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4 Reasons Your Database May Be Underperforming

Posted by John Hughes | 8/16/17 9:00 AM

For all of the business-critical value that your Oracle, SQL Server, and NoSQL databases add, the number of terror-inducing things that can go wrong is the stuff that keeps CIOs up at night. In an ideal world you’d be able to get out ahead of them before they become giant, expensive problems.

Spotting the problems is an important first step towards that. Common signs of database performance issues include slowdowns, the need for frequent upgrades, and system outages. But identifying performance issues is less than half the battle. Figuring out what caused them and then of course finding a solution is the two-part headache that follows.

Here are a few common causes of performance issues to look out for.

Your Data Got Off On the Wrong Foot

Nine times out of ten, the choices that lead to slow-running databases are made (or in some cases not made) during the setup and configuration processes.Whether that’s setting up the right processes for reports, workflows, or backup and recovery, there are a lot of pieces that can alter your database performance if they’re not optimized from the start. That’s true for both on-premise and cloud database services.

The implementation of optimized processes from the start can save you time, money, and resources down the road. For smaller businesses that can’t afford the expense of a full-time DBA on staff, the remote DBA services of a managed service provider can be the answer for solving (or avoiding from the start) this common issue.

A Mediocre Maintenance Plan and Monitoring (Or Lack Thereof)

Regular maintenance and monitoring is essential to keep your databases running efficiently and effectively. Proper DBA support requires disciplined processes and regular focus. Problems arise when your DBA resources are inexperienced or overworked. Additionally, if your database management is being handled by resources that may also be distracted by other responsibilities, the monitoring of your databases will also likely be compromised. That of course can lead to database performance issues.

Many organizations realize the need to hire (or dedicate an existing resource) to manage their mission-critical databases. The fact is, these valued resources frequently then become consumed by these much more tactical activities rather than the strategic ones they were originally intended to focus on. Not to mention, given what these valuable team assets are usually paid, the business would get much greater value out of them focusing on significantly more strategic initiatives.

Bottom line, organizations need a DBA resource that has the proper expertise, the knowledge base to cover both strategic and tactical tasks, and the ability to remain dedicated and focused on your database management needs on a daily basis. If you’re having trouble finding experienced DBA resources, or are struggling to justify hiring a full-time DBA, a remote solution may be the best solution.

Not Making the Move to the Cloud

The promise of the cloud has been heralded far and wide. Yet a recent report by Bain & Company, found that on average companies have only moved 40% of their compute or storage to the cloud. The fact is that the reasons to stay on-premise are disappearing by the day, and for small businesses in particular, this field-leveling technology is a no-brainer for certain databases and applications. In many cases, there’s no comparison on cost, ease-of-use, and scalability. It’s true, databases tied to enterprise applications are typically the hardest and most expensive to move to the cloud and require careful planning, including possible remediation prior to moving, but in the long term it can pay off in both ongoing costs and the time saved.But as we explored in a recent blog post, the cloud is not an all or nothing option. In some cases this may mean exploring the possibility of hybrid environmentsthatemploy both on-premise and cloud technology for your databases. But the fact is the time has long since passed to take a serious look at moving (at least some of) your databases to the cloud.

There’s an Accidental DBA in Your Midst

The flexibility of today’s workforce, particularly in the IT world means many times employees end up covering areas beyond the scope of their actual skills. The swift advancement of technology has made it particularly difficult for IT staffs to keep up with the necessary skills that are constantly changing. For that reason many IT departments are faced with a skills gap.

These limited resources have created a bit of a phenomenon—The Accidental DBA. With limited resources, the “most qualified” ends up with the task of managing the company’s database. Unfortunately that individual might not have the expertise to manage that data in a truly optimized fashion.

Without the specialized, strategic skills of a full-time DBA, the aforementioned situations are much more likely to happen, resulting in slowdowns and less than optimal operations. The good news is there is a solution that doesn’t require another full-time employee (and typically costs less too). A managed service provider can give you the expertise of a remote DBA and their database functional support along with a team of experts at your disposal (24x7x365).

The fact is the rate of change in the IT world has everyone rethinking their database management strategies. It’s more vital than ever to make sure these mission-critical investments are working at their best for your business. Learn more about how and why database strategies are changing in this complimentary eBook.

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Topics: Database

Written by John Hughes

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