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Run DB2 LUW Faster: Performance Lessons Learned on the Treadmill, Part 1

May 25, 2011, 12:13 am
Posted by Scott in DB2 Performance Best Practices
What can over 102 hours of running teach you about DB2 performance? A lot! Read this story and the parts that follow and you can learn from my experiences even if you don't own a pair of running shoes!
Half Marathon Race Medals In December 2009, I weighed about 210LBs. My wife was nagging me about losing weight. My blood pressure was a bit high and so was my resting heart rate. Adding insult to injury, I stepped on our new Wii Balance Board and our Wii Fit Plus game verified I was overweight. You can argue (unsuccessfully) with your wife, but you can't argue with a game. There was only one thing I could do. I started running my butt off. By April 2010, I weighed 180LBs and ran in my first 10K race. In September 2010, I ran in the Philadelphia Half Marathon. By the end of 2010, I logged just over 500 miles for the year. Last month, April 2011, I ran in the Nashville Half Marathon. I've had a lot of time to think about how tuning "me" is like tuning DB2...

Lesson #1: START!

In our busy lives filled with emails, text messages, tweets, meetings, children (at home and at work), spouses, repairs, "to do" lists that are larger than the national deficit, and other agenda items imposed upon us, it is remarkably easy to put off taking care of "you" until "tomorrow". Until you put a stake in the ground and make taking care of "you" a priority, "tomorrow" may never come. A fast paced life begets fast food, stress, weight gain, and all the inefficiencies and problems that are related. Time consuming exercise? Forget it. Nope, grab a bag of Doritos instead and bang out some more important emails. The consequences? Your database, aka your body, becomes inefficient and marginally effective as it "matures". You have to put a stake in the ground and resolve to START "tuning" YOU. Walk, jog, run, ride a bike, swim - whatever - just START doing something that involves movement and that is at least ten feet away from a QWERTY keyboard.

For my age, height, and weight, my Nordic Track treadmill says I burn about 40 calories every quarter mile, or usually about 495 calories for a 5K (3.1 miles). Calorie burn rate varies a little according to your speed, but not much. If you walk a 5K, it'll likely take you 60-75 minutes, but you'll burn roughly the same number of calories as someone that runs the same distance in 15-30 minutes.

You need to burn about 3,000 calories to lose a pound (assuming consistent caloric intake). So, six 5K walks later you could be a pound lighter. Just START!

In the realm of DB2 tuning, we have the same challenge. There are performance fires to fight (DB2 server is having a heart attack), security to administrate, auditing to implement, utilities to run and check, and multiple projects clamoring for your time. Important projects miss target dates due to seemingly constant fire fighting. Proactive Tuning? Ha! There's no time for that!

Folks, you have to just START. Put a stake in the ground. Block off an hour or two each week on your calendars and START PROACTIVELY tuning your DB2 databases so that you can avoid the heart attacks and reduce the fire fighting. With each little bit of successful tuning that you achieve, the database becomes more efficient at processing work (transactions / queries). As the database loses excess weight and becomes increasingly more efficient, CPU utilization of the server will decrease. A healthier database can subsequently handle peak activity rates without performance deterioration or the need for fire fighting.

Are you ready to START?

It's tempting at this point to tell you that you could achieve performance miracles in just a couple of hours by using DBI's DB2 LUW Performance Tools, but I'll spare you the hard sell (for now). Instead, to get started, here are a few FREE things you can do right now to start improving the health and efficiency of your DB2 LUW databases:
  1. 75 minutes: Watch a recorded webinar replay on DB2 Index Design Best Practices
  2. 8 minutes: Request a FREE copy of the White Paper "IBM DB2 LUW Critical Performance Measurements". This white paper is packed full of tuning ideas and SQL Snapshot commands that you can run to start tuning your databases immediately.
  3. 62 minutes: ACTUALLY READ the white paper you just requested in #2. My wife frequently reminds me that buying paint does not, in fact, get the house painted. Read the paper after you receive it!
  4. 60 minutes: Run the SQL commands found within the white paper and discover things you can do to have a positive impact on performance!
  5. 5 minutes: Register for DBI's webinar "Fearless Database and Application Performance Management from Cradle to Grave" offered on 16 June 2011 at 10am CDT: Details and Registration Link
  6. 2 minutes 40 seconds: Watch the short flash video on DBI's home page.
  7. 95 minutes: Watch a replay of Episode #52 of The DB2Night Show™ on "Writing Optimized DB2 LUW SQL Queries" with special guest John Hornibrook, IBM Canada

OK. Glad we got started! I'm already looking forward to Lesson #2 in Part 2 of "Running DB2 LUW Faster: Performance Lessons Learned on the Treadmill".

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Contact DBI.


PS - I am a DB2 doctor, but I'm not a health doctor. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Consult with DBI before changing your hardware, applying fixpacks, or upgrading DB2.

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