Turn off services, hike performance

Turning off some server services unrelated to SQL can speed SQL performance.

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To squeeze more performance from a SQL Server application server, consider turning off operating system services unrelated to core OS functions and SQL Server itself. Doing so helps release additional memory and lower your CPU utilization.

To see what services are running on your system, open the Services control panel. You can either disable unnecessary services, or set these services to manual. A manual setting requires you to physically start the service, either from the command line or in the Services control panel.

There is a long list of services that don't really help SQL Server perform its work. Assuming that your server is dedicated to SQL Server (if not, be careful what you turn off), you may find that messaging services such as Alerter, Fax Service, Intersite Messaging, and Messanger aren't required. Additionally, many Internet utilities can be turned off, including: FTP, Internet Connection Sharing, Kerberos Key Distribution Center, NetMeeting, QoS, Remote Access Connection, RRAS, SMTP, Telnet, and WWW. Since you won't be using other applications, consider eliminating Application Management, Distributed Link Tracking Server, Network DDE and DDE DSDM, RPC Locator, RunAsService, Utility Manager, and Window Installer. The Indexing Service and File Replication service are worth disabling, as well.

What you turn off depends upon the configuration of your system, and its intended use. Don't turn off the Print Spooler Service, for example, if you intend to print from this particular SQL Server. But it is certainly worth experimenting with these background services.


Barrie Sosinsky (barries@killerapps.com)is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.


This was first published in May 2002

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