Thursday, June 25, 2009

Performance Tuning – Overview

The first and foremost question which comes in mind is what is the need for tuning? This is the world of fast food, fast bikes, fast music, fast cars, in short fast everything, then why not fast database as well? Today everyone is in some kind of a race, and to achieve his/her goal one needs to win that race. To win a race one needs to either run fastest of all or make the horse (or car) run fastest of all. Performance tuning helps applications to run faster.

Is tuning all about running the application faster? No. Time is of course one of the major things we achieve during (and after) tuning, but tuning also means achieving the output in best possible way in least possible time while utilizing optimal resources.

Tuning has many aspects which include (but not restricted to)

1. Database design: This is the first and most important but most ignored part of tuning. Poor database design often results in poor database performance as well.
2. Application tuning: It is a well known fact that the application performance can be improved by 80% just by writing efficient SQLs.
3. Memory tuning: database buffers should be properly sized. As far as possible, use of automated parameters is advised. Pinning large or frequently used objects may also help.
4. Disk I/O tuning: Data files should be properly sized and stored to provide optimum disk throughput. Also, disk sorts, FTS, row chaining, etc need to be checked.
5. Eliminating database contention: Database locks, latches and wait events should be watched carefully.
6. Operating System tuning: OS CPU, I/O and memory usage should also be monitored.

If one takes care of all the above aspects, the good performance of the application will be guaranteed.

In next segment we will check the tools available for tuning purpose.


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