Database servers are a cornerstone of modern businesses ranging from Google to 7-Eleven. When you run your credit card at a convenience or grocery store, your purchase is registered into a point of sale system backed by a database. Your credit card company registers the funds transfer into a database server containing your financial records. If you use a discount card, yet another database server comes into play. Databases enable businesses to track inventory, perform margin analysis, automate purchases, and identify customer trends—and to do all of this much more quickly and efficiently than ever before!
It has been a long time since I visited any business that did not rely on some type of database server, if only to track purchases and expenses. But I constantly communicate with businesses that lack a plan to ensure these databases function properly on an ongoing basis.
Hosting Database servers at the data center helps your database remain a vital component of your business infrastructure, rather than a time-wasting black hole for IT resources.
We recently sat down with our engineering team to provide you a few tips on how we help accomplish just that:
Tip 1: Host in a Data Center Simple power quality issues such as brownouts, blackouts or even a mere voltage fluctuation can result in your server powering down. SQL-based database systems are sensitive to these unanticipated shutdowns, resulting in errors in transaction logs and database instability. Hosting that same database server in a secure data center —where power quality is monitored every second of every day by trained engineers—helps ensure 100% uptime. So when you are ready to start your business day, your SQL database will be ready to start as well!
Tip 2: Maximize IOPS One vital performance metric for database systems is Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS). IOPS is important here as a measurement of how fast storage devices can read and write, which is the primary operation metric of database systems such as SQL. Remember that in reading from and writing to a database, most hard disks must physically move, which takes time—especially if you need to read and write from separate physical areas of your disk. By making read and write tasks concurrent, you can speed up this process with almost no administrative effort. Instead of a single disk array handling both your operating system and application, opt for two arrays to handle each task on separate disks. Choosing serial-attached SCSI drives with high RPMs for your database, and enterprise-level SATA drives for your operating system will drastically improve read and write performance