September 9


Engaging a Teradata Tuning Specialist is not a Luxury

By Paul Timar

September 9, 2015


When do you need a fire brigade most? When your house is on fire!

When is the best time to establish a fire brigade?

No, not when your house is on fire, but before the city the house is located in, is founded.

Finally, when should there be a fire safety inspection?

Before and while you construct and dwell the building, not after the fact, when entire wings have to be teared down and reconstructed.

The same is true for performance specialists and Data Warehouses.

The Teradata Tuning Specialist

Performance Specialists are a good fit for your Data Warehouse team at the inception of a data warehouse project and at any later stage.

This is not lobbying, but an insight from years of experience in Data Warehousing.

When you think that engaging such a specialist is too costly before you can justify his or her presence with pressing real-life problems, you are essentially saying that you are willing to drive the probability of a project fail up.

Hasty project starts are costly at exponential rates!

Many of the design and implementation decisions have immediate and often far-reaching effects on how smooth or cumbersome it will become to operate the data warehouse.

Data warehouse team members will and should be focused on other issues such as data base administration, the business model behind all the data, financial aspects of the projects, SQL development, load job scheduling, and many more.

The Performance Specialist looks ahead and in between to identify bottlenecks and Tsunamis before they hit you.

Sunk cost and wrong turn prevention are worth a dollar on the dime!

A project member with such an explicit focus can co-determine where the entire project will be covered one year from now: On page 1 of the corporation's success story magazine or at the project funeral service announcement pages.

It is of vital importance both to you as well as to your clients that there is a common understanding of the strategic dimension of a performance tuning endeavor before any debate over measurements and results takes place.

There are always the following strategic goals of Performance Optimization:

  1. A net improvement of system resource usage is achieved
  2. Key stakeholders of the Data Warehouse can achieve their goals at all, or again, or faster, or more regularly, and with less friction and intervention
  3. Changes and improvements are sustainable in terms of time, staff, and irrespective of the presence of Performance Specialists

Where and how this improvement is achieved is a matter of the problems at hand and the constraints under which one operates, but there is no meaningful claim of an improvement without any demonstration that a quantifiable, intentional change took place.

Performance work is goal oriented. Therefore, a finite set of measures can only be claimed a performance success if it solved a problem that was there in the first place.

An improvement can only be called such if its effects are not short-lived or a mere shift of trouble from one end of the Data Warehouse to the next and if they last irrespective of how operates the Data Warehouse at the moment.

Paul Timar

Paul Timar is a graduated Sociologist and Economist who turned Data Warehouse Specialist. He has more than 7 years of experience in working with Oracle and Teradata Data Warehouses in the fields of Social Security Data and Banking. His latest focus is on performance optimization.

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