Slow loading applications can greatly diminish the productivity and satisfaction of those trying to access them and possibly slow down an entire network. The last thing your IT department wants to deal with is employee complaints. While many thought the cloud would solve these problems, it has only presented a whole new range of issues. To improve performance it’s important to quickly pinpoint the cause of the slow application, and take the steps necessary to fix it.

Diagnosing the Problem

An enterprise with mission-critical applications heavily relies on database management systems like SQL Server, Oracle, SAP/Sybase, and DB2, to respond to thousands of requests every second. When your database management systems aren’t performing up to standard, it may not only slow your internal applications, frustrating your employees, but may also slow your external facing apps on the web, even causing customers to abandon their cart.

The first step to resolving the slowdown is to perform an in-depth analysis to diagnosis the cause of the performance lag. A thorough examination is needed to pinpoint what in the environment may have changed to cause this issue.

  1. Look for recent updates within the code or application interacting with the database
  2. If no change was made, find indicators that point to a driver misconfiguration or a hardware malfunction.
  3. Check to see if you are experiencing overcapacity on your servers. Your database needs may be surpassing what your current servers can provide.

A Problem On The Client End

Web-based applications tend to utilize a lot of data, and push the load to the client workstation. JavaScript then processes sometimes hundreds of thousands lines of data, which can result in significant pauses on the client’s end. This scenario is the perfect setup for an Application Performance Management (APM) system, which can analyze the client-end and determine what kind of internal processing delay is accounting for this issue, to provide the information you need to fix it.

Poor SQL Coding

Incorrect or sloppy SQL coding is one of the most common issues for slow loading or underperforming applications. Common causes include wrong indexing or using inefficient joins. Tools like the SQL Server DMV (Dynamic Management View), isolate what areas are impacting your performance, allowing you to quickly bring applications back up to speed.

Request Backlogs

Sometimes the problem has to do with an application server making a lot of small requests that quickly add up – causing a backlog. Virtualization is now commonplace, which means a server team might have automatic migration set to a lightly loaded host adding a server image in a new location. This new location may only add milliseconds to the server communication process, but these milliseconds can result in serious performance issues. To overcome this issue, transparency and visibility are key. You need to benchmark and analyze different aspects of the network, such as bandwidth, latency and loss rate.

Looking at the Server Side

Quite often, the root cause of a slow application lies within the servers, and not the network. Many modern applications rely on a layered infrastructure meaning that if just one aspect of this multi-tiered structure goes wrong, it can dramatically slow an application.

In this scenario, a front-end server will communicate with an application server, which then communicates with a middleware server, that in turns sends queries to database servers. These varied servers may then communicate with your DNS servers. In short, there’s potential for a weak link in this chain. For example, an application might be making queries to a DNS server that simply doesn’t exist anymore. A lack of response prompts the application to continue to wait for a response to the first request, causing the application to slow down.

Remote DBA Services

Hunting down the root cause of your performance problems is time consuming and unless it is affecting sales, it is not a high priority for your internal IT team.  Farming this function out to a remote DBA service provider can make a lot of sense both in response time to your employees and overall cost reduction of your IT budget. With 24/7 database support and a team that understands how to tackle any database or application issue, your IT team can concentrate on mission critical applications while the remote DBA team puts out the fires. Remote DBA services can ensure that your database operations are optimized and your applications are operating at peak efficiency so that your employees are more productive and customers are more satisfied.

Ntirety gives you a comprehensive strategy to improve your existing database workflows and performance.  We can conduct database assessments and provide you with a roadmap that will steer your organization in the right direction toward optimal efficiency. With Ntirety’s remote DBA, database consulting or DBA on-demand services, your environment will be fine-tuned to add value to your business, to increase productivity and drive profitable outcomes. Ntirety has partnered with top technology companies including Oracle, Microsoft and VMWare, to provide best-in-class support and services that will free up your in-house staff to focus on their core competencies.