I have been doing work with multiple clients using the GE Centricity EMR product which makes extensive use of Microsoft SQL Server. The performance issues that you run into with Centricity are very similar to what I see working with other clients on a daily basis. Centricity is a solid product, when you run into performance issues, they can often times be addressed by performance tuning the SQL Server.
Here are 5 of my recommendations for IT administrators responsible for the GE Centricity SQL Server.
- Stay on top of SQL Server updates, specifically the service packs and security patches. Some of these can have a significant stability or performance impact on your system. This doesn’t mean jumping to the latest version of SQL Server that may not be supported by GE, it just means keeping up on the applying the bug fixes that Microsoft supplies in the service packs, hot fixes and security patches.
- Understand the speed of your storage. For all drives that hold data, log files, or backups, have a good understanding of their speed. Without knowing what drives are fast or slow, it’s hard to make the right storage decisions. Get a good understanding of your I/O bottlenecks.
- Reboot your SQL Server less often. There is a common belief that when you reboot a server, after the reboot things will run faster, better, and more stable. The opposite is true with SQL Server. When SQL Server runs, it brings a great deal of data into memory from disk, every time you restart the SQL Server process, or reboot the server, all that data is thrown out of memory and has to be reloaded. Sometimes a reboot will impact the overall performance of a SQL Server for the next 24 to 36 hours. Reboot when you need to, but never reboot a SQL Server as a regularly scheduled job.
- Take a look at Database Health Monitor, this is a free tool that I have spent the last 5 years building to help track down and repair performance problems. Several of the features in Database Health Monitor have come from tracking down specific performance issues with Centricity. Its free, why not use it. http://DatabaseHealth.com/download
- Sign up for a database health assessment, where Stedman Solutions, LLC can help track down and adjust the SQL Server database to improve performance. http://stedmansolutions.com/centricity