Database Performance Tuning


Database performance tuning covers a variety of activities with the aim of maximizing the use of system resources to perform work as efficiently and rapidly as possible. Most systems are designed to manage their use of system resources, but there is still much room to improve their efficiency by customizing their settings and configuration for the database and the DBMS.

database performance tuning

Main Areas of Database Performance Tuning:

  • DBMS Tuning
    database memory & configuration parameters
  • Schema Design
    data normalization, proper table and indexing design
  • SQL Tuning
    access methods, join types, index reads, full scans
  • I/O Tuning
    disk subsystems, RAID levels
  • Hardware Tuning
    CPU and memory utilization
  • Database Maintenance
    backups, exports, defragmentation, statistics collection
  • Process and Job Scheduling
    data loading processes, business report generation, etc.

A comprehensive approach to database performance tuning must be taken to include all of the main areas listed above. While the knowledge of tuning any individual component above is obviously required, how these various systems work in concert is where the experience and knowledge is critical. Without the knowledge of how these components work together, it will be difficult to find where performance problems originate and how they propagate through a database system. Parthian Systems has extensive experience in complete database optimization.

The #1 Database Performance Problem

While there can be complex problems in any database system, in our experience there is one area that causes the most problems in the majority of database systems: bad SQL code written by application developers. The 'black box' approach to building a database-driven application is usually the main cause of performance problems. Also, if you hear the words 'database independence' uttered from any technology professional, run for the hills. Never underestimate the destructive power of bad database code. For further reading on this subject, you can read our blog post here: The #1 Database Problem

Organizational Approach

One of the most overlooked problems when working with database systems has nothing to do with the hardware or software. It is the method and approach taken in managing the database system itself. Many times production database systems are allowed to be accessed directly by application developers, managers and random individuals. This will eventually lead to disaster, not only from a security standpoint, but also from a database performance standpoint. Way too many organizations, large and small, amazingly still allow production database access to a wide variety of individuals who are not part of the database team. While it's common for application developers to have access to development database systems and even provide valuable input to the database team, one of the major problems is allowing anyone other than is absolutely necessary to have access to production database systems. Production database systems need to be 'locked down' with extremely selective privileges granted to certain individuals or your database - and possibly your entire business - will suffer. Keep in mind that any good database team will closely guard and monitor access to the database and be the gatekeeper to your valuable information.

Systematic Approach

When approaching a database optimization project, you need a team that follows a systematic approach. Learning the systems involved, focusing on the potential problem areas, then pinpointing the exact performance issues with a database system can be a daunting task and requires multiple skill sets. At Parthian Systems we have the techniques and experience in all of these areas to help optimize your database systems and get them running at peak performance.

Database Performance Tuning Experts

If you want to get the most performance out of your database system call Parthian Systems today!