Thursday, February 19, 2009

Performance Tuning Knowledge is Important for the New DBA

As MySQL continues to expand in the market place, I am seeing a common mistake new DBAs make. They are waiting too long to develop their performance tuning skills. Whenever I work with new DBAs I always tell them it is important to focus on three areas:
  1. Understand the architecture and how things work. It is not good to guess.
  2. Get very good at back up and recovery if you want to keep your job.
  3. Get very good at performance tuning if you want to enjoy your job.
It is important that in your future as a DBA you plan on taking a Performance Tuning class. The reasons are:
  • Most databases get bigger (add more data) and have more users over time. So performance tuning will always be a factor in managing your systems as your systems grow.
  • It's important to take a performance tuning class sooner than later. Reason is you could be making decisions that will have very negative performance ramifications in the future, if you do not understand performance factors. Future scalability is impacted by performance decisions made today.
  • Understanding performance tuning makes you a better DBA. Being good at performance tuning requires you understand how a database server works in more detail. This understanding will help with diagnostics and trouble shooting for everything you do as a DBA.
Being good at performance tuning helps you be a more proactive DBA versus being a reactive DBA. Reactive DBAs are always putting out fires and fixing things after the fact. If you want to enjoy your work as a DBA focus on being a proactive DBA.

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