Database Overload.Total System Shutdown. It’s a doomsday scenario that strikes fear in the heart of every database administrator. Combine that with the busiest and most critical sales month of the year for your company and you’ve got a DBA’s worst nightmare.
Here’s the story of how one company faced a nightmare situation and came out ahead of the game.
This Fortune 500 online retailer handles thousands of transactions per day on a regular basis. Accounting and business operations require that the transactions be batched nightly with jobs typically taking 6 to 10 hours to complete on an Oracle 10g RAC database.
This online retailer is popular, business is booming and daily transactions are on the increase. Their success leads to slower batch times. Experts are called in. The Elite Team from LCS Technologies joins the retailer’s database team in an effort to enhance performance. There is no time or money to re-architect the application and database, so standard performance methods are applied. The team does all the right things: SQL optimization and database tuning. And it works—for a while.
Then the black Friday comes and that night a batch job that is supposed to take 10 hours takes 22 and the system rolls back. Business analysts, sales and marketing teams are waiting for previous day’s reports. But the reports are not available. Business activity stops. The quiet is eerie and deadly to a retailer that counts on the holidays for more than half its yearly sales.
The AHA Moment
The retailer’s team and LCS’s elite technical team can’t increase system performance using standard tools. There is no known solution. It is time to rethink the situation.
The solution was elegant, simple and totally unconventional. It involved converting the application from single-threaded to multi-threaded. Here’s how it worked.
With minimal changes to the application, the LCS team was able to extract the core business logic from the system. Think of it as open heart surgery for a damaged database.
Once the core logic was extracted, the team was able to run the code through its database Xccelerator, a framework that enables code to run in parallel processes. The process is not without its perils. Because of the limited time available, even standard testing is eliminated. Instead, the team opts for auditing to protect against errors.
The Happy Ending
The database Xccelerator enables a DBA to take a single-threaded database application and make it multi-threaded while keeping the original code 100% safe. It is the equivalent of taking a single lane road and turning it into a 16-lane freeway overnight.
Using The LCS database Xccelerator process, a batch job that took 22 hours now takes a little as two hours. The retailer catches up with its business reports in two days and business activity returns to as normal as it gets for a global retailer at Christmas time.
The bonus was the retailer’s database team is able to use the Xccelerator process on all their other batch jobs, making it a very happy holiday season indeed.
The Journey Continues
Batch process acceleration is just one of the many ways LCS’s database Xccelerator is being used by their Oracle-based clients. Another client, a major telecom company, is using the Xccelerator to scale a real-time pattern analysis tool. A government agency is using it for database conversion to make data conversions from legacy systems to Oracle-based systems as much as 10X faster as standard tools. When used with Exadata, the performance increases are even more substantial.
Another advantage is that the process does not require any new hardware or software purchases. While products like the LCS database Xccelerator exist, they are expensive. LCS’ solution is native to Oracle. The process is easy for a DBA to learn and LCS offers mentoring to ensure the knowledge transfer is complete.
LCS’s Elite Technical Team has a simple philosophy: Lead with Innovation and empower the customer to maximize their infrastructure and make their team more efficient so that they become the elite team in their own company.