Monday, September 13, 2010

Standard Configurations May be Your Solution

It’s really quite amazing to me how many organizations have database and or application performance issues and then spend incredible amounts of time in their diagnosis and treatment. We solve the issues in a number of ways; we improve SQL access to the database (the most common issue), we change database parameters and execution plans to improve memory and data usage during the execution of other queries and we change the database from both a design and deployment perspective. In the end most performance issues are solved but what happens to our learning's from these issues? Generally we make changes to the one database and then wait until the next performance crisis arises, so our new solution is often lost and the knowledge not shared.

So how can we fix these types of issues? How can one performance issue help the entire organization? If the organization adopts the use of standard approaches to data and databases a lot of these issues can be reduced if not eliminated. Consider a large company who has many databases, often 100’s of database instances. In this company they need a team of DBAs who are responsible for a subset of these databases but yet they have no synergy and the differences in these databases make each one a custom deployment, which requires significant  involvement from the various IT teams. Consider if the organization adopts the use of standard configurations. If they decide to create databases in 3 to 5 standard configurations. They may create one for small applications, another for web deployments, another for analytic and data intensive applications and another for mission critical applications. This creates a limited number of selections, but each one is optimized for the application and allows for quick and simple deployments. It also reduces the variations which increase maintenance costs. The same can go for data models. Tables can be deployed based on standard approaches to how tables, indexes, partitions and other objects get created. By creating and defining standards, you reduce the risk while maintaining the highest quality and optimal performance. The key is that when we make one change we can easy replicate and deploy it in all environments such that the entire organization can gain the benefits.

As we come up to Oracle OpenWorld and the IOUG User forum, you will begin to see this type of message for larger organizations to provide them with the ability to deploy applications faster and maintain the infrastructure more effectively and efficiently. By simplifying the choices you can improve your ability respond to issues and ultimately reduce costs

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