving is to get that seldom accessed data to a place where it remains online but does not impact standard production performance. There are a few third party software vendors providing products to help with this process, with most people still writing manual SQL Server scripts and DTS operations.

The above book excerpt is from:

High-Performance SQL Server DBA
Tuning & Optimization Secrets

ISBN: 0-9761573-6-5
Robin Schumacher  


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