Big Data is the next big thing and with the advent of such a vast amount of data, database management has seen an exponential rise. This means more technological advances and thus, the need for better database optimization.
To tackle the data and increase efficiency, database administrators are constantly being asked about how to optimize database performance. But it is also important to understand that while database optimization is required, it comes with its own set of challenges. And today we will look at the 5 most common challenges faced during database optimization.
1. Poor Indexing
A database is as big as the amount of data that it stores. And larger the amount of data, higher is the load on the system. An index is created to improve the efficiency and speed up the process of fetching data from the table. But in a case where these indexes are excessive, less or improper, the performance of the database will be affected. This is called poor indexing.
Hence, despite being used for database optimization, incorrect indexes can put a load on the performance. This is because the system has to go through numerous records to fetch the data. A major cause of poor indexing is the creation of the index on multiple columns which instead of speeding up the process slows it down. Thus, finding the right balance in the index is one of the most common challenges in database optimization.
2. Lack of Resource monitoring
As a database administrator, there are several implementations to optimize a database. But, database optimization is a continuous process. And as an efficient database administrator, it is very important to monitor the entire process at regular intervals.
This is very crucial to the entire process of database optimization to ensure that all the changes are affecting the performance in a positive way. But sometimes these changes can cause an excessive load on the system leading to excessive resource consumption. It includes excessive usage of CPU, Memory and even I/O components in some instances. Thus, the lack of monitoring can negate the positive effects and lead to future performance challenges.
3. SQL Query Optimization
With SQL Performance Tuning, there are several ways to attain similar results. But, among these multiple ways, there are certain instances when the performance of the system can be heavily affected. It is such Queries which create the need for database optimization.
Sometimes, as database administrators, we overlook the queries during database optimization and create a major problem which can go unnoticed for a long time if not looked into at the earliest. And while this issue is a common occurrence, query rewriting is necessary to prevent any further damage. Database administrators need to focus on a few things to optimize the queries and eventually the database. These are:
- Minimizing the query footprint
- Removing the need for subqueries whenever possible.
- Use JOINS whenever possible
These steps will ensure that the queries run faster thus improving the performance of the database.
4. Memory Requirement Fulfilment
During database optimization, we pay heed to all major hardware specifications as well as technical aspects. Among these is one of the most important factors for the smooth functioning of a database. It is memory usage.
As a thumb rule, databases are programmed to use up enough memory for the smooth functioning of the system. This includes data caching. The data stored in the memory caches remains untouched until and unless updated by the system. This also leads to the entire database being cached if the free memory permits. These uses of memory caching in addition to storage of redundant code and NULL values together take up a lot of memory space and cause a negative impact on the performance of the database system.
Thus, memory management is a very common issue that database administrators come across on a regular basis. A simple solution to this problem is memory allocation to limit the ‘minimum’ and ‘maximum’ memory use.
5. High CPU usage
As previously mentioned, resource monitoring is very important. But, even among resources, CPU usage and management is a major contributor to the database system performance.
There are several factors that contribute to the high CPU Usage leading to the fall in performance.
- Poorly written queries used in the code
- High use of temporary tables leads to higher memory use thus slowing down the system.
- System threads can cause high spikes in CPU usage. Checking for any system thread issues can help improve the performance.
Despite constant monitoring, CPU can be overloaded and it is important to keep a check on the same.
So these are some of the most common issues database administrators face despite the implementation of database optimization techniques. While one can always be careful, these issues will come up every once in a while and as a database administrator, it is important to stay alert and keep a check.
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