What’s Your SQL Server Power Plan?

Are you not getting the type of performance you’re expecting on a brand new server? Did performance suddenly drop on an existing server even though hardware hasn’t changed? If you are dealing with either of these scenarios, it’s time to double check the Power Plan settings on your SQL Server. There might be an easy fix.

Trippin’ Off the Power

Windows Server has been known to set the Power Plan to Balanced by default. I found this to be the case with at least Windows Server 2016 and haven’t found where this is different for Windows Server 2019.

According to Microsoft, the Balanced Power Plan is for “general computing” and “matches capacity to demand.” When I think of a SQL Server, general computing is not a phrase that comes to my mind. What does come to my mind is wanting data and wanting it now. To do so, the server needs processing power.

Switch to High Performance to get all you can out of your system. When High Performance is the Power Plan in use, “processors are always locked at the highest performance state.” This sounds more like what you want in your SQL Server.

Checking Power Plan

To check your Power Plan, click Start and select Control Panel.

If you do not see Power Options available, click the search bar at the top right and type “Power Options” to make it available to select:

Once you select Power Options, you’ll see what plan you have set:

In this case, we want to switch our plan. The settings are grayed out but that’s simple enough to change. Select the blue text above Preferred plans stating “Change settings that are currently unavailable” and the Preferred plans will become editable. From here, choose High Performance and close the Power Options window. You’re all set.

Finding that Balance

For a non-prod server that isn’t used often you may choose to leave the Power Plan as Balanced and that would be perfectly fine. For production servers, I’d stick with High Performance because getting fast results is more important than saving power.

Thanks for reading!

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