Understanding Database Workloads with SolarWinds Observability

Databases are the backbone of modern applications, handling countless queries every second. But how do you make sense of this deluge of data? This is where the SolarWinds Observability Database Profiler comes into play, offering a sophisticated way to understand and optimize your database workloads.

At its core, the Profiler is a tool that lets users ask detailed questions about the workloads processed by their databases. A workload, in this context, is a collection of queries sent by applications and executed within the database and a profile is a table summarizing the activity of these collections by aggregating normalized versions of queries and ranking by one or more shared attributes.

For example, consider the following individual queries:

SELECT firstname
     , lastname
FROM users
WHERE username = 'blythe'

SELECT firstname
     , lastname
FROM users
WHERE username = 'jennifer'

SELECT firstname
     , lastname
FROM users
WHERE username = 'ewen'

The Profiler can condense these into a single digest:

SELECT firstname
     , lastname
FROM users
WHERE username = '?'

Profiler insights: Like reading a restaurant bill

Understanding these profiles is similar to reading a restaurant bill listing items along with their counts and costs. For example:

Just as you might decide to cut costs on a bill by choosing cheaper wine or skipping dessert, the Profiler allows you to identify areas in your database workload to optimize for better performance.

Unlike a restaurant, the Observability Database  profiler can provide many different attributes, which answer similar questions.

Advanced Profiler capabilities

The Observability Database Profiler doesn’t just stop at query simplification. It can answer more complex questions, such as identifying queries reading the largest amount of data when the working set no longer fits in memory.

By allowing us to understand how the workload is behaving, and the distribution of a given attribute, we can understand the impact a change to the system may have.

One insightful feature is the distribution of queries by verb type. For instance, if 56.9% of the workload comprises SELECT statements, strategies like moving a portion of these to a read replica or reducing the latency of these queries can significantly optimize resource utilization. We can say that if we wanted to reduce the resource utilization by 25% of the current utilization, we could either move 25% of those SELECTs to a read replica, or we could try to half the latency of queries in the group.

Driving informed decisions

The SolarWinds Observability Database Profiler stands out as an essential tool in the realm of database management. The Profiler empowers database administrators and developers to understand where resources like CPU, Memory, and IO are being spent. By providing a clear view of the database's behavior and the impact of potential changes, it guides users toward making informed decisions to achieve the best return on investment.

Database Observability also breaks down complex data into understandable segments, simplifying the task of database optimization and ensuring efforts are directed where they are most needed. Understanding your database has never been easier. Dive into the world of efficient database management with SolarWinds.

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