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VoltDB / Performance


Database performance is the optimization of resource use to increase throughput and to minimize contention, enabling the largest possible workload to be process. There are five factors that influence database performance: workload, throughput, resources, optimization, and contention. The workload that is requested of the DBMS defines the demand. It is a combination of online transactions, batch jobs, ad hoc queries, data warehousing analysis, utilities, and system commands directed through the DBMS at any given time. Throughput defines the overall capability of the computer to process data. It is a composite of I/O speed, CPU speed, parallel capabilities of the machine, and the efficiency of the operating system and system software. The hardware and software tools at the disposal of the system are known as the resources of the system. The fourth defining element of database performance is optimization. All types of systems can be optimized, but relational database systems are unique in that query optimization is primarily accomplished internal to the DBMS. Contention is the condition in which two or more components of the workload are attempting to use a single resource in a conflicting way (for example, dual updates to the same piece of data). As contention increases, throughput decreases.Database applications regularly communicate with other system software, which must also be factored into database performance planning. Many factors influence not only the performance of the DBMS and applications accessing its databases, but also the performance of the other system components (e.g. transactions processor, network software, application servers, etc.)

We did a survey last year to see how enterprises viewed the need for “real time” (see https://www.voltdb.com/blog/worlds-apart-real-time-data-disconnect). Since we are leaders in the fast data space, we wanted to try to gauge where companies were on the real-time maturity curve. The results were interesting, which...