Why Application Performance Needs Better Database Management

“There’s an app for that.” This has quickly become a true statement for our society, both in our life as consumers and in business as professionals. And in business, we’re experiencing the biggest detractor for the increased use of applications — longer wait times, performance slowdowns due to complex data and ultimately, outages making it impossible to access data.

But why? There are a few factors that are contributing to faulty application performance — most of which we can track down to the database underneath the application.

A CHANGE TO DATABASE TYPES

With the addition of NoSQL databases, teams are migrating away from traditional RDBMS… sort of. It’s turned more into a long-tail evolution. So now, instead of a common database for all data — it’s a mish-mash of multiple databases. Oracle, MongoDB, PostgreSQL — you name it, you’re probably managing it.

It means that database teams are spread thin (even more so than before) in order to keep up with monitoring the various technologies, leaving little to no time to actually manage — or even monitor — the performance of their databases and applications. In addition, analyzing performance of key databases can be challenging — if not impossible — because you need to correlate metrics across technologies to get insight into the big picture of your database performance.

SLOW MIGRATION TO THE CLOUD

On top of the ever expanding number of databases, the slow migration to the cloud has resulted in a complicated infrastructure — adding even more complexity for tracking your data and establishing best practices to maximize efficiency. It was clear from the start that moving to the cloud was going to take some time. Now, we’re stuck with a balance of on-premise solutions and cloud-based software — meaning, more complications for database teams as they now have a role in cloud infrastructure administration.

On top of that, migrating to the cloud adds its own implications — from having to change how we store data to learning new ways to maximize efficiency. New tools designed specifically for cloud database management can help, but not entirely when you don’t have a holistic view of the entire database infrastructure.

INFLUX OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT TOOLS

Vendors have recognized the complexity facing database teams as they have to monitor, manage and troubleshoot such a challenging array of technology. However, because the technologies are so different, the result has been the evolution of several different types of tools. One for RDBMS database, another for the infrastructure, another for NoSQL… you name it, it’s probably on the list.

In practice, this creates an impossible task for the database team. For instance, if there’s a memory issue, a DBA may see that there are some performance gaps and do some digging. After accessing seven or eight different tools, and mining through the data, the DBA finally uncovers which database it’s associated to.

Problem solved? Wrong. Instead, the DBA has to spend even more time to figure out where exactly the memory issue is rooted. Is it in AWS? Is it somewhere else completely? What else is it impacting? Instead of spending time fixing the issue, the DBA has to spend his or her day digging through data to see where it came from. Meanwhile, the lagging application — the issue that started it all? It’s still there, and might even be in a worse state than when you started.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR APPLICATION PERFORMANCE?

Today’s application monitoring tools are focused on the application itself — so it will let you know if it has issues requesting data from the database, but nothing beyond that. This is about as useful as trying to eat soup with a fork.

SelectStar, the industry’s most comprehensive database performance monitoring platform, extends database monitoring to the cloud and virtual infrastructure layer. When you identify the issue in your application, SelectStar gives you insight into where the issue lies in the database layer — all in one tool.

On top of that, the SaaS-based platform gives you access to a deeper layer of information so that you can breakdown sessions and queries, including specific metrics like execution time, lapse time, buffer requests and disk requests.

SelectStar finally answers what DBAs have been looking for: a single tool that extends across your infrastructure so you can quickly drill down into issues and focus your time on optimizing performance.

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