Great Scott! It was about Optimization all along.

Imagine this: Doc Brown bursts into your office, wild-eyed and excited, exclaiming, “Great Scott! I’ve just returned from the future, and the secret to capacity planning is optimizing inefficient code and not adding more resources to solve the problem”.

Ok, this might be a bit cheesy. But in the real world of database management, you don’t need a DeLorean to foresee and prevent system failures. The key to maintaining and scaling your mission critical environment lies in mastering the art of optimization and capacity planning. 

Optimization has emerged as the unsung hero in creating efficient, cost-effective, and scalable applications as we move away from an era of resource abundance and recognize that every CPU cycle has a cost. Yet, optimization remains one of the most challenging tasks for Database Administrators (DBAs), Developers, and Infrastructure Managers to fully understand and prioritize. Application teams continue to build inefficient, resource-hungry processes and promote them to production, even when DBAs raise the alarm. When issues arise and the core application is having performance issues, the infrastructure team has only one option: add more CPUs and memory, as time is of the essence. 

Let’s dig into why prioritizing database optimization is critical for every organization and the significant benefits it offers. By increasing server capacity and cutting costs, database optimization leads to resource efficiency, optimized system capacity, and improved code performance. 

The Art of Optimization

Optimization is not just about enhancing performance; it’s about increasing capacity to scale while reducing costs. It involves understanding the current workload of the database, predicting future demands, and ensuring that your infrastructure can handle business growth seamlessly.  

According to Ben DeBow, CEO of Fortified Insight, “Most large enterprises will pause or slow down their operations to address these questions for their mission-critical systems each year before peak season, sometimes up to 10 months in advance.” 

When you assess your environment and see that your server isn’t down or broken, you might wonder: what’s next? Many DBAs have a list of items they would like to fix in the database or application. However, these issues are often ignored or not prioritized because product features take center stage. 

This is common, because unless something is broken, businesses tend to focus on new, shiny features for their customers. However, by Ignoring DBAs’ or developers’ recommendations, systems become increasingly complex and fragile, accumulating technical debt and becoming difficult to optimize over time.  

Fortified WISdom’s real-time assessments and top-down optimization analytics are a game-changer in this domain. It provides a clear picture of your current database workload performance, highlighting areas that need immediate attention based on capacity constraints you have today. WISdom also offers cost analysis and efficiency scores for your code, allowing you to see the potential savings from optimization. 

This data-driven approach enables organizations to optimize their code, increasing capacity and reducing costs. It’s like having a crystal ball that shows not just where you are but where you are headed, allowing you to make informed decisions today that will benefit you tomorrow. 

Focus on the Critical Few 

Across your SQL Server environment, did you know that 30% to 80% of your CPU or I/O consumption is from less than 1% of the code?  Let that sink in. Just as the Pareto Principle states, often referred to as the 80/20 rule, that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In the context of DBAs and Developers, a small number of statements are responsible for majority of the resource consumption and capacity.  

Why does this happen? Because the critical transactions are executed in high volumes across multiple environments to process those critical transactions in your application. For example, in each application, the most frequently executed transactions accumulate quickly and represent the 1% of calls responsible for 90% of the workload. Identifying and optimizing these statements can significantly improve performance and capacity. 

Forward-Looking Cost Management 

Every database, server, and application has a financial cost. Since code and data typically persist far longer than just one day, managing these costs effectively requires a forward-looking approach. By analyzing your data and performance metrics, you can forecast future needs and allocate resources more efficiently.  

This is where optimization shines. A proactive optimization approach helps in avoiding unnecessary expenses and ensures that you’re prepared for future growth. It’s about shifting the focus from reactive troubleshooting to proactive management and development. By rejecting inefficient code from the outset, you can significantly impact the capacity, cost, and supportability of our systems. 

Optimize Before Moving to the Cloud 

Optimizing your code before migrating to the cloud can significantly reduce server size requirements and lower monthly cloud costs. This strategy helps you avoid locking into expensive cloud contracts for unnecessary capacity. The best part is that you don’t need to rewrite or refactor your entire application to achieve these savings. By optimizing less than 1% of your code, you can achieve savings of 40-60%. It’s about making smart, cost-effective decisions today for long-term success tomorrow. 

Transform Your Database Management  

At Fortified Insight, we understand the complexities of capacity planning and the importance of focusing on critical tasks. Our flagship software, Fortified WISdom, is designed to help organizations optimize their database to increase capacity and reduce costs. 

Fortified WISdom allows you to see the cost of your code and identifies the critical SQL statements that impact capacity the most, allowing you to optimize them for better efficiency.  

Check out this short preview to see how Fortified WISdom can improve your capacity planning and code optimization.

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