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4 Ways to Optimize Database Operations

Author: Eric Russo | 5 min read | May 29, 2019

Organizations are not only collecting ever greater amounts of data, they’re actively looking for ways to extract and use the data to gain information about their business The average company now manages more than 160 terabytes of information.

Much of this information is structured data that must be contained in highly complex databases, perhaps reaching hundreds of tables and dozens of attributes for each one. Use cases such as health care, finance, transportation, and scientific research are just a few of the domains that require vast amounts of data in a coherent, comprehensive format.

As the supply of and demand for data both continue to increase, companies need database administrators (DBAs) who are skilled at optimizing databases. Poorly designed database schemas can create problems such as performance issues and struggles with efficient query processing. Factors such as structure, size, the number of sources, and the types of data all play a role in how complex your database will become.

The good news is that DBAs aren’t lacking for resources when it comes to managing this. In this article, we’ll explore four ways to optimize your database operations.

1. Leveraging Cross-Platform Third-Party Tools

Cross-platform third-party tools can manage and support multiple targets running on different hardware and operating systems. You can work on your databases, centralize your database management processes, standardize workflows across the organization, and reduce the amount of onboarding time you need for new Database Professional employees—all without having to physically go to the server.

This database management approach reduces many of the challenges associated with complex database structures. You also free up time by streamlining common work duties, letting you focus on optimization rather than manually handling basic tasks or IT support tickets.

2. Improving Database Visibility

Database monitoring and discovery are much easier when you use a centralized management solution. You can see all of the organization’s databases at a glance, with real-time dashboards that provide immediate insights into the state of your IT environment.

If one of your database servers is showing a slow but clear decline in performance, for example, you can begin the troubleshooting process right away, instead of waiting for a performance-related database outage to occur.

This improved visibility is also helpful when you need ways to expand your current databases or to introduce new structures into the mix. As the business grows and changes over time, it will be easier to adjust the database to meet the new requirements.

3. Collecting and Analyzing Database Information

Third-party database tools may come with several analytics processes that cover basic performance issues. In order to truly know what’s going on within your database, however, you need to dive deep into the data.

Once you’ve gathered information about your database within a single centralized panel, you can analyze it for a variety of purposes:

  • Improving performance
  • Monitoring the environment
  • Identifying health check items
  • Ensuring operational availability
  • Assessing compliance with security policies
  • Detecting security vulnerabilities that need patching

4. Automating Key Database Administration Processes

Tedious database administration tasks can take up much of your DBAs’ schedule, leaving them less time to deal with the real problems of complexity. While still at a low level of maturity, automation can and will be a crucial strategy for working with complex database structures.

For example, automated tools can send you alerts when a problem exceeds a certain threshold, or when productivity levels are lower than expected. In general, manual, repetitive activities are “low-hanging fruit” for automation and shouldn’t require much hands-on input from DBAs.

Final Thoughts

Databases are only going to get larger and more complicated in the future, so it’s important to know how to manage this business environment. Third-party solutions will be your primary tool to tackle these challenges, especially when you have many different types of databases in your organization. Fortunately, thanks to the four tactics outlined above, the task of database administration doesn’t have to be complex.

Are your enterprise databases becoming too complex for you to handle alone? Reach out to a skilled, experienced technology partner like Datavail. We’ve helped countless clients navigate the problem of database complexity by adopting the best tools and strategies for their situation.

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