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Category: Query Store

Understanding Conditions Under Which Query Store Captures Queries

Milos Radivojevic dives into testing Query Store:

From SQL Server 2019, you can use the fourth option – CUSTOM which allows you to define what does „relevant query“ mean. For that purpose, you can use three parameters. A query will be captured by Query Store if it is executed at least EXECUTION_COUNT times or if for its compilation SQL Server used at least TOTAL_COMPILE_CPU_TIME_MS or the entire query execution used at least TOTAL_EXECUTION_CPU_TIME_MS CPU. All three parameters are evaluated within a period defined by using the fourth parameter – STALE_CAPTURE_POLICY_THRESHOLD with a default value of 1 hour.

You cannot define exceptions, i.e. queries that you do not want to see captured by Query Store, such as system queries or queries related to Query Store itself, you can just filter them out when you write queries against Query Store’s catalog views.

As mentioned earlier, in this post, I will go in details for the ALL option. This is default option in SQL Server 2019, and the decision to change from ALL to AUTO was a good one. However, the lack of documentation for this option can lead to mistrust and misunderstandings. Defaults are important for the feature’s newcomers; they will use defaults until they learn and test enough to probably choose better options for their workload.

There’s a lot of depth in this post, and Milos wraps up with a few rules of thumb.

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Finding Index Usage Stats in Query Store

Grant Fritchey gives us another option for determining whether an index is in use:

One of the most frequent questions you’ll hear online is how to determine if a particular index is in use. There is no perfect answer to this question. You can look at the sys.dm_db_index_usage_stats to get a pretty good picture of whether or not an index is in use. However, this DMV has a few holes through which you could be mislead.

I thought of another way to get an idea of how and where an index is being used. This is also a flawed solution, but, still, an interesting one.

What if we queried the information in Query Store?

Be sure to read Grant’s warning before jumping into this, but at least it gives us another option, as well as a better understanding of which queries are using particular indexes.

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Queries Which Query Store Won’t Capture

Jeff Iannucci takes us through queries which Query Store doesn’t capture:

But what if you wanted to use Query Store for a different reason in a migration? What if to see which stored procedures are actually being used, and which are just sitting there unused like that box of commercial toilet paper you panic purchased last month?

What if you set the capture mode to “All”, but then noticed you weren’t actually capturing All of the queries in your database?

Click through for the full report.

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Using Plan Guides to Bootstrap Query Store

Hugo Kornelis gives us a way to use Query Store to force plans on a different server, using plan guides as the instrument:

Query Store only allows you to force plans that the Query Store has “seen” on that instance, and in that database. If you have a query and you want to force a specific plan, you will need to first ensure that the query runs, at least once, under the right circumstances to create the desired plan, so that the Query Store can capture it. Sometimes that is easy, in which case this blog is not for you.

What if you know you need to force the execution plan, you know you’ll get that execution plan only when a lot of data is already in the database, and you need to ship your software with an empty database to your customers? How do you set it up to force the plan you need?

Click through for the answer, and I give Hugo bonus points for using Raleigh as the example.

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Figuring out How a Plan was Forced

Erin Stellato wants to know whether a DBA forced a plan or SQL Server did automatically:

If you use Automatic Plan Correction, and thus also Query Store, you may wonder how was a plan forced: manually or automatically with APC?  The type of forced plan is tracked in sys.query_store_plan, and you can use this simple query to determine how a plan was forced:

Click through for a simple query, as well as a more complex form which gives you a bit more info.

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Tracking Performance of Queries which use RECOMPILE Hints

Brent Ozar has some tips if you use RECOMPILE hints frequently:

The first query’s plan stuck around in memory, so it now shows 2 executions, and 2 total rows returned. Its row metrics are correct through the life of the stored procedure’s time in cache.

However, the second query – the one with the recompile hint – has a brand new plan in the cache, but also new metrics. You’re not just recompiling the execution plan, but you’re also not getting query plan metrics here. (That’s fine, and that part I was also kinda aware of.)

But the part that I keep forgetting is that when I’m looking at the stored procedure’s totals in sp_BlitzCache, the total, min, and max values are useless:

If the plan cache isn’t going to help, what will? Brent tells you exactly what.

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Extended Events and Query Store

Jason Brimhall takes us through some of the internals of Query Store as exposed by Extended Events:

One of my favorite questions to ask during some of presentations on XE is “What was the first version of SQL Server to have Query Store?” You can imagine the wide array of answers but what is interesting is how often  the correct answer is always missed. I hear lots of answers for 2012, some answers for 2017 and somewhere in between for 2016. But never does the correct answer pop up.

Right now, I hope you are scratching your head at that last statement. You see, the question is somewhat of a trick question. The first version of SQL Server that has QDS is SQL Server 2014. However, the first version where you can actually use it is SQL Server 2016. This fun fact is visible when we start exploring SQL Server from the realm of XE. Let’s take a look.

Read the whole thing.

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Using Query Store to Replay Workloads

John Sterrett shows us an unorthodox use of Query Store:

Today, I wanted to talk about my least favorite part of replaying workloads. It’s having an extended event or server-side trace running during a workload replay only so we can compare the results at a query-level when the replay is finished. Now, this might seem like a trivial thing but when you have workloads over 10k batch requests/sec this can consume terabytes of data quickly. The worst part is waiting to read all the data, slice and dice the data for analysis.

Starting with SQL Server 2016 there is a better and faster way to go! You can replace your extended event or server-side trace with Query Store captured data. Today, I will show you how to use the Query Store for the same purpose.

Click through for the solution.

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Adoption Patterns with Query Store

Erin Stellato has some thoughts on Query Store adoption:

Last fall we had a previous customer reach out for help after they had to wait 45 minutes for a database to come online after a server reboot. The database queries were blocked by QDS_LOADDB waits. There were three things in play here – the first was that they had CAPTURE_MODE set to ALL, and it should be AUTO. Second, they didn’t have trace flag 7752 enabled (the behavior of which is now the default in SQL Server 2019). And the third was that their Query Store was 100GB in size. The workload was fairly ad hoc, so these three things together caused the problem initially described. They implemented the TF, made multiple changes to the settings (set CAPTURE_MODE to AUTO, changed MAX_STORAGE_SIZE_MB to 10GB, decreased CLEANUP_POLICY to 3 days), and then Query Store was usable for them.

Read on for more examples.

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