How much attention should DBAs give to application performance?

How much attention should DBAs give to application performance?

Aug 25, 2015


A vast array of IT systems will look after themselves, once they're up and running. However, in the data center, the best database administrators (DBAs) earn their money by consistently improving infrastructure performance.

While the rest of the company, or even others in the IT department, may not give it much thought, there are benefits to be had if systems are kept at the optimum. Firstly, there's the safety net of having servers perform when under pressure.

To use a specific example, in the event of any kind of mishap that's outside of the control of the business, it's important to have any standby databases fit and firing to aid disaster recovery.

DBAs face three main challenges when it comes to optimizing systems.

The customer experience conundrum

Next, there's also the need to satisfy end users. After all, an increasing number of consumers are heading online, and their primary communications with businesses are more likely to funnel through a data center than they are a phone interchange.

However, some enterprises are still struggling to support these preferences. A survey by Oracle suggested that DBAs face three main challenges when it comes to optimizing systems: Slow response times, application availability and - perhaps most tellingly - users experiencing errors.

The latter can be particularly detrimental, as it has the ability to not only negatively affect the wider impression of the enterprise, but it could stop customers - or even internal users - from properly executing processes.

Bettering application performance

So, how can companies ensure their systems perform optimally? Database Trends and Applications (DBTA) suggested the first step is to align the aims and objectives of everyone in the IT department. As touched on, DBAs often have to approach their work with a silo mentality.

The sooner both IT and database systems teams understand that it's better for all of them when applications run as smoothly as possible, the sooner it can actually start happening.

DBTA highlighted that a key way to unlock this is by creating a collaborative environment for DBAs, system administrators and network administrators to work within.

One of the keys to better application performance is getting everyone in the IT department on the same page.One of the keys to better application performance is getting everyone in the IT department on the same page.

Active performance monitoring

Naturally, one of the best ways to stay on top of application performance is through constant monitoring. Network World surmised that the tools to do so must have an eye on the virtualized nature of today's data center.

While enterprise systems management and network performance solutions are all well and good, many were developed long before the the diversity of today's facilities was an issue. 

However, while the life of the DBA may be getting harder when it comes to finding the right solutions to optimize their facilities, Oracle is attempting to lend a helping hand.

Application Performance Management

Specifically designed with Database 12c in mind, Oracle's Application Performance Management solution allows DBAs to optimize systems on the fly, while also holding the ability to reduce overall downtime by 73 per cent.

The package approaches performance from three angles: User experiences, business transactions and database diagnostics. In combining the trio, Oracle offers enterprise users an easy, streamlined way to assess the overarching performance of their systems from different angles.

Ultimately, organizations are ever-reliant on complex IT systems, many of which are provided by a third party. While there's onus on DBAs to keep everything present and correct, their job is made easier when the entire enterprise takes a top-down view of performance management and optimization.

If the organization can manage that, the business benefits of having systems run to the highest standards will soon present themselves.

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