Re: Performance goals for DBAs

From: Pat <>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2008 08:05:32 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

On May 31, 9:54 pm, "F" <> wrote:
> I would like to know what would be some performance goals for DBAs ? I can
> think of customer satisfaction and database availability being some. What
> else can I have as performance goals for my DBAs and more important what can
> I have as some stretch goals ?
> Would love to hear some suggestions on some of the goals you have or provide
> to your team.
> Thank you

I should preface this by saying that I'm not a DBA, I'm just a guy who manages a number of production databases. I suspect some would say this makes me a DBA, but I wouldn't; there's a lot of specialist skills that a "real" DBA is going to have (especially one with a lot of Oracle specific experience) that I don't.

With that said, my goals in any database I manage tend to be:

  1. Correctness -- it's got to store and retrieve the right data. If there's a problem with this, nothing else matters
  2. Stability -- it's got to be up and available during its committed windows
  3. Recoverable -- if the hardware blows, or a new application patch decides to narf the data, the backups have to be there to restore the system
  4. Performance -- it's got to perform acceptably for the job at hand

Note that performance is #4 on the list e.g. it's the least important component for most of my databases. Likewise, not that I said it has to perform "acceptably for the job at hand" rather than "fast". Key thing is to realize that different databases are used in different ways and the definition of "acceptable" is pretty subjective. On a data warehouse application, being able to pull an overview of last years sales in 75 seconds might be "blazing fast", whereas on, say, a trading application, I've got to be in and out in < 50 ms.

Other reason I usually put performance last is it's often beyond my control. Most of the databases I care for are the back ends for third party apps, and if those apps make silly queries or have bad data designs, there's not always anything I can do about it. Received on Sun Jun 01 2008 - 10:05:32 CDT

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