Re: OT Discussion- Priority of Performance Tuning...

From: Kellyn Pot'vin <>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 14:18:24 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

My turn to quote Cary Millsap:  "You can't hardware yourself out of a software problem..." :)   Hardware is seen as the quick fix, but we all know it only lets the problem grow for it to rear its head another day.  I now see many view Exadata, not just SSD as the new fix all, not realizing that it takes preparation and tuning, just like anything else to get long term performance gain from the new environment.  It is frustrating and makes you want to say, "I told you so..." when the same code that was the bottleneck the year before becomes the bottleneck once again, after SSD or even an Exadata is introduced.  

URL is at the bottom of my signature, BTW... :)  
Kellyn Pot'Vin
Sr. Database Administrator and Developer

From: Herring Dave - dherri <> To: "" <>; "" <> Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3:09 PM Subject: RE: OT Discussion- Priority of Performance Tuning...

What I'm finding is what has been talked about again and again - nearly all performance problems are with the code and the app team doesn't have the time/resources to make any changes, so they throw more hardware at it or just ignore it.  Regularly they ask what's going on, I pinpoint the problem and then nothing (or hear crickets).  It's hard to let go as I prefer progress and improvement, but maybe more powerful hardware is only to make up for poor code.

To me it's like having oil pipes from well with a number of leaks at major junctions, causing lower flow rates.  Instead of fixing the leaks, they install bigger pipes to increase flow rates, making up for lost oil due to leaks.

BTW Kellyn, what's your blog URL?

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-----Original Message-----

From: [] On Behalf Of Kellyn Pot'vin Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 12:17 PM To:
Subject: OT Discussion- Priority of Performance Tuning...

I am about to approve this comment out on my blog from one of my favorite DBA God's: "Yep, like Cary is saying " 90% of performance tuning is politics". I am paraphrasing. Don't hold me to the exact quote or percentage.I don't understand "priorities for the business may not be the same as a priority for the DBA’s". If it is not a priority for the business why should it be a priority for the DBA? Politics work both ways. You are skating close to CTD. If nobody else cares about performance why should you?" I respect his opinion and it did get me thinking about where performance tuning falls in the priority of tasks for most database environments.  I commonly am brought into places that have a history of bringing code/designs to production in a short time-span, business requirements and/or revenue demanding that everything works being more important than it working efficiently or performing well, then my job is to go in and correct this "little oversight".  

I honestly don't think it's intentional by the business to move poor performing or code that will only be able to sustain the business for a short period of time into production, it's just due to the demands of the business for many companies.  This does, however, make performance tuning a lesser priority in many environments, (and keeps me in demand and well employed... :))

As I specialize in this area, I now question the kind DBA's on the list to see if you also find performance tuning a lesser priority in the environments you've worked in.  I'm also curious what kind of environment it is, (private sector, retail, banking, government, etc..)  Just like disaster recovery and other tasks that DBA's may put a higher priority on, the business, as it does not always directly correspond to revenue, does not view as part of the goal...

Please feel free to email me directly if you wish to remain anonymous..  

Kellyn Pot'Vin
Sr. Database Administrator and Developer

-- Received on Wed Oct 26 2011 - 16:18:24 CDT

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