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What to Do When Real-Time Data Streaming Cripples Database App Performance

Can real-time streaming sabotage database app performance? The short answer is, yes. But, what can you do about it? In this post, we discuss DIY tips for identifying and handling app performance issues.

The Importance of Data

In an age of fast and furious market changes, chasing down the digital transformation dragon seems to be a particularly elusive goal. “Big Data,” “AI,” “machine learning,” “process automation,” and “neural networks” have all become relatively common IT terms. Still, there’s one term that’s making businesses sit up: Big Data.

Why? Data-driven organizations are 23x more likely to convert customers, realize a 10% reduction in total operating costs, and achieve profit increases anywhere from eight to 10 percent. So, there’s obviously tangible value in analyzing data in real-time.

But, what happens when real-time analytics actually slows everything down? You’d be in a pickle, for sure: 77 percent of business execs say that a lack of real-time data inhibits proactive decision-making.

Unfortunately, streaming data in real-time can cripple database app performance. If you’re dealing with bogged-down systems and high latency, stay calm. Here are a few ways to remediate your problem.

Where Is the Slow-Down Occurring?

Since database issues often touch nearly every department, it can be hard to discover exactly where the bottleneck is happening. But, generally, slow-downs happen across three dimensions:

  • On-premise hardware
  • Network infrastructure
  • Data processing system

Generally, it’s best to start by identifying any potential networking or hardware issues. Then, work your way into data processing (which may require a deep-dive into your database architecture). Let’s start with the basics.

Check Your Hardware or Cloud Server

The most common cause of speed and delivery issues is insufficient on-premise or cloud server capacity. Most often, this happens with on-site legacy servers. Real-time processing utilizes a sizable chunk of processing power. While cloud servers often offer the ability to scale up and down depending on demand, legacy servers lack instant scalability.

If you’re exceeding processing capacity, on-prem legacy servers will significantly slow down your streaming process during peak times.

Most businesses use cloud servers for real-time data processing. In this case, check to see if the issue is with your cloud provider or IT architecture. Always check for the easy-to-fix hardware and cloud issues before moving to more complex data management troubleshooting.

Analyze Your Data Architecture

The modern data architecture is an intricate system, worthy of the mythical Daedalus labyrinth. You have multiple S3 buckets, cloud servers, data lakes, SaaS apps, and legacy servers all intersecting across your IT ecosystem.

When performance issues hit, you’ll have to wade into this ever-so-complicated terrain to identify the problem. Perhaps, your cloud server doesn’t have the capacity to handle an avalanche of data in real-time. Or, alternatively, legacy servers may be having integration issues that are slowing down your pipeline. Your on-prem legacy system may be more suited to batch processing than real-time streaming.

We strongly recommend starting small during this process. For example, which part of your app is running slowly? Are your dashboards lagging, but the data stream appears to be steady? Try to narrow down your options.

Check Your Network

To check your network, you need to run your app processes as close to your SQL server as possible. Next, try to remove any bandwidth or network latency constraints. If this solves the issue, all you have to do is figure out exactly where your network is falling short.

Hint: If you can’t run on the same SQL server, try to run on the same LAN.

Database Woes

If you don’t have an issue with your network, architecture, or hardware, you probably have an SQL issue. This can get messy. We recommend checking out RedGate’s “Why is My Database So Slow?” or SQLShack’s “A DBA guide to SQL Server performance troubleshooting – Part 1 – Problems and performance metrics.

Diving into SQL load time problems can uncover other issues that require root-cause analysis. Often, you’ll find multiple issues happening simultaneously, so it’s important to either set aside the time to fix it or connect with your outsourced IT provider.

Need Help With Database App Performance Issues?

Slow real-time data processing can stall operations, cause serious operational delays, and create liquidity-sapping value-drains that impact growth. At Entrance, we help companies build robust real-time data processing systems.

From SQL server stacks to custom apps for front-end dashboards, we provide end-to-end value for organizations looking to capitalize on real-time data. Contact us to learn how we can drive tangible value into your IT ecosystem — one byte of data at a time.

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