Thanks to everyone who joined the recent BMC/IBM Systems Magazine webinar, “SQL Performance – Does It Have to Be So Difficult?” which looked at the issues around SQL performance (management of sub-optimal SQL, access path regressions, new applications, new CPU peaks, etc.) rather than the technological solutions that are available. At BMC we believe that addressing problems is far more important than having the tool with the most features – especially if those features don’t actually add value!
Guest speaker Michel Vanner of Northbridge Financial Corporation shared his thoughts on SQL performance and how BMC solutions have helped him deliver top performance SQL and applications. Michael shared some of his successes including management of performance that had not been tested with production quantities of data and ensuring that the correct SQL options are in use for frequently executed SQL statements.
We concentrated on two distinct reasons to be concerned about SQL performance and how to make informed tuning decisions.
- Performance has become unacceptable
- In some ways, tuning SQL when performance becomes unacceptable is the easiest and most reactive approach – and many organizations are guilty of this practice. The problem with this approach is that the bad performance is already adversely affecting customers and the business. SQL tuning becomes an “emergency fix” and every effort is focused on identifying and deploying an immediate solution – even if it’s not be the BEST solution!
- Performance can be enhanced
- This is trickier and requires more sophisticated tools than a simple monitor. The aim is to ensure that all SQL (and hence all applications) are working at peak efficiency – delivering the highest performance without wasting valuable resources. This is where workload tuning comes to the fore. The challenge is to maximize the performance of high priority work and to deliver the best and most economical performance for the entire workload.
Where to focus
The biggest challenges with SQL tuning lie not with actually performing the tuning activity, but in identifying where tuning will bring the biggest return. Even in the case of emergency tuning, it is important to take the time to examine the performance problem and consider alternate solutions – without simply jumping to the first choice that looks like it could deliver improvement.
In the second case, never assume that things are running at their best – remember, SQL that was optimized some time ago might still benefit from a revisit. There are almost always opportunities for tuning to improve performance and resource usage.
Watch this space
We will continue to host webinars with IBM Systems Magazine. Watch this space for details, and we hope to see you again soon.