Criticality of database performance tuning for your margins in hybrid cloud

Organizations face new challenges when they use or sell cloud-based applications. This post describes three use cases that pose challenges, as well as opportunities for cost-savings and improved customer experience through database performance tuning:

  • Enable positive customer experience
  • Make money directly from software in the cloud (ISVs)
  • Sell SaaS on a resource consumption basis

We’ll discuss ways to improve your margins, no matter which of the use cases relates to your organization.

Enable positive customer experience

The challenge: CX headwinds

In businesses that depend upon stellar customer experience on their applications - for example, banking or ecommerce of any kind - the application and its infrastructure is an ongoing expenditure that directly affects profit margins. And, the risk of customer churn is a concern if customer experience declines for any reason.

There needs to be a balance to keep costs and performance in line. An organization can spend more on infrastructure, and performance will often improve as a result. But, do those new costs align with budget and strategic priorities?

If cost is the primary factor, and costs are kept as low as possible without regard for performance, customer experience is bound to suffer. 

How to meet the challenge

Performance of the infrastructure and databases must support sustained, optimal application performance – especially customer-facing, revenue-generating applications. To keep customer experience high through digital transformations and times of tight budgets and manpower constraints, database performance tuning is one important step toward cost/performance balance.

SQL Performance tuning is best accomplished with a tool that can automate the process, present alternative query rewrites and provide index advice at the click of a button. Then, quick testing of desired scenarios will tell you which ones run the fastest, or with the fewest resources.

Performance tuning can take other forms, too. Tuning the database itself to use fewer resources reduces the load on cloud services where databases reside. In IaaS, if memory is overallocated, for example, real dollar savings are possible by reducing the allocation to optimal levels.

Make money directly from software in the cloud (ISVs)

The challenge: margins & market reach aren’t at expected levels

Perhaps this one is obvious, but software companies want to maximize revenue, while at the same time keeping costs as low as possible. They want their market to expand and client count to increase. If an ISV is struggling with those financial goals, it might need to try new tactics.

How to meet the challenge

Performance of the application is key. If the infrastructure is running on an IaaS cloud service, performance tuning is possible across the OS and virtualization infrastructure, as well as the database. Keeping performance of the application excellent is paramount. It helps keep customers who have already purchased subscriptions renewing every period. And, prospects who want to try the free, basic, or trial offering will make a purchase decision in part based on whether the application is performant enough for them.

Sell SaaS on a resource consumption basis

The challenge

If you are a SaaS provider and you sell your services via resource consumption, it is easy to pass your costs onto your customer. But very few SaaS vendors sell software by consumption. That model has tended to be favored by the cloud service providers.

It is starting to become a bit more prevalent for all sorts of ISVs. In this case, you may not think that there is a financial impact to not doing database performance tuning because auto-scaling can be built in. Based on your pricing model, you may not have an incentive to performance tune because you pass the cost onto your customer directly. The reality is that this can create a poor customer experience that could hit you downstream via churn due to unplanned costs for your customers.

How to meet the challenges

Tuning the application and infrastructure (depending upon type of cloud service) can help solve the potential downstream impact of churn. Failing to tune for performance will affect your business if customers’ costs rise due to additional computing resources being consumed. And, disenchanted customers have a high likelihood of leaving for another solution, and few factors cause ill will with customers as much as poor application performance, especially if costs are going up. 

Summary

Whether you are part of an ISV selling cloud applications, or your organization sells access to SaaS software using a resource consumption model, or your organization uses cloud applications for customer interaction, costs of cloud resources affect you somehow. To improve margins for your business, effective database performance tuning is always a smart approach.

Foglight® by Quest® for database monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, workload analytics and cloud cost management can help you see and address:

  • Performance problems that are building in severity
  • Chronic performance problems
  • Anomalies – those hard-to-find “needles in a haystack”
  • Single workload components (SQL statements) that are problematic
  • Cloud costs that are going up unexpectedly, or otherwise not lining up with budget expectations

With its investigative capabilities, correlations between database, infrastructure, and actual use of limited compute resources, and SQL tuning add-on, any sort of performance problem can be pinpointed and attacked head-on.

Customer experience will improve, as will your financial margins through lower-cost cloud service tiers and reduced need for CPU, memory and network allocations on which to run workloads.

For more information, please visit the Foglight product page, here:  https://www.quest.com/Foglight

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