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You Don’t Have to Divide – Just Rule the Database Workloads

Bala Chandrasekaran

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
Bala Chandrasekaran is a Principal Product Marketing Manager at Dell EMC and delivers marketing efforts for All Flash primary storage. He brings to Dell EMC his 12 years of IT industry experience across various customer facing roles including pre-sales, consulting and technical services. He is a certified professional in IBM DB2 and Oracle Databases. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from Anna University, India and MBA from Foster School of Business of University of Washington.

Latest posts by Bala Chandrasekaran (see all)

In the digital economy, there is immense value in drawing real-time business insights from organizations’ own transactional systems. However, it is not uncommon for a business to wait several hours before actual sales report or the inventory statuses are made available.

Typically, enterprise IT divides business processes into online transaction processing (OLTP), batch and analytic/reporting workloads. In order to meet the performance and scalability needs of these workloads, IT teams built systems that are optimized to execute one or the other. This complex ‘divide and conquer’ approach for database workloads leads to both business and IT complexities. For example, complex queries involved in reporting workloads would require indexes to produce reports quickly but having too many indexes on a transactional table would cost OLTP performance.

One of the top reasons our customers choose us as they modernize their data centers is the value our comprehensive portfolio offers. With our All Flash storage, our customers not only reduce the batch reporting duration but also enable new business process workflows along with integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM) solution.

The scale-out architecture of our storage systems enables them to consolidate multiple database workloads and comfortably deliver consistent performance to the applications. With virtual copies technologies, such as XtremIO Virtual Copies (XVC), database copies for workloads such as reporting and testing could be provisioned without traditional time overhead.

workloads

As shown above, with the full-featured AppSync Starter bundle, our customers are able to automate the entire workflow of making and provisioning application-consistent database copies in 3 simple steps:

  1. Centrally define source hosts and let AppSync automatically discover the databases.
  2. Customize the database cloning process to prepare the database for the target workload:
    1. AppSync allows administrators to add or modify database initialization parameters ideal for the target workload. Do you need to use a larger value for DB_FILE_MULTIBLOCK_READ_COUNT to improve IOs on table scan? No problem!
    2. AppSync can execute user scripts before making a copy or after mounting a database. Do you need to create that index required for your complex queries involved in reporting? No problem!
  3. With the ability to define service plans, administrators can automate the creation and deletion of virtual copies.

As decision-making windows shrink for most digital businesses, they require a different approach to retrieve information out of their own transactional systems. Storage plays a vital role in enabling data agility and with the right solution, IT teams can enable information flow that modern-day businesses require.

Performance Testing Made Simpler with iCDM

Bala Chandrasekaran

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
Bala Chandrasekaran is a Principal Product Marketing Manager at Dell EMC and delivers marketing efforts for All Flash primary storage. He brings to Dell EMC his 12 years of IT industry experience across various customer facing roles including pre-sales, consulting and technical services. He is a certified professional in IBM DB2 and Oracle Databases. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from Anna University, India and MBA from Foster School of Business of University of Washington.

Latest posts by Bala Chandrasekaran (see all)

At the recently concluded Oracle Open World show in San Francisco, many mutual customers of Oracle and Dell EMC shared how their organizations benefited from the consistent low IO response time from Dell EMC All Flash storage.

In one of the conversations, a DBA mentioned that having production databases on all flash storage while the test databases are on a slower disk-based storage system posed interesting challenges in database performance tuning and diagnosis. He went on to share how ‘Top Wait events’ on the Oracle AWR reports and the access paths suggested by the SQL Explain reports were different across production and test databases. Since the test databases were hosted on a slower disk-based storage system, he said, the application wait events observed in production were hidden behind the “User IO” class wait events in the test.

Traditionally, IT teams’ approach for performance testing has been to manage a production-like infrastructure with complete production data. When time is of the essence, database specialists would migrate the schema statistics from production and use optimizer hints on SQLs to influence database optimizer in order to pick a particular access path.

Although the proactive performance testing ahead of going live helps to reduce risk, these approaches have been complex, time consuming, and cost prohibitive. While the benefits of all flash storage are obvious for production environments, justifying flash-based media for test databases has been difficult.

I’m happy to share that, now, database and application teams can unlock Rapid Tuning with integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM) available on Dell EMC All Flash Storage. Be it for either diagnosing a performance problem in production or evaluating the performance in the application development lifecycle, it is very easy to make a high-performance application-consistent copy of a database on Dell EMC All Flash Storage in a space-efficient way.

icdm-oct

Consolidation of performance-sensitive non-production databases as virtual copies on Dell EMC all flash arrays automatically simplifies database operational activities such as upgrade and patching required ahead of testing. Since the test database copies also inherit the enterprise-class data services such as encryption and compression, the I/O performance would be completely comparable to that in production. (more…)

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