How Database Monitoring Tools Help Optimize Relational Database Performance

by Jun 4, 2021

Database monitoring tools and database performance are becoming increasingly important for data-driven organizations. Slow response time on mission-critical databases can lead to inefficiencies, lost customers, and reduced revenue. 

An organization’s database administrators (DBAs) are tasked with optimizing systems so they perform up to or beyond customer expectations. At times, this can be an extremely difficult assignment. 

The problem faced by database teams attempting to optimize their systems is directly related to their complexity. In a simple database implementation, the possible causes of degraded performance are limited and can easily be observed and optimized by an experienced DBA. 

The majority of databases are complex constructions where it is virtually impossible for database team members to manually isolate the SQL queries or transactions that are slowing down response time. Supplemental tools are required to give them the information they need to address lagging performance. 

Identifying the Source of Performance Issues

Database monitoring tools help organizations identify performance issues and their source. The first step in resolving database performance issues is to find how and where performance is being negatively impacted. 

This can be extremely challenging as multiple factors need to be considered. A database that was performing well can suddenly start misbehaving and slowing down beyond acceptable levels. 

While individual environments all have their idiosyncrasies, some generalities provide a basis for teams searching for the causes of database performance degradation. Following are some areas that should be investigated when trying to pinpoint database performance issues.

  • Slow read and write speeds can be the result of insufficient hardware resources. Teams need to be able to isolate I/O hot spots to determine if the issue lies with hardware or database logic. In some cases, evaluating and modifying the index structure on database tables can have a dramatic impact on data transfer speeds.
  • Inefficient query performance is one of the most common causes of slow database response times. Poorly formatted queries can result in a tremendous amount of unnecessary data transfer and wasted processing time. DBAs can optimize problem queries once they have been identified and dramatically improve database performance.
  • Scaling issues can result in well-performing databases and applications suddenly exhibiting unexplained degradation. As the number of concurrent users and the volume of data contained in a database increases, its performance can be negatively impacted. Large data tables may need to have new indexes to minimize data transfer. Network bandwidth might be an issue and may need to be improved to resolve scaling problems. 
  • Incorrect configuration can lead to bad database performance. Items like the query and buffer caches may need to be tuned to improve response time. Configuration changes may be required as part of the effort to address scaling issues as systems grow.
  • Business transactions are the most important indicator of performance problems. They directly affect end-users and lead to dissatisfied customers. Focusing on slow transactions provides DBAs with prime targets for optimization. 

A Versatile and Reliable Database Monitoring Tool

Multi-platform database environments are common in today’s business world. This can strain DBAs and technical teams who are using different tools to monitor their diverse platforms. 

Precise for Databases helps minimize the complexity of managing multiple platforms by supporting Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, IBM Db2, and SAP Sybase ASE from a single tool. This shortens the learning curve for DBAs and leads to increased productivity.

Precise provides the information database teams need to tackle performance issues. It’s a user-friendly and easy-to-use tool that captures, measures, and correlates performance metrics from all critical components of the system. The tool can detect and resolve the root causes of database and transaction issues before they impact end-users. 

The tool samples databases with a low overhead that will not negatively impact production systems. It displays the top-consuming SQL transactions and database objects. DBAs can easily drill down into the findings to analyze and diagnose issues and view expert recommendations on resolving them. Teams can use Precise with physical and virtual on-premises systems as well as cloud-hosted and managed instances. It’s the right tool for identifying and correcting performance issues with enterprise relational databases. 

Try Precise for Databases for free!