Streamlining IT Support in NJ: Tips for Efficient and Effective Database Services

Streamlining IT Support in NJ: Tips for Efficient and Effective Database Services

If you’re a small to midsized business (SMB) looking for comprehensive third-party IT support in NJ, you might have noticed a problem: many managed service providers (MSPs) do not specifically offer database administration (DBA) services. The care and feeding of databases is business-critical and takes special skills. Yet MSPs tend to lump DBA services in with other IT administrative functions.

For example, here is a “menu” of services available from an MSP offering IT support in NJ:

Popular IT Support Services in New Jersey

  1. Help desk
  2. 24×7 remote monitoring and management of your IT environment
  3. On-site IT support as needed
  4. Offsite backup/storage
  5. Email security
  6. Managing your public cloud footprint
  7. Training on cybersecurity awareness and other topics

Those services cover a lot of ground, including everything from computers and mobile devices to your business networks to your company internet to cybersecurity. But what about DBA activities, including specialized tasks like performance tuning, database development, database security, managed database hosting, etc.? Possibly those are covered under service #2… But how thoroughhgoing is the actual service? Are the people watching your database certified DBA experts? Or general-purpose “IT guys” who may or may not know your database environment, yet have your most valuable and sensitive data in their hands?

IT Support NJ: Ensuring first-rate DBA services

Whether you have mission-critical data housed in Oracle, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or another database environment, your MSP could very well be using jack-of-all-trades IT systems administrators to manage your database environment—not specialist DBAs. That might be fine if your database estate is simple, or you’re lucky enough to have in-house know-how to backstop your MSP. Or you might find out the hard way that your MSP’s current level of DBA expertise is not enough, by experiencing inefficient database operations, application downtime, compliance issues, data loss, and/or security vulnerabilities.

What’s the alternative for SMBs seeking comprehensive IT support in NJ or the New York City metro area, including expert DBA services? You can augment your MSP’s IT support with an outsourced NJ-based DBA who functions as an extension of your MSP’s team. Or you can find an MSP that has certified DBAs onboard. Either way, you keep all the managed service benefits, like cost savings and on-demand flexibility, while improving IT efficiency and reducing database-related business risk.  

Should you consider an outsourced DBA partner?

Regarding your current level of DBA support, does your database infrastructure run smoothly with little to no downtime, slowdowns, or other issues that frustrate users? Do your users, customers, etc. enjoy application performance and reliability that meets agreed service levels? Is your database environment proactively managed to address potential problems before they impact users? Is your data helping you meet business goals?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, you’re answering any of these in the negative, consider adding a specialist DBA partner to your managed IT support in NJ. You need to feel confident that whoever is managing your database knows exactly what they’re doing. Your database is too important to trust to chance. 

A DBA partner can work with your business directly, alongside your MSP, to provide the great database support your business needs and deserves. 

Streamlining IT Support in NJ: What’s next?

If you’re looking for IT support in NJ that includes reliable, cost-effective, expert DBA services, contact Buda Consulting to schedule a free 15-minute call. We can help you get more value from your data and your database investments.

SQL Server Consulting Services: Maximizing Your Database Performance and Security

SQL Server Consulting Services: Maximizing Your Database Performance and Security

As your company becomes increasingly data-driven and you initiate more database projects, your Microsoft SQL Server environment inevitably increases in size and complexity—and so does the trouble a faltering, crashed or insecure database can potentially cause. 

Degraded performance, malfunctioning SQL processes, corrupted data sets, and other SQL Server challenges demand immediate, expert attention. Having a SQL Server consulting team on speed-dial can get your database back on track in short order. Besides emergency services, other SQL Server consulting services that growing companies often eventually need include database health checks, database performance tuning, and database security vulnerability assessments. 

When it comes to your mission-critical SQL Server infrastructure, you can’t afford to waste time or take chances. You need an SQL Server consulting partner whose DBAs can go beyond routine database management to quickly identify and fix the root causes of problems, as well as proactively optimize and enhance your SQL Server environment to prevent future issues. This approach often leads to the best cost/performance equation, especially when your business runs on data.

