Xpress Mart is a large convenience store chain, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, serving approximately 7.1 million customers a year throughout the North East. The company headquarters houses over 800 employees. Xpress Mart has recently purchased Dales Outlet stores, and is currently experiencing a seven percent (7%) annual growth. The market plan is to expand its operations by entering into the Midwest, and to eventually become a National chain. The database is growing at a rate of eight and one-half percent (8.5%) per year and will exceed the current hard drive space. The main server is overloaded, resulting in poor performance and long delays. The company currently has a 4-terabyte Online Transaction Processing (OLTP), database that tracks over four (4) billion transactions each year and pulls the information daily from each store regionally. Since Xpress Mart is experiencing performance issues, and soon will have issues with capacity, it has decided to upgrade the SQL server to 2012, hiring you as a database consultant. Write a four to six (4-6) page paper in which you: Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements: The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are: Click to view the grading rubric.

Introduction

Xpress Mart is a rapidly growing convenience store chain that is currently facing performance and capacity issues with its database system. As a database consultant, the task at hand is to upgrade the SQL server to 2012 to resolve these issues. This paper will address the challenges faced by Xpress Mart, propose a solution for upgrading the SQL server, and provide recommendations for ensuring optimal performance and capacity in the future.

Challenges Faced by Xpress Mart

Currently, Xpress Mart is experiencing performance issues with its main server, resulting in poor performance and long delays. The database, which tracks over four billion transactions each year and pulls information daily from each store regionally, is growing at a rate of 8.5% per year and will soon exceed the current hard drive space. These challenges are hindering the company’s ability to meet customer demands and expand its operations.

Solution Proposed: Upgrading to SQL Server 2012

To address the performance and capacity issues faced by Xpress Mart, the recommended solution is to upgrade the SQL server to 2012. SQL Server 2012 offers several enhancements and features that can improve the performance and scalability of the database system.

The first major advantage of upgrading to SQL Server 2012 is improved query performance. The Query Optimizer in SQL Server 2012 has been enhanced to make better use of available indexes and statistics, resulting in faster query execution times. This improvement will significantly reduce the delays and improve the overall performance of the database system.

Another important feature of SQL Server 2012 is its support for columnstore indexes. Columnstore indexes allow for significant storage savings and improved query performance for data warehouse workloads. By implementing columnstore indexes on the large transactional data stored by Xpress Mart, the company can expect both improved storage efficiency and faster query execution times.

Furthermore, the upgrade to SQL Server 2012 will provide Xpress Mart with enhanced data compression capabilities. SQL Server 2012 introduces a new data compression algorithm called Page Compression. This algorithm can significantly reduce the storage requirements for the database, allowing Xpress Mart to store more data within the existing hard drive space. This will address the capacity issue faced by the company and ensure that the database can continue to grow without requiring frequent hardware upgrades.

Recommendations for Optimal Performance and Capacity

In addition to upgrading to SQL Server 2012, there are several recommendations that Xpress Mart should consider to ensure optimal performance and capacity in the future:

1. Regular Maintenance: Implement regular maintenance tasks such as index rebuilding and statistic updates to ensure that the database remains optimized for performance.

2. Partitioning: Implement partitioning on the database tables to improve query performance, especially for large tables with billions of records.

3. Database Security: Implement strict security measures to protect the database from unauthorized access and ensure data integrity.

4. Monitoring and Tuning: Implement a robust monitoring and tuning strategy to identify and resolve performance issues in real-time.

Conclusion

Upgrading to SQL Server 2012 is the recommended solution for Xpress Mart to address the performance and capacity issues faced by its database system. This upgrade will provide improved query performance, enhanced storage capabilities, and support for future growth. By implementing the suggested recommendations, Xpress Mart can ensure optimal performance and capacity in the future.

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