Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The two words a DBA or Dev loves to hear, "It's Slow..."

Brent Ozar - “It’s Slow” Is Not A Metric

When I start a SQL Server Critical Care with a client, the first thing I ask is, “What is your #1 pain point? Where does it hurt?” The answer I hear most often is, “The server is too slow”.

I’m a runner. If I was able to run a 5K race at an 8:30 per mile pace, I would think I was the fastest runner on earth. The world record for a 5K by a woman is at a 4:34 per mile pace. She would think an 8:30 pace was…slow.

Slow is relative.

Slow is not a metric.


In order to effectively measure our systems, we need metrics.This is why baselines for our systems are so essential.

Getting Started with Baselines ...

Tools for Baselines ...

Have metrics, not feelings

“Slow” is relative. “Slow” is not a metric. You never know when someone is having a bad day and everything feels slow to him, or he needs to rush out the door early because his kid is sick, or she is getting ready for vacation and time has slowed down in her world. Measure and track. Numbers don’t lie.

Brent says: You get what you measure. The instant you start putting a graph on your cubicle wall, people start paying attention.

Kendra says: User complaints per day is also a metric! Find out what parts of the application people are complaining about and what their experience is specifically. As you work through issues, “Numbers of complaints solved” is a really useful metric for your next performance review.

I swear, Brent and team have someone slipping them information from my day job [Yes, I'm looking at you... ;] We've recently been having some "It's Slow" and conversations and "Prove It" benchmark tests so this topic is nice and timely.

It's also funny just how long us Dev's and DBA's have been having this conversation. I remember fielding "It's slow" questions around my VB1 app running on Windows 3.1 (where we had to use a floppy disk to do our daily information transfers... lol...). The answer is still the same today, "define slow"...

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