Focused Monitoring To Prevent Unexpected Database Problems

by Feb 3, 2020

Database administrators are typically not amused by sudden changes to the performance of their databases. This is especially true when response time inexplicably takes a hit with a resulting increase in calls from anxious users and concerned supervisory figures. It would be nice if there was some kind of warning mechanism that informed a DBA that today will be particularly challenging for reasons that remain to be determined.

IDERA’s Precise Application Performance Platform can help minimize the risk of problems popping up unexpectedly and ruining a DBA’s day. It won’t give them a heads-up call so they can take an unplanned vacation day and avoid the issue altogether. But what it will do is provide a database team with the information they need to make informed decisions regarding impending problems that can be addressed proactively to head off any negative impacts.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your databases might start to underperform. After investigating these issues, we will turn our attention to the way that the Precise monitoring tool can help diminish the chance that you will be unpleasantly surprised by the way your systems are functioning. The tool supports SQL Server, DB2, Oracle, and Sybase to provide a flexible solution for modern multi-platform environments.

The Causes of Degraded Database Performance

Database systems are complex creations that rely on many interrelated components working together to provide the desired level of performance. Multiple individuals or teams are usually involved in designing and implementing a database and the applications that are used to process its information. It is a collaborative effort that depends on everyone involved working toward the common goal of a high-performing end product.

Competing viewpoints during the development process may result in concessions being made to allow the project to be concluded on time. Differing levels of experience might lead to a database that is not well-constructed in certain areas while being finely-tuned in others. In the end, the system will be put into production and keeping it running smoothly will be the responsibility of the organization’s database administrators.

Here are some of the issues that need to be on a DBA’s radar as they strive to maintain or improve the performance of the databases they administer.

  • Faulty database design can manifest itself in many diverse ways that can lurk in the background for a long time before causing performance issues. Some of these problems, such as poor planning or the inability to understand the data’s purpose cannot be easily addressed or corrected. Other issues such as the presence of redundant records, badly written SQL statements, and poor indexing may be able to be successfully remediated if they are identified.

  • Poor hardware optimization can often be at the root of performance issues for SQL Server as well as other database platforms. Things like disk speed, shared storage arrays, and underperforming memory can cause a major hit to the speed with which a database can respond to queries. As the role of virtualization continues to grow, this problem can become harder to pinpoint in the array of moving parts powering a database.

  • Incorrectly provisioning memory can cripple database performance as the system matures. Memory is used to cache data and providing as much as the particular database platform supports can go a long way toward maintaining acceptable response time. Over time, the size of tables and objects may grow and demand more resources than anticipated and allocated in the original design and implementation.

Lack of adequate monitoring will allow all of these issues to intensify until the database performance is impacted to the point where users are hindered when using the system. DBAs will be blindsided by problems that seem to have suddenly appeared when, in fact, they have been percolating in the background and could have been addressed before things got to this point.

How Precise Helps Preempt Performance Degradation

Precise is a tool that performs database and application monitoring to assist your database team in maintaining the level of performance that the organization expects. It offers a comprehensive tool with which to monitor looming issues to address them proactively and quickly get to the root of unexpected problems. It eliminates the need for multiple tools to be used to determine where in the stack a bottleneck is impacting performance.

All database instances in your on-premises, cloud, and virtual environments can be monitored from a single informative dashboard. You can be advised about items such as wait states, configurations and I/O performance and set alerts to trigger when thresholds are met. The tool provides the ability to drill down into transactions to find exactly what needs to be done to fix a slow-performing database.

Precise doesn’t just show you where a problem lies. It also offers tuning recommendations and the ability to perform what-if analysis to see if proposed changes will address the issue. It’s a valuable tool for your database team as they struggle with the complications of keeping their databases performing at peak efficiency.