Last time I told you guys I really love the Ford story and how I view storage in the database realm. In this chapter, I would like to talk about another very important piece of this realm, The Network.
When I speak with system engineers working in a client's environment, there always seems to be a rivalry between storage and network regarding who's to blame for database issues. However, blaming one another doesn’t solve anything. To ensure that we are working together to solve customer issues, we need to first have solid information about their environment.
The storage part we discussed last time is responsible for storing the data, but there needs to be a medium to transport the data from the client to the server and between the server and storage. That is where the network comes in. And to stay with my Ford story from last time, this is where other aspects come into play. Speed is one of these, but speed can be measured in many ways, which seems to cause problems with the network. Let’s look at a comparison to other kinds of transportation.
Imagine that a city is a database where people need be organized. There are several ways to get the people there. Some are local, and thus the time for them to be IN the city is very short. Some are living in the suburbs, and their travel is a bit longer due to having a further distance to travel, with more people traveling the same road. If we go a bit further and concentrate on the cars again, there are a lot of cars driving to and from the city. How fast one comes to or from the city depends on others who are similarly motivated to get to their destination as quickly as possible. Speed is therefore impacted by the way the drivers perform and what happens on the road ahead.
The network is the transportation medium for the database, so it is critical that this medium is used in the correct way. Some of the data might need something like a Hyperloop to travel back and forth over medium-to-long distances, while other data may have enough for those shorter trips.
Having excellent visibility into the data paths to see where congestion might become an issue is a very important measurement in the database world. As with traffic, it gives one insight into where troubles could arise, as well as offering the necessary information about how to solve the problem that is causing the jam.
I don't believe the network or storage is responsible. The issue is really about the how you build and maintain your infrastructure. If you need speed, make sure you buy the fastest thing possible. However, be aware that what you buy today is old tomorrow. Monitoring and maintenance are crucial when it comes to a high performing database. Make sure you know what your requirements are and what you end up getting to satisfy them. Be sure to talk to the other resource providers to make sure everything works perfectly together.
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.