SQL Server 2014 introduces the first major redesign of the SQL Server Query Optimizer cardinality estimation process since version 7.0. The goal for the redesign was to improve accuracy, consistency and supportability of key areas within the cardinality estimation process, ultimately affecting average query execution plan quality and associated workload performance. This paper provides an overview of the primary changes made to the cardinality estimator functionality by the Microsoft query processor team, covering how to enable and disable the new cardinality estimator behavior, and showing how to troubleshoot plan-quality regressions if and when they occur.
The Query Store captures a history of queries, execution plans, and runtime statistics, which persist within SQL Server and can be reviewed later.
Developer shops may decide to use Read Committed Snapshot Isolation (RCSI) to reduce contention, and possibly improve performance, but it is not without its own pitfalls. In this article, Uwe Ricken describes a situation where long running transactions caused a severe performance degradation when RCSI was in use.