Popular SQL Server Consulting Services

The more you leverage your SQL Server investments, the more likely you are to need specialized SQL server consulting services, from SAN configuration to SQL query tuning to custom database development. Services that a SQL Server consulting partner can offer on an on-demand basis include: 

  • Migrating SQL Server workloads to the cloud
  • Moving from Amazon RDS to SQL Server
  • Moving on-premises SQL Server assets to Microsoft Azure SQL Database
  • Upgrading your SQL Server instance
  • Identifying security issues, reporting on their potential impacts, and recommending specific corrective actions
  • Choosing, implementing, and/or testing a disaster recovery strategy
  • Choosing, implementing, and/or testing a high availability strategy (e.g., clustering, replication)
  • Choosing, implementing, and/or testing a backup strategy
  • Optimizing SQL Server configurations

Help with Managing Databases in the Cloud

SMBs are flocking to public cloud services, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), and hybrid cloud architectures. This trend is rapidly and significantly changing the skills DBAs need, as well as the SQL Server consulting services successful companies are likely to require. 

If your company is moving database workloads to the cloud, a SQL Server consulting partner can help you plan your cloud migration strategy, sort through your IaaS, DBaaS, and hybrid options, level up your DBA skill set, operationalize new cloud database workflows, and overall ensure that you achieve your business goals.

Benefits of SQL Server Consulting Services

Taking advantage of SQL Server consulting services can have a range of benefits for SMBs, including:

  • Proactive monitoring to address performance degradation, availability glitches, capacity issues, and other problems before they impact users’ productivity or cause business disruption
  • Flexible staffing backup to cover both routine and specialized tasks, taking the pressure off you to hire, train, and manage expert DBA resources  
  • A “continuous improvement” mindset to advance the functioning and resilience of your database infrastructure
  • A comprehensive understanding of your SQL Server environment and how it can potentially support your business
  • Overall lower operational costs and reduced business risk associated with SQL Server 
  • The peace of mind of a one-stop shop for all your SQL Server needs
  • Guidance not just with Microsoft SQL Server, but also other database technologies like Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Hadoop, etc.

What’s next?

Whether you’re under pressure to address SQL Server operational challenges, need to augment your current team, or are facing a move to the cloud, a SQL Server consulting partner can help.

At Buda Consulting, our expert DBAs function as an extension of your team, so that knowledge is transferred as problems are solved. We’re small enough to really know and advise your business, but with deep experience to tackle whatever comes up with your database, minimize future risks, and help you maximize your data’s value.

Contact us to schedule a call with a SQL Server specialist.


The Importance of Oracle Database Performance Tuning

The Importance of Oracle Database Performance Tuning

Oracle databases are the beating heart of many companies, supporting mission-critical online transactions and analytics. Monitoring Oracle database health and proactively identifying bottlenecks can help avoid slow or unresponsive applications that impact users’ productivity and could affect sales, revenue, and brand image.

Why is Oracle database performance tuning important?

Keeping data flowing and users happy is what Oracle database performance tuning is all about. It’s a vital step in optimizing your overall database system to ensure application responsiveness, quick data retrieval, and high availability. The overall goal is to accelerate SQL query response times so that users can more efficiently access, manipulate, and modify data contained in the database.

Oracle offers many supportive tools to help optimize database performance. Even so, Oracle database performance tuning and troubleshooting remains a critical element in eliminating performance issues across various workloads. Database administrators (DBAs) need to proactively eliminate common performance roadblocks through ongoing monitoring, diagnostics, and maintenance.

What happens if you don’t proactively address Oracle database tuning on a routine basis? You end up with slow, inefficient application performance or even unavailable services caused by avoidable factors like inefficient database queries, improper indexing, and poor memory utilization.

Why is Oracle database performance tuning a challenge?

Oracle database performance tuning takes significant skill and experience. Many factors can influence database performance issues. When users report poor application response times, what is the root cause? Is it the way SQL queries are coded? Is the physical server running out of memory? 

It can be hard to know where to start. But checking system-level parameters first is usually advisable, as other tuning steps won’t help much if CPU or disk utilization is the problem. Another recommended early step is analyzing Oracle Optimizer settings and statistics. The Optimizer does its best to decide the most efficient execution plan for queries, but it is not perfect.

A best practice is to establish a performance baseline from historical data. You can see variations and issues more easily when you have context for how metrics are changing. Some baseline statistics to gather include application transaction and response time data, as well as utilization and performance statistics for the virtual operating system, network, and storage. Of course, database performance and utilization statistics are key as well.

What steps are required for Oracle database performance tuning?

Oracle database tuning involves an open-ended set of activities that DBAs perform across both hardware and software to improve database performance from multiple angles. Some common performance-tuning steps include improving indexing, optimizing query efficiency, clustering database servers for better performance and availability, reconfiguring system parameters, and more.

