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Most SQL Server DBAs Still Don’t Know About Instant File Initialization

In my most recent poll, I asked DBAs if they have turned on instant file initialization on their SQL Servers. I was a little surprised by the results. Just over half of the DBAs who responded to the poll said that they don’t know what instant file initialization is, and another 13% said that they don’t use it. Only about a third said they have it turned on.

Instant file initialization seems to be one of SQL Server’s most hidden performance gems, and should be turned on for virtually every SQL Server. To learn more about instant file initialization, see my blog post: “Instant File Initialization Speeds SQL Server”.


Posted by Glenn Berry on 21 September 2010

That is a little scary, considering how how long the feature has been available, and how often it has been mentioned in blog posts and presentations.

Posted by Brad M. McGehee on 21 September 2010

I have mentioned this feature in dozens of presentations in the past couple of years, and there have been many articles and blog posts, but for whatever reason (probably poor documentation in BOL), this feature is still not well known.

Posted by jts_2003 on 22 September 2010

Just a quick query on this practice - is the recomendation that Instant File Initialization is turned on for ALL servers running SQL? Or are there any situations in SQL where it shouldn't be used? (I've just checked a couple of our servers and it's definitely tuened off :-()

Posted by Brad M. McGehee on 22 September 2010

JTS_2003: Other than in some very high security environments, there is no downside to using Instant File Initialization.

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