Database Performance Tuning Is Only Getting More Important

Hardware continues to get faster, cheaper, and with more capacity. Now UNIX and even Windows systems are trying to handle billions of rows or terabytes of data. Database performance tuning is vital, but continues to get destroyed through wretched designs, poor application practices and maintenance malpractice which dramatically impacts overall database performance. Unfortunately, throwing more hardware at performance tuning problems doesn’t solve your problems.

Before these UNIX or Windows systems had machines with only 20% utilization, now they are maxing out the biggest boxes available. Unfortunately all the sins of poor design, application SQL issues and single points of failure within the applications start to cause database performance tuning to break and fray at the edges.

The bigger database performance tuning issue is that these smaller system DBAs, designers and application developers are busier than ever. With layoffs, tighter budgets and maintenance of the Java and .NET internet applications that were supposed to handle the transactions are hitting their scalability limits, it’s only going to get worst. Gartner Group stated in their “Top End User Predictions” paper last year “By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide.”  True, the number of transactions through all these mobile and internet devices continues to explode, causing all types of database performance tuning activities.

In another Gartner report, “The High Performance Data Warehouse—Bigger or Better, Not Always Both,” (Feb. 2010)  “Through 2017, data volumes will grow exponentially, while CPU capacity will increase only geometrically.” So what this is saying the database performance tuning and database designs are even going to be more critical. Even though the storage increases and the database gets bigger, the processor speed is not going to be able to keep up. This will lead to more applications and systems that are I/O bound and where our systems will need more parallel processing to even have a chance of being able to achieve good database performance tuning results. Unfortunately solid state disk and storage performance improvements will only make this problem our database performance tuning efforts needed sooner and faster.

So the solution to good performance tuning is to design for scalability, parallelism and the operation of your systems and applications from multiple machines. Prepare and design your systems today with no single points of failure and for scalability as the number of mobile transactions explodes and the exponential increase in data attacks your IT infrastructure Remember to do it with a good industry practices that take care of everything because your department is going to have to do it with fewer people or people on the phone in some out-sourced foreign land because the hardware will get cheaper, not the people working with it. Even the smallest systems need good designs because you never know the ultimate size they will need to manage.


I am speaking at the upcoming Baltimore Washington DC DB2 Users group meeting September 14th where I will be presenting “DB2 Performance Database Discoveries and Recommendations Part 2”. The new meeting agenda information should be posted soon but more information can be found at:

Coming up Sept. 29th DB2 10 for z/OS Performance Training and 30th SQL Performance Training two great DB2 classes are being offered in Washington DC: Sept. 29th DB2 10 for z/OS Performance Training and 30th SQL Performance Training. Get more information here (

Also I will be presenting at the International DB2 User Group (IDUG) European Conference in Prague. I will be presenting my “DB2 10 Temporal Database Designs for Performance” on Mon, November 14, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM. For more details on my presentation click here. ( I will also be involved in the data warehousing Special Interest Group (SIG) and the final discussion panel, so please join all the presentations, networking and discussions on DB2. Sign up now at

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