For example, DBAs can find ways to improve Oracle database performance by examining CPU, memory, and disk metrics on the physical servers running your virtualized database workloads. Faster CPUs, more physical memory, and more available disk space will often improve database performance. If you’re seeing overload warning signs like lots of page faults per second, that indicates a chronic out-of-memory condition that will slow query responses.

Another factor to analyze with Oracle database performance tuning is connection pooling. You need to ensure that an application’s database connection is sized appropriately, especially as usage increases. The more connections to a database open and close, the more computing resources are required. Database connection pooling is a technique to reduce the load on the CPU by passing open connections between database operations, instead of closing them and opening new ones. The degree to which connection pooling can help increase database performance depends on multiple factors, such as network latency and database utilization. Considerable fine-tuning may be required to arrive at the ideal connection sizing.

Many DBAs also include data defragmentation as part of their Oracle database performance tuning efforts. Grouping associated data elements together accelerates disk input/output operations so queries can execute faster.

And no Oracle database performance tuning effort would be completely examining the SQL statements that retrieve data. The way SQL queries are written can have a huge impact on database performance. The more an SQL statement is called, the more tuning it can help if it is performing poorly. 

What’s next?

If your business would benefit from improved Oracle database performance, reliability, and scalability, Buda Consulting has expert DBAs and a proven approach that can help. Contact us for a free “database discussion” to explore your Oracle database performance issues, questions, and requirements.

Why MySQL Performance Tuning is Important for Your Business

Why MySQL Performance Tuning is Important for Your Business

MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). It is frequently used to support large and/or complex applications, especially web applications. About 15% of all websites currently use MySQL for their databases.

With these kinds of large-scale applications, the sheer volume of data can create performance issues. Further, the complexity of a MySQL environment can result in performance issues cropping up seemingly out of nowhere, potentially impacting staff productivity and/or customer experience. 

 Therefore, it is critically important for businesses of all sizes across industries to prioritize MySQL performance tuning. Even common, seemingly minor coding errors or misconfigurations can lead to MySQL database problems, including unstable and inconsistent performance. 

What is MySQL performance tuning?

“Tuning” a MySQL database means enhancing it so that query response times are optimized. This can lead to faster load times and better overall responsiveness for websites, as well as the reduced processing time for analytics queries and other business tasks. 

MySQL performance tuning isn’t confined to optimizing your database code, commands, and tables. It can also include system optimizations to make sure that sufficient resources are available for your MySQL processes. System optimization steps we frequently recommend include:

  • Checking parameters like load averages and I/O utilization to ensure current virtual machines (VMs) have sufficient resources for your MySQL workloads.
  • Checking disk configuration and utilization for each MySQL host.
  • Checking the process list for each MySQL system.
  • Checking whether any MySQL instances are using swap space. This can point to unseen problems.
  • Isolating MySQL processes on their own virtual machines.

Fine-tuning and standardizing your MySQL configuration files can also improve performance. Some of the configuration settings that have the greatest impact on MySQL performance include: key_buffer_size, innodb_log_file_size, log_slave_updates (usually best set to “off”), max_connect_errors, max_connections, and wait_timeout.

What benefits can you get from MySQL performance tuning?

Some of the benefits you can expect from MySQL performance tuning include:

  • Improved data retrieval speed. The more data you are working with, the slower data retrieval can become, especially if your database is not optimized. With MySQL performance tuning, users will experience reduced wait times on searches.
  • Better MySQL query performance. There are multiple best practices for improving query performance, such as not overusing SELECT, avoiding correlated subqueries and minimizing the use of temporary tables. These efficiency improvements enable your database to scale with growing data volumes so you’re not constantly running into performance problems as your database gets more use. 
  • Elimination of coding loops. A coding loop is basically an SQL query inside a loop, which causes the query to run multiple times. When coding loops run, they can severely impact database performance. Moving the query out of the loop should eliminate the problem.

Next steps

While many organizations have databases, there is a shortage of experienced DBAs who can efficiently keep up with MySQL performance tuning as your environment and workloads change. MySQL performance tuning is a job for specialists who have in-depth knowledge of the complexities involved and can apply best practices to address them.  

With skilled DBAs at a premium, outsourcing your MySQL performance tuning is a good choice for many companies. Buda Consulting’s team of performance-tuning specialists will apply a systematic approach to your unique scenario that can yield exceptional performance gains while also improving database reliability. Many MySQL instances we review are under-tuned and can be quickly improved.

For help with detecting, diagnosing, and resolving MySQL performance problems across your physical, virtualized and cloud-based database servers, contact Buda Consulting



Seven Reasons To Employ Database Tuning Services

Seven Reasons To Employ Database Tuning Services

If your business has invested in a database, chances are that it’s a valuable asset that’s integral to the smooth and effective performance of your operation. Unfortunately, without regular maintenance and attention, a database can begin to deliver sub-optimal performance, failing to provide the ROI you deserve.

