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When 42 10-Thousands of a Second Is Too Slow

August 18, 2015, 12:43 pm
Posted by Lacy in Performance
When 42 10-Thousands of a Second Is Too Slow By Scott Hayes ( @srhayes ), President and Founder, DBI Software
Find out how our patented, award-winning software found the underlying cause to a months long database problem in 15 seconds, and fixed the issue for a major healthcare provider, saving them thousands of dollars and making them blazing fast!

We work with eight of the top 25 retailers, plus a who’s who of companies from across healthcare, finance, hospitality, gaming, insurance, media, securities and the capital markets. And while no two companies are alike, they share this in common: a steadfast belief that the numbers will tell them what to do. It’s this passion that drives them to seek out the best performance and analytic tools, like the IBM DB2 database and SAP, and that ultimately leads them to our company, DBI. They know - either because of wisdom or hard-fought experience that if your database is sick, your organization is unhealthy, your customers are unhappy, and your reputation suffers.

DBI was recently called into a situation where a major healthcare provider was experiencing a business-threatening slowdown of their major processes because their database was increasingly unresponsive. They were facing fines because they couldn’t generate federally mandated financial reports on time. Desperate, they were contemplating a large emergency purchase of non-refundable CPUs, memory, and licenses to try and fix the problem. This was after spending multiple tens of thousands of dollars on ineffective consulting.  But what the consultants couldn’t get at - what they couldn’t fix - was the underlying problem. They were inside their own bottle, and they couldn’t see the label on the outside.

SAP is a powerful and robust application, but it does two things that can stop a business dead in its tracks:

  1. It defines a standard set of indexes which are appropriate for some organizations, but not all.  Local customizations can also require additional indexing.  Indices are the name of the game when it comes to making a database lightning fast.  If you’ve ever scanned an entire cookbook looking for recipes that use beets, you can certainly understand the value of that index in the back of the book!
  2. It decides what data is important to measure and monitor. It even provides a “Cockpit” that gives the illusion of providing useful information, yet doesn’t deliver the most vital, actionable information with workload and historical analysis, or trends.

So after months of crippling performance, this company called DBI in. Our patented, award-winning software found the needle in the haystack in 15 seconds. There was a statement that was driving over 10% of all the I/O in the database, scanning for a single row in a little 16,000 row table in memory. It seemed improbable - a single query that took 42 milliseconds - all while the system was running thousands and thousands of tables, and thousands more indices in SAP. But our performance optimization software said it was the problem, and we requested permission to fix it.

SAP nearly laughed us out of the room, but the client was desperate, tired of departments screaming at them for relief.  And so they finally agreed to implement our solution - after hesitating for two months of political inaction. And here’s what happened:

  • The statement that took 10% of the system’s I/O now only took .5%.
  • The statement that took 42 milliseconds became so fast that it couldn’t be measured to six decimal places.
  • Reports that took eight hours to generate now only took 1 hour.
  • But the real magic was that the fix was useful not only for that statement, but others that had the same selection criteria from the database.

The result: mandatory reports were generated on time, fines for late reports were a thing of the past, and the unbudgeted expense for nonreturnable memory, CPUs, and licenses was no longer necessary! The modest investment DBI’s tools empowered this company to save millions of dollars and thousands of man hours.

You may not be in the database business - but if you’re in any kind of business, the numbers will tell you what to do - if you look at the right numbers and you know where to look for them.

What You Must Know
To achieve velocity in your business, the right numbers will tell you what to do—if you know where to look for them.

If your IBM DB2 LUW database isn’t keeping up with performance demands, or if you’ve just been handed an emergency purchase request for CPUs and memory - or you want to prevent this from happening in the first place - contact us. We’ll diagnose any database problems for free in about 15 seconds, solve a real root-cause problem in two hours or less, and save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in CPU’s, memory, licenses, consulting fees, and wasted time. Frankly, we’re not very popular with hardware and database license vendors, but your CFO, shareholders, and customers will love us.

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Find real examples and insights from our Customer Success Stories with you on how leading companies within their industry are using faster data to increase profits, knowing that slower data results in business failure.

Read Here.