6 tips to optimize the best database performance for business in 2022

Database administrators know the frustrating feeling of receiving an endless number of calls complaining about online performance problems. Rather than fixing issues one by one as they arise, it makes more sense to optimize database performance in a way that improves online performance for all end users. These activities can help you identify performance bottlenecks in your system and ensure that your infrastructure can handle a higher workload.

You can optimize database performance in several steps. With the following six simple tips, you can avoid or fix potential database performance issues. Even with these tips, always remember the importance of having the right tools to optimize your database performance. Based on my experience, I recommend SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) and Database Performance Monitor (DPM).

Even the free trial versions of these tools provide the following capabilities:

· Monitor and analyze performance of database servers running individually, in clusters, or as cloud infrastructure.

· Obtain and implement database performance recommendations for specific databases and related queries.

· Monitor database performance in real-time and analyze historical data. In addition, the software we test can detect load time anomalies and identify bottlenecks related to database performance.

Now that we've looked at the best tips for manual performance optimization, I'm going to share with you some of the best tools you can use to optimize performance even further.

Why is database performance optimization so important?

I'm often asked why it's so important to optimize database performance. The reality is that your business can only ever be as successful as your IT operations allow it to be. A very well performing database can have a dramatic impact on a company's profitability. When data retrieval is slowed by poorly written queries or indexing issues, bottlenecks can occur that impact performance and productivity across the enterprise. By learning to optimize your database performance, you can avoid unnecessary financial losses due to inefficient server usage.

There are also several financial benefits to be gained with an improved end-user experience. Because your customer-facing websites and applications pull data from your centralized database, inefficient indexes and queries can impact your customers as much as your internal end users. Therefore, customer satisfaction is directly related to your database performance. So knowing how to optimize your database performance may be one of the most valuable customer service tools in your toolbox.

Tips for optimizing database performance

There are many approaches you can take to optimize your database performance, but these six tips are particularly effective and helpful in avoiding performance degradation.

Tip 1: Optimize queries

In many cases, database performance problems are caused by inefficient SQL queries. Optimizing your SQL queries is therefore one of the best ways to improve your database performance. If you are doing this manually, you will have to make several difficult decisions about how best to optimize query efficiency. You need to decide whether to write a join statement or a subquery, whether to use EXISTS or IN, and more. Once you know the best approach, you can write queries that improve efficiency and, in turn, overall database performance. This way, you avoid bottlenecks, and your end users are happier.

The best way to optimize queries is to have a performance analysis solution for your database that will give you optimization hints, identify particularly inefficient queries, and give advice on how to optimize them.

Tip 2: Optimize indexes

Another important element of the database besides queries are indexes. Used wisely, indexes can optimize your database performance and shorten the execution time of your queries. Indexing creates a data structure that organizes all data and makes it easier to find. Because the data is easier to find, indexes improve the efficiency of data retrieval and speed up the entire process to save you and the system time and effort.

Tip 3: Defragment data

Data defragmentation is one of the best approaches to optimize database performance. Over time, data can become fragmented when large amounts of data are continuously written to and deleted from the database. This fragmentation can slow down data retrieval by affecting the ability of queries to quickly find information they are looking for. Defragmentation groups relevant data, eliminating index page problems. This means that I/O-relevant operations are executed faster.

Tip 4: Increase memory

The efficiency of your database can be severely compromised if there is not enough memory for the database to run properly. Even if it looks like you have enough memory overall, the database's requirements may still not be met. Check the number of page faults in your system to see if you need more memory. A high number of errors indicates that your hosts have little or no available memory left. Increase your memory allocation to improve efficiency and overall performance.

Tip 5: Faster CPU

A better CPU has a direct impact on database efficiency. For this reason, you should consider upgrading to a faster CPU unit if you notice database performance issues. The stronger your CPU is, the easier it can handle multiple queries and applications. When evaluating your CPU, you should consider all aspects of CPU performance, including CPU standby times, which tell you how often your system tried to access the CPU but it was otherwise busy.