Some database maintenance can usually be done in-house. Most databases come with a list of checks that need to be carried out regularly to ensure the database keeps working well. Beyond these day-to-day measures, there is also a need for a periodic overhaul of the database. This overhaul, also known as database tuning, is a professional service that requires a high degree of skill and experience.

Using a number of different tools, a database tuning expert can perform the adjustments needed to significantly improve the speed, efficiency, and performance of your database.

Read on to discover exactly what database tuning services consist of, and seven good reasons why your business should employ database tuning services now!

What are Database Tuning Services?

Database tuning involves completing a series of activities that are designed to improve performance and enable the database to operate more efficiently. In contrast to database management, tuning is performed less frequently. It is often commissioned in response to a change in use or awareness amongst users and/or administrators that the database isn’t meeting its intended objectives.

Seven Reasons Why You Should Employ Database Tuning Services

Database tuning services don’t just improve the efficiency of your database, they also have a number of advantages for your workforce, your customers, and, ultimately, your bottom line. Take a look at seven reasons why database tuning services could transform your operation.

Improve Retrieval Times

From loading a web page through to producing information your team needs to process orders, get the answers to inventory queries, or input data to ensure the system remains up-to-date, a fast retrieval time can really make a difference.

Recent research shows that over half of mobile phone users will desert a site if it doesn’t load in three seconds. Particularly if you have a well-populated database, all it takes is a slight dip in performance, and wait times for data retrieval will noticeably increase.

Database tuning can make your system run more rapidly, ensuring almost instant response to queries and commands.

Help Your Database Cope With Increasing Volumes of Data

As your company grows, it’s likely that the amount of data in your database will also expand. The greater the volume of data, the more strain the database is under. Unless it’s appropriately organized, it’s all too easy for glitches to develop.

Database tuning includes the use of tools that improve the structure and organization of the database. This helps to effectively manage increasing volumes of data. To an extent, database tuning helps to future-proof your database, enabling it to keep pace with your business needs as they evolve.

Helping Your Organization Cope With Change

An agile database will have the capacity to deliver what you need it to, no matter the direction your company elects to follow. Businesses don’t just increase the volume of information they store in a database, a fresh project may also require data to be stored in a different way, or different data to be recorded.

In these circumstances, database tuning can reconfigure the database commands and parameters to ensure it’s capable of completing the fresh tasks that are required. Splitting large tasks into smaller ones, for example, or altering the way in which data is recorded, could help to ensure your database can respond flexibly no matter what your objectives may be.

Increased Efficiency

If you want to increase efficiency (which should ultimately result in greater returns for less input), database tuning can maximize system resources. By freeing up capacity, your database can give you the performance you need, without the need for additional investment.

For any company that’s eager to keep overheads as low as possible, database tuning can boost database performance to the extent that a costly replacement or upgrade isn’t required.

Reduce Maintenance and Labor Input

A database that’s working sub-optimally will usually require a considerable amount of attention. Issues such as lagging, inaccuracies, difficulty in accessing relevant data, or problems with the caliber and clarity of the information in the database are all issues that need to be resolved. If your team is busy trying to sort out your database, that’s time they won’t be spending on other aspects of your business.

One of the major benefits of database tuning is that it enables the database to operate more effectively and reliably. This, in turn, reduces the need for time-consuming troubleshooting, freeing up your workforce for other tasks.

Adjust to Fluctuating Demand

Whether you’re a retailer who’s looking forward to the holiday season trading or a gym that’s hoping for an uptick in business when people act on their New Years’ resolutions, it’s likely your database will see a sudden peak in activity, followed by a trough. In some industries, this pattern can have a daily, monthly or annual cycle. In others, fluctuations can be irregular.

To ensure your database can respond effectively to changing demand, database tuning is essential.

Prolong the Useful Life of Your Database

With skilled database tuning services, you can expect to get more from your existing database. For many companies, a professional tune will enable them to keep their existing database facility for years into the future, without needing to expand capacity, upgrade or invest more cash into finding an appropriate database solution.

If you’re committed to obtaining the best value from your database investment, suitable tuning is one of the most effective ways to ensure you enjoy optimal performance and results.

To find out more about databases and the need for database tuning, get in touch with the team at Buda Consulting. Experts in database management and performance, we look forward to making your database work for you, no matter what your requirements may be.