Unfortunately, performance and tuning is still a low priority task in many organisations. Performance problems are regularly resolved by the next hardware upgrade and then the next etc. The true cause of the problem is frequently never really established.
Hardware and software resources are expensive, very expensive! Employee (user) efficiency is also very important. Particularly for online transaction processing it is essential that response times do not exceed one second. If response times generally exceed one second users will not be able to work at maximum efficiency. Should response times become even more elongated, then not only does efficiency drop, but users also tend to lose concentration (and possibly become impatient) and that can ultimately impact quality.
A common myth is that performance and tuning itself is so expensive that the return on investment is too low. In other words, it is not worth the effort. I have never been involved in a performance and tuning project that did not provide a very satisfactory (and often very surprising) return on investment. The initial investment in performance and tuning is quite high, i.e. establishing appropriate monitoring and reporting procedures, but ongoing, regular performance monitoring is comparatively inexpensive.
Admittedly performance and tuning efforts do regularly establish that application design is the cause of the problem and correcting applications is generally expensive. However, there are generally a number of possibilities at the system level to lessen the impact of poorly designed applications.
The consultancy services provided for performance and tuning fall into three categories.
This service involves the establishment of performance and tuning procedures and a performance and tuning function within your organisation, i.e. with your employees, and also includes the transfer of skills to those employees.
An increasingly popular choice for organisations, which lack the internal resources or expertise, is to completely outsource the performance and tuning function. I establish the most appropriate monitoring and reporting and regularly analyse the results and make tuning recommendations to ensure optimum performance of your systems and applications.
This is generally a one off activity to establish the “health” of your systems and applications and make recommendations for improvement where appropriate. The “health check” can, of course, be repeated at regular intervals if you so wish.
The “health check” is frequently prompted by a specific performance problem with a specific product or application.