Databases are one of the basic components of enterprise IT, but many organizations may find it difficult to run databases effectively. Under-optimized databases can be a serious time sync, incur unnecessary costs, and distract IT teams from other important tasks.
Fortunately for database administrators (DBAs), there are various tricks and techniques that can be used to improve and speed up database management and create more efficient and cost-effective systems. Here are our top tips.
Automate administrative tasks
DBA’s duties cover a vast range of tasks, from backup and recovery jobs to storage management and configuration, many of which are very mediocre and repetitive. This allows for automation. By automating these simple tasks, DBAs can free their days for more rewarding, interesting and innovative activities that make better use of their precious time.
There are many options when it comes to automating database management tasks. Many DBAs choose to create their own custom tools that are tailored to their specific needs, but they may also rely on automation tools that database management software vendors have built directly into their products. Whichever method you choose, automating the elements of database management not only saves you both time and money, but also reduces recovery time in the event of a failure.
Deploy containers and virtual machines
Virtualization and multi-tenancy are nothing new in the world of enterprise IT and software development, but they do have significant advantages for database management. If you are running your databases on a single-tenant server, porting them to a VM can save you a lot of money. As a starting point, this allows you to host multiple databases on the same infrastructure, reducing your licensing and hardware investment costs. It also gives you more flexibility in porting, duplicating, and modifying your database, but it can also make vertical scaling difficult.
If you need more portability, we recommend that you consider containerizing your database. It works well as part of the DevOps environment and integrates well with both CI / CD pipelines and multi-cloud architectures. The light weight of the container means that it can run in large numbers on a single server. Containers also help with high levels of automation that can have significant cost and efficiency benefits (as explained above).
Optimize SQL queries
Not all database queries are created the same. In fact, inefficient or poorly structured SQL queries often take a long time to execute, and when executed in a live production database, they can cause errors and stop other database users. Database operators can speed up operations and improve long-term database health and performance by spending a little more effort fine-tuning the first query.
For example, if you select a field as part of a query, you can use SELECT * to quickly select all records, or SELECT DISTINCT to identify unique results. However, if you are running on a large database, this can lead to unnecessary processing. Instead, think about the results you are looking for and structure your query around those specific fields to reduce the processing power required to execute. Similarly, using inner joins instead of Cartesian joins created using the WHERE clause can significantly reduce the amount of work performed by the system.
Manage database growth
One of the biggest factors affecting both database performance and speed is the size of the database. The larger it is, the longer it will take to search and deliver the results of the query. Size also affects the cost of cloud-hosted database processes and transactions, or the rhythm of hardware upgrades for on-premises systems.
The best way to prevent your database from growing at an unsustainable rate is to set up your schema and validation rules to contain only the data needed for that operation. Saving large numbers of infrequently or partially used records can increase the cost and time of query execution.
Discard old or unnecessary data
Streamlining your database is an important part of keeping your database efficient and cost-effective. However, even if you limit the database input to the minimum required fields, the size of the database will inevitably increase over time. If you find that your database is a bit tricky, it may be worth checking to see if you can rationalize your database by removing old entries that no longer need to exist in your database.
The details of which records can be safely deleted and when they are specific depend on the particular purpose of the database, but setting a clear data deletion policy can help keep its size at a manageable level. Another additional bonus is that this will prevent the query from returning too many irrelevant junk results and may also help with GDPR compliance for databases containing personal information. .. Large tables can also be partitioned so that they do not grow too large. The index should be monitored to ensure that it is still in use. You can remove anything that hasn’t been deleted to free up additional space.
Time the query
Databases have many advantages. For example, many databases can be used by different applications and users for different purposes, and many can be used for multiple purposes. Nevertheless, you need to think about the impact of queries on the performance of the rest of your business. For example, if you are running a large, complex query that requires a lot of processing power, it can slow down other applications and queries.
Are you planning to run a particularly heavy query? It may be worth considering whether you are time sensitive as if it were not urgent. It may be worth organizing to run during non-peak business hours when there is probably less activity in the database. This reduces the impact on database efficiency and minimizes disruptions.
Perform regular audits
The above tips are a great place to start when improving your database. However, you need to monitor them and make sure they are fully maintained. To keep your database in top condition, be sure to schedule regular audits of validation rules, data deletion policies, schemas, usage patterns, and so on. This ensures that all of them fit your organization’s needs and that your database is working.
Spending time on this kind of task may not seem like a priority if you have a lot of other work to do, but regular housekeeping of your database can be beneficial in the long run. Can be obtained. Save on operational costs, speed up performance, reduce errors, and more.
© Dennis Publishing
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How to improve database cost, performance, and value
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