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SQL Server Upgrade: Performance & Stability Enhancements

Business

SQL Server Upgrade 2023 | AdvancedMD

We are happy to announce that we will be upgrading the database servers that host the AdvancedMD platform to SQL Server 2022, which comes with a long list of performance and stability enhancements. This will go into effect next month, December. Many of these enhancements benefit our clients substantially.

While you will not see the impacts of the SQL Server 2022 deployment in the form of new features or functionality, we expect you will benefit from generally “snappier” and more consistent performance. Much of the improvement will be apparent immediately after your database servers are upgraded, while some will come over the next few months as we finetune our configuration settings.

Your office key will be upgraded on a tiered release schedule. During your upgrade schedule, you may experience brief service interruption for up to five minutes. A system alert will notify you of your scheduled date and should appear seven days prior.

Three release tiers

  • Wave 1: Friday, Dec. 8, from 6:30-10pm MT
  • Wave 2: Saturday, Dec. 9 from 6:30-10pm MT
  • Wave 3: Saturday, Dec. 16 from 6:30-10pm MT

Helpful information from Microsoft: SQL Server is a proprietary Microsoft relational database management system. As a database server, it is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as requested by other software applications—which may run either on the same computer or on another computer across a network (including the Internet).

SQL Server 2022 comes with a long list of performance and stability improvements that will benefit AdvancedMD and our clients. Here are just a few of the enhancements that we expect to have the greatest positive impact:

SQL Server Key Upgrade Enhancements & Benefits

  • Reduced Latch Contention in TempDB
    Our databases perform dozens or hundreds of concurrent transactions all day, every day. This puts a heavy burden on the server to ensure data consistency and transaction isolation. SQL Server 2022 has an algorithm change that primarily impacts database servers with a lot of memory and many CPUs, like the ones we use. This Microsoft blog post describes how it works.
  • Buffer Pool Scans No Longer Serial
    Backups, Failovers, creating databases, and many internal operations (like checkpoints) are all faster. This will reduce client down time for maintenance. Learn more.
  • Query Store Enabled for Replicas
    We already take advantage of Query Store on our primary database servers (the ones that do most of the transactional work). But we also have secondary database nodes, which are used primarily for reporting, ODBC, and other read-only functions. With SQL Server 2022, our secondary nodes get their own Query Store, which means queries will be better optimized, resulting in overall better and more consistent performance. This article describes how it works.
  • Better virtual log file (VLF) management
    The way the SQL Server engine uses log files has been improved to reduce fragmentation. This will result in more efficient database performance management and, ultimately, better database performance overall.
  • Intelligent Query Processing
    SQL Server uses to choose the best way to execute a query based on what has worked best in the past under various conditions. This is particularly beneficial to AdvancedMD because we have many clients of varying sizes who use the platform in many ways. This article explains the improvements to IQP in SQL Server 2022.

About this Upgrade & Timing

SQL Server 2022 was released in November 2022 and has received multiple cumulative updates (CUs) since then. Our technical and engineering teams have evaluated the 2022 SQL Server upgrade for more than a year and we have determined this latest Microsoft version is stable and production ready for use by AdvancedMD. We have successfully migrated and validated our development, stage, and production testing environments. We are further mitigating risk by scheduling the migration across multiple waves.

We have evaluated, validated, and tested this new platform and our migration plan. We are confident in our rigorous testing and quality assurance verification processes and in our ability to deliver on the promise of a faster and more reliable experience across all our applications. We waited until we were confident that the new version was stable, and its performance would meet our stringent expectations. During this upgrade, you might experience a brief service interruption that we expect to last no more than five minutes. We expect the process to be otherwise uneventful regarding the impact to your workflow, data access or system reliability.



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