What is database performance tuning?

Database performance tuning refers to the various ways database administrators can ensure databases are running as efficiently as possible. Typically, this refers to tuning SQL Server or Oracle queries for enhanced performance. 

What Is The Goal of Database Performance Tuning?

The goal of database tuning is to reconfigure the operating systems according to how they’re best used, including deploying clusters and working toward optimal database performance to support system function and end-user experience.

Database performance tuning works initially by using historical data to establish a performance baseline. Baseline data should include:

  • Application statistics (transaction volumes, response time)
  • Database statistics
  • Operating system statistics
  • Disk I/O statistics
  • Network statistics

Once a baseline is established, a database administrator can track all queries, indexes, and tables for performance issues, as well as working toward making the database as efficient as possible. Once issues are identified and resolved, a database administrator can create an effective monitoring plan to prevent future performance issues.

Why Should You Perform Database Performance Tuning?

Tuning your databases for enhanced performance is only the first step to keeping your applications running smoothly. The purpose of database tuning is to organize your data in a way that makes retrieving information easier. Without database performance tuning, you could face problems when running queries, whether the response is incorrect or the query takes too long to perform.

Typically, database administrators, admins or managers look to tune their database performance after complaints of slow queries or applications. When user satisfaction begins to decline, business performance starts to take a hit as well. Database performance issues can present themselves in multiple ways, including:

  • Slow physical I/O
  • Can be caused by poorly-configured disks or significant amounts of unnecessary physical
  • I/O on those disks issued by poorly-tuned SQL.
  • Latch contention
  • Latch contention usually is resolved through application changes.
  • Excessive CPU usage
  • Caused by an inadequately sized system, untuned SQL statements or inefficient application programs.

Once these problems are detected, it’s important for a dedicated database administrator to remediate and consistently monitor them going forward.

Database Performance Tuning Best Practices In SQL Server

  • Targeted list of wait stats
  • Execution plan cache and/or query store to find long-running queries that may need tuning
  • Missing indexes, fragmented indexes, or out-of-date statistics
  • SQL Server configuration settings (memory, file handling, and parallelism)
  • Operating system settings and disk configurations (layout, format, drivers)
  • Sufficient memory and CPU allocations
  • User activity and scheduled job executions
  • Transaction throughput
  • Overall code and design of the database

Database Performance Tuning Best Practices In Oracle

  • AWR and Stats pack reports
  • Top weight reports – such as bottlenecks- that can be tuned
  • Long-running top SQL in AWR for optimization
  • Storage configuration
  • Memory settings for SGA and PGA
  • Memory consumption/configuration
  • Various init.ora for config
  • Disk IO statistics
  • Transactions throughout

Tuning your databases for enhanced performance is only the first step to keeping your applications running smoothly. Solvaria can provide a detailed analysis of the health and performance of your servers to establish a baseline for addressing any potential performance issues.