Organizations of all sizes invest in IT monitoring and analysis tools. But just because a computer knows what’s wrong doesn’t mean it can communicate those details effectively to IT teams. There is both art and science behind communication, which is why IT teams heavily rely upon data visualization.
As organizations scale, so too does the importance of data visualization. Similarly, automating data analysis becomes increasingly useful with scale. To understand why these tools are so vital for IT teams, however, one must understand what these tools do and why IT teams need them. Database performance analysis provides an excellent example of why automating data analysis makes IT teams better.
Monitoring tools are needed because computers fail, and when they do, organizations lose money. Analysis tools are needed because humans can’t handle the sheer volume of information coming back from monitoring tools, even in small businesses. At enterprise scale, attempting to make sense of raw monitoring data is simply impossible. Computers are instrumented. They provide various performance counters, error logs, and more. And if you configure everything correctly, all this information can be collected, stuffed into a database, and analyzed for correlations. Machine learning also can be used to analyze the data, enabling the analysis packages to offer suggestions regarding problem resolution.
Not everything requires a human’s pattern recognition, however, and this is where the details of what you’re trying to analyze starts to matter. A database performance problem could be caused by the complex interaction of multiple infrastructure components, or someone may have just written a single problematic SQL query. Here, computers will find the problem much faster than we can.
This kind of systems administration is as much art as it is science. And it’s completely impossible without the right tools. This is why we need analytics tools like SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA). DPA has awareness beyond the individual database it’s analyzing, can present this information in an easy-to-understand fashion, and is designed with the strengths and weaknesses of both computers and humans in mind.
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