Large databases are a key ingredient of today’s online world - most businesses, organisations, applications and software rely on them every second of the day to keep running smoothly.
But maintaining stability and smooth performance across a large and ever-growing set of databases isn’t simple, and that’s why many IT teams and DBAs rely on monitoring and management tools to identify and solve issues quickly.
Monitoring and management tools give you the means to spot anomalies, to track server performance, and to make performance optimisation tweaks. But to solve problems and to develop strategies to improve system performance, you need to know what you’re looking for, and understand how to use the tools at your disposal.
To help, here are three key performance issues to look out for if you manage a large database:
System Slowdowns or Outages
One job of a DBA is to translate often vague complaints from colleagues and clients into action - and that is especially true when it comes to complaints of slow software and poor system performance. Using monitoring and maintenance tools, an experienced DBA can identify the source of problems for a system’s users, and put fixes in place to improve application performance.
Frequent system outages or crashes can also be identified and remedied by a DBA using the correct monitoring tools. Using the right tools can also help you to spot issues before they become a problem for users, allowing you to preempt slowdowns and outages and to correct problems before they affect your business.
Low System Resources
Many of the issues that your end-users might experience can be attributed to a lack of server resources - from slow or busy CPUs to a poor-performing network or simply not enough memory available.
Using server monitoring tools, a DBA can keep an eye on system resources and compile reports. These reports can be tallied up with known issues or user reports to determine whether lack of resources is responsible for your user’s issues. Resource monitoring is a key aspect of any database and server monitoring tool - and it is vitally important when looking for issues and diagnosing their source.
A Poorly Maintained System
While system resources and related issues can lead to a poor service for customers, a database and server system that isn’t well maintained and tuned is vulnerable to even more problems.
Using a database management tool, DBAs can continually tweak and tune a system to perform at its best; reorganizing indexes, perform consistency checks, optimizing memory usage and overall system tuning.
Without regular maintenance, you’re likely to see a rise in system slowdown, user complaints, corrupted data and more, and, in that case, it can be hard to determine a cause. A DBA equipped with the best monitoring and management tools can look out for issues and create maintenance plans to suit - scheduling automated maintenance, or putting processes in place for regular resource reviews.
With the help of server monitoring and database management, it is possible to keep your organisation’s IT infrastructure running smoothly, regardless of the amount of data or users it handles. Use your tools to keep an eye on upcoming issues, to monitor resources, and to develop fixes before users are affected.
Monitoring database servers is an important topic for DBA's and is covered in depth in SQL Monitoring - 5 steps to full control.