Advantages of Automating Database Performance Tuning

by Aug 14, 2020

Database professionals are usually strapped for time. It’s part of the job in most cases. Multi-platform database environments are the norm in modern IT environments with systems often spread around between physical data centers and cloud providers. Combined with the heightened importance of securing enterprise data resources, the work-life of the average DBA is never slow. There is always something that needs to be addressed to maintain the required levels of access and performance for their databases.

One of the techniques used to minimize the amount of human interaction needed to perform certain activities is automation. IT professionals are in a field that has been built on the concept of automation. Computerized systems have been automating processes since they were first developed. The types of activities automated by computers range from solving complex mathematical equations to printing checks and invoices. We would be hard-pressed to get by in a world without the benefits that automation provides.

Concerns Regarding Automation

Some individuals see automation as a two-edged sword. While it may be beneficial to the organizations that implement automated procedures, there is anxiety that workers may become superfluous and redundant. These fears may be justified in some occupations where the majority of work consists of performing repetitious tasks. However, when looked at objectively, the concept of automation has benefits and costs for the organizations that make use of it and society as a whole.

Benefits of automation to business

  • Lower production costs
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Increased economy of scope
  • Shorter lead times
  • Improved safety and security

Costs of automation to business

  • Initial capital investment
  • Requires specialized labor skills for development and maintenance of automated systems
  • Potential for customer pushback against automated systems such as customer service bots

Benefits of automation to society

  • Consumer convenience as evidenced by ATMs
  • Lower prices on consumer goods
  • New job creation supporting automation

Costs of automation to society

  • There are winners and losers as certain occupations are automated
  • Potential for economic inequality
  • Possible growth of monopolies
  • Loss of the human element

We cannot determine if automation will spell the end of humanity or usher us into a more enjoyable and productive future in this post. What we can say is that it is impossible to ignore the benefits of automation or the impetus for its implementation in the business world.

Automation Can Drive Productivity Gains and Opportunities

While in some industries the fear of automation fosters intense resistance in its workforce, some IT workers have taken the initiative of automating their jobs. Self-automating parts of their daily activities is something that programmers and database administrators can and do engage in on their own. It would be difficult to find individuals working in the technical side of the IT world that have not at the very least written scripts to handle repetitive tasks.

Searching for ways to automate from a bottom-up perspective rather than the top-down model initiated by management has substantial benefits for the workers involved in the process. They can streamline their daily activities to achieve higher levels of production. Through automation, they can reduce the occurrence of errors that result in copious amounts of lost time and frustration. The extra time gained by eliminating the need to perform repetitive tasks presents the opportunity to learn new skills that can benefit both the individual and the corporation.

Automated Database Tuning

Performance tuning is one of the activities that occupy a great deal of a database administrator’s time and mental energy. The ability to enlist a reliable tool that helps automate this task is not something a DBA is likely to turn down. Fortunately, IDERA’s DB Optimizer offers database teams a multi-platform tuning application that is designed to make their lives easier.

Your DBAs can use a common interface with an intuitive GUI and powerful wizards to automate SQL tuning on Oracle, SQL Server, Db2, and Sybase systems. DB Optimizer’s tuning wizard automatically suggests solutions and recommendations that help the team achieve optimal performance. Case generation is used to generate and identify the best alternatives to tune problem SQL statements. Visual tuning diagrams help illustrate the impact of specific SQL statements on database performance.

Regardless of whether management introduces the tool to the environment or your database staff puts in a request, DB Optimizer will quickly become a valuable part of the team’s software toolbox. It’s time for DBAs to embrace automation in the quest for continued performance gains.