By Omar Rafik, SolarWinds Senior Manager, Federal Sales Engineering


Here’s an interesting article by my colleague Brandon Shopp about choosing a database tool to help improve application performance and support advanced troubleshooting. Given the importance of databases to application performance, I’m surprised this topic doesn’t get more attention.


The database is at the heart of every application; when applications are having performance issues, there’s a good chance the database is somehow involved. The greater the depth of insight a federal IT pro has into its performance, the more opportunity to enhance application performance.


There’s a dramatic difference between simply collecting data and correlating and analyzing that data to get actionable results. For example, often, federal IT teams collect highly granular information that’s difficult to analyze; others may collect a vast amount of information, making correlation and analysis too time-consuming.


The key is to unlock a depth of information in the right context, so you can enhance database performance and, in turn, optimize application performance.


The following are examples of “non-negotiables” when collecting and analyzing database performance information.


Insight Across the Entire Environment


One of the most important factors in ensuring you’re collecting all necessary data is to choose a toolset providing visibility across all environments, from on-premises, to virtualized, to the cloud, and any combination thereof. No federal IT pro can completely understand or optimize database performance with only a subset of information.


Tuning and Indexing Data


Enhancing database performance often requires significant manual effort. That’s why it’s critical to find a tool that can tell you where to focus the federal IT team’s tuning and indexing efforts to optimize performance and simultaneously reduce manual processes.


Let’s take database query speed as an example. Slow SQL queries can easily result in slow application performance. A quality database performance analyzer presents federal IT pros with a single-pane-of-glass view of detailed query profile data across databases. This guides the team toward critical tuning data while reducing the time spent correlating information across systems. What about indexing? A good tool will identify and validate index opportunities by monitoring workload usage patterns, and then make recommendations regarding where a new index can help optimize inefficiencies.


Historical Baselining


Federal IT pros must be able to compare performance levels—for example, expected performance with abnormal performance—by establishing historic baselines of database performance to look at performance at the same time on the same day last week, and the week befor, etc.


This is the key to database anomaly detection. With this information, it’s easier to identify a slight variation—the smallest anomaly—before it becomes a larger problem.


Remember, every department, group, or function within your agency relies on a database in some way or another, particularly to drive application performance. Having a complete database performance tool enables agencies to stop finger-pointing and pivot from being reactive to being proactive; from having high-level information to having deeper, more efficient insight.


This level of insight can help optimize database performance and make users happier across the board.


Find the full article on our partner DLT’s blog Technically Speaking.


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