Tip 6: Access verification

Once you are satisfied that your database hardware is functioning properly, you need to check your database accesses, including the applications that access your database. If certain services or applications are suffering from database performance problems, it's important not to jump to conclusions about which service or application is responsible for the problem. It may be that the performance problem is only occurring with a single client, or perhaps the entire database is suffering from problems. Find out who and what is accessing the database. If the problem occurs only with a single service, take a closer look at its metrics to determine the cause.

Better database performance using tools

You can optimize your database performance with these tips, but manual intervention will eventually reach its limits. If you want to save yourself time and effort while not neglecting your performance optimization, you should invest in an analysis and monitoring solution for your database performance. The following tools are market leaders when it comes to database performance optimization.

1. SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA)

SolarWinds DPA is a powerful multi-dimensional solution for your database performance and supports PostgreSQL, MySQL, IBM DB2, Amazon Aurora, SAP ASE, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MariaDB and Azure SQL. This solution identifies bottlenecks and provides automated index and query optimization advice to support your database performance optimization efforts.

The solution analyzes response time, the actual amount of time a given operation takes to optimize queries and overall database performance. DPA provides users with the insights they need to align their resource provisioning with database performance and ensure that performance is not impacted by hardware.

When working in database environments, database administrators or developers (DevOp) often need to monitor the behavior of the entire environment in which their databases and applications are running. DPA provides effortless integration of monitoring databases, hardware and other entities used by applications and databases.

DPA can also be integrated with SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) to provide an even more comprehensive understanding of database performance. With the integration of DPA and SRM, you get contextual and relevant information about the storage objects of the databases that DPA monitors. You can then correlate storage performance with the corresponding databases.

2. SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor (DPM)

Database Performance Monitor is another excellent solution from SolarWinds. This software is more concerned with monitoring database performance compared to DPA. With DPM, you can easily and efficiently monitor your database performance in real-time, 24/7. The performance checks are foolproof, and with DPM you get expert advice on how to optimize your database performance. The tool generates instant recommendations for queries with poor performance or server configuration changes. Here's how DPM works: the solution is often used for NoSQL database monitoring. This monitoring tool for databases such as Redis, MongoDB and Azure supports on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments. Thanks to the SaaS model, the dashboard is provided to users in the form of a web-based user interface.

With DPM, you can find out how your queries affect performance and thoroughly analyze any issues found by the tool thanks to extensive correlated data. Try DPM for free for 14 days.

3. SolarWinds Server Configuration Monitor (SCM)

SolarWinds SCM is another excellent solution for companies using SQL databases. The software runs SQL queries to connect to and monitor the relational databases in your system, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL or Oracle. SCM collects data using queries, stores the data and monitors it for changes. This way you are always informed about changes to the database configuration - including changes to user permissions and schemas - that can potentially have a negative impact on database performance

4. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is another great tool if you want to optimize your database performance. Like DPM, this tool focuses mainly on database monitoring. This tool is a complete solution for your infrastructure monitoring, including databases and applications, bandwidth, packets, traffic, cloud services, availability, ports, IPs, virtual environments, hardware, web services, security, physical environments, disk usage and IoT devices. This tool is easy to set up and extremely customizable, making it a great choice if you're looking for a simple solution for your database and infrastructure monitoring.

5. SolarWinds® SQL Sentry

With SQL Sentry, you can quickly identify queries with long execution times and resource-intensive queries to troubleshoot performance issues and quickly improve database performance.

Highlight how SQL Sentry can help you accomplish the following tasks:

- Identifying the most resource-intensive queries over time and optimizing them in the same user interface

- Define alerts and automated responses to known performance issues

- Know when a new version or data change has altered the performance profile for one or more queries

Optimize database performance through monitoring and analysis

If you are looking for the best way to optimize your database performance, there is no way around professional software.

I compared the ease of use, integration with other programs, and technical support when installing and using the tools. After this comparison, I recommend the SolarWinds products for database administrators looking for a scalable solution for their day-to-day analysis and monitoring tasks. While there are many monitoring and analysis products available on the market, SolarWinds DPA, DPM and SCM are a great place to start. The tools are available starting at $1,111, and you can see how they work with a 14-day trial