Mainframe Blog

Simplifying SQL Performance

Phil Grainger
2 minute read
Phil Grainger
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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.

To learn more about BMC’s SQL Tuning solutions, please visit our website and be sure to watch the recording of SQL Performance: Does it Have to Be So Difficult?

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Phil Grainger

Phil Grainger

Phil has 30 years experience of Db2, starting work long ago in 1987 with Db2 Version 1.2. Since then he has worked with all versions, including Db2 12.

From his beginnings as a Db2 DBA for one of the largest users of Db2 at that time in the UK, through his time at PLATINUM technology, his almost 10 years as Senior Principal Product Manager at CA and through to his current position with BMC Software, Phil has always been a keen supporter of user groups and is a regular speaker at both vendor sponsored and independent events. His work with IDUG includes being a past member of the European IDUG Planning Committee, an inductee into the IDUG Volunteer Hall of Fame and now Board Liaison for BMC Software

Phil has been honoured by IBM as an Analytics Champion from 2009 to 2017

Phil is now Lead Product Manager at BMC Software working in support of their Db2 tools portfolio

In addition, Phil is a regular contributor to the IDUG sponsored
Db2-L discussion list