4 ways to improve application performance


4 ways to improve application performance

Slow application performance. There is hardly a government IT pro who has not seen sluggish applications create unhappy users.

Because the database is at the heart of every application, when there’s a performance issue, there’s a good chance the database is somehow involved. With database optimization methods -- such as identifying database performance issues that impact end-user response times, isolating root cause, showing historical performance trends and correlating metrics with response time and performance -- IT managers can speed application performance for their users.

Start with these four database optimization tips:

Tip #1: Get visibility into the entire application stack.
The days of discrete monitoring tools are over. Today’s government IT pros must have visibility across the entire application stack, or the application delivery chain comprising the application and all the backend IT that supports it -- software, middleware, extended infrastructure and especially the database. Visibility across the application stack will help identify performance bottlenecks and improve the end-user experience.

Tip #2: See beyond traditional infrastructure dashboards.
Many traditional monitoring tools provide a dashboard focused on health and status, typically featuring many charts and data, which can be hard to interpret. In addition, many don’t provide enough information to easily diagnose a problem -- particularly a performance problem.

Tools with wait-time analysis capabilities can help IT pros eliminate guesswork. They help identify how an application request is executed step-by-step and will show which processes and resources the application is waiting on. This type of tool provides a far more actionable view into performance than traditional infrastructure dashboards.

Tip #3: Reference historical baselines.
Database performance is dynamic. It is critical to be able to compare  abnormal performance with expected performance. By establishing historic baselines of application and database performance that look at how applications performed at the same time on the same day last week, and the week before that, etc. , it is easier to identify a slight variation before it becomes a larger problem. And, if a variation is identified, it’s much easier to track the code, resource or configuration change that could be the root cause and solve the problem quickly.

Tip #4: Align the team.
Today’s complex applications are supported by an entire stack of technologies. And yet, most IT operations teams are organized in silos, with each person or group supporting a different part of the stack. Unfortunately, technology-centric silos encourage finger-pointing.

A far more effective approach shares a unified view of application performance with the entire team. In fact, a unified view based on wait-time analysis will ensure that everyone can focus on solving application problems quickly.

Remember, every department, group or function within an agency relies on a database in some way or another. Optimizing database performance will help make users happier across the board.

About the Author

Joel Dolisy is the CIO at SolarWinds.


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