How to keep databases running smoothly
Databases not running smoothly can be responsible for bad business performance. More often than not, there’s a simple explanation for why a database isn’t working properly and, with a few simple changes, you can help keep them in good working order.
It can make good business sense to use an IT support provider, such as Ubertas, to maintain your databases but, in any case, it is useful for you to have a good understanding of how they work.
Follow these simple steps to keep things running smoothly.
Keep your database statistics up to date. Most databases use indexes to run so keeping your data in these indexes up to date makes sense. If there’s no information in an index field or they haven’t been updated for a while, chances are it won’t know which information to use or will extract the wrong bits.
Optimise your indexes. As well as keeping your indexes up to date, be sure to optimise them. Creating optimised indexes with more than one field for search queries and clustered indexes which determine the order of results speed up search queries and help your databases run smoothly.
Only pull the columns you need. A lot of database users select more data than they need, resulting in hundreds – or sometimes thousands – of columns being pulled which you simply won’t use. And, not surprisingly, huge, complex queries like this sometimes don’t pull at all. The same thing can happen if you reuse code without thinking about it. For this reason, it is good to be as succinct as you can with your data queries.
Don’t allow user interaction while the transaction’s in progress. Leave the query or transaction to do its thing before you or anyone else goes into it to avoid incorrect data being pulled.
Maintain the database disc regularly. If a database isn’t running smoothly, it might be down to the disc. Make sure out-of-date information and files are deleted and perform a defragmentation of the disc occasionally.
Check your hardware can cope with your databases. Sometimes poorly-performing databases are simply down to a hard drive not being powerful enough or not having enough memory. Adding a bit more or updating it can solve the problem. You can also select the memory limit on most databases, known as the MAX memory. If it’s too low, you might find bottlenecks and crashes when multiple users are searching for queries.
Check your input/output device. Can your device adequately cope with your database? Sometimes poor connections or incorrectly configured devices can be to blame for poor database performance, so it’s worth checking all yours are okay.
Most databases require regular tuning to keep them running smoothly, much like your family car. The databases you have now probably don’t need a massive overhaul but making a few tweaks and creating new indexes will usually iron out problems.
Following these tips will keep your databases running smoothly by maximising your system resources, helping you to perform tasks as efficiently and as rapidly possible.