Performance Tuning Methodology

A performance tuning methodology has many of the same characteristics as other engagement methodologies except that database performance tuning must be more flexible. When performing a system assessment, migration or implementation many of the tasks are similar and often repeatable. Although the analysis, hypothesis and implementation of performance tuning follow PTC’s methodology, the areas of focus will change based on initial analysis.

PTC’s performance tuning approach is top down in nature. During the first day of the engagement we will interact with your personnel, learn about your system, the application involved and your needs, as well as develop a high level analysis of the system’s performance and functionality. Upon initial investigation, we will then develop an approach to address our client’s issues and requirements. We take a holistic approach to performance analysis and tuning and therefore analyze the entire system and make suggestions to improve performance.

Areas of investigation typically include:

  • Hardware architecture and configuration.
  • Storage configuration and performance.
  • Operating System configuration and performance.
  • Database configuration and performance.
  • Application performance (optional).
  • Network and infrastructure analysis (optional).

We use this flexible approach because of the many potential areas to analyze and variables involved. Often we’ll not plan the entire engagement until we know which key areas to investigate. Most areas are usually analyzed, some more than others, depending on our findings. Below is a summary of PTC’s tuning methodology.

Performance Tuning Process: PTC’s tuning methodology is scientific and holistic in approach and often includes the entire system architecture (server, storage, operating system, database application, and network infrastructure). Therefore we’ve found a, tops down iterative approach to be most effective.

Top Down Iterative Process or “Step” Approach:

  • Investigate issues and problems encountered
  • Analyze system performance and functionality
  • Provide initial hypothesis and recommend tuning approach
  • Tune, test, validate results and if required, re-tune (“step” approach)
    • Changes are categorized by risk
    • Implement changes, one at a time
  • Based on findings and results, make final recommendations
  • Deliver final report and documentation

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