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how do you do this. (philosophy and politics)

From: Niall Litchfield <>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 20:25:58 +0100
Message-ID: <>

In response to a recent question about monitoring Cary replied

Simple answer to this one: Anything that causes increase in business task response times.

So, if you're monitoring end-user response times with sufficient drill-down data (such as you can get from your Oracle extended SQL trace data), you're monitoring what you need to monitor.

I'm guessing there won't be many objectors to that here, and you certainly won't find me among them if there are. So my question is really the political

  1. how do you define business tasks?
  2. how do you monitor them?
  3. how do you set target response times for them.

I can see in the case of a sales oriented organisation (Amazon, Oracle, ... ) how you *might* relate tasks to revenue - though I reckon this is harder than might appear. In my case I work for a large public sector organisation with a number of different internal facing and external facing systems that rely on Oracle (and that other software provider beginning with M). My last position was similar. In neither case was I able to get any business person to define either business transactions or acceptable response time. Costs of downtime *do* tend to get defined by the way - in cash terms and risk to the lives of the public for people who really like this stuff.

Now part of this is public sector risk avoidance (it maybe large corporation risk avoidance to be fair), but I think most of it is down to needing a good way to describe the impact of response time on business performance, I've yet to see one. I suspect the same applies to throughput/scalability impact on business performance but I've not seen any research on that at all.

So my question is, how do other people relate their specific tuning efforts to business performance targets, and how do they engage non-technical staff in the process?

Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA


throughout this piece i've resisted the temptation to use the phrase "the
business" since I believe it to be a big part of the problem. maybe I'm

Received on Fri May 11 2007 - 14:25:58 CDT

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