14.1. Understanding Your Performance Requirements

If you didn't ask what your performance requirements were to start with, ask now! If you are interested in following best practices, understand the application and the performance requirements of the database. Are you dealing with more OLTP or OLAP requirements? All performance decisions are tradeoffs. You can't make any performance decisions without understanding these requirements. The next few sections will guide you through a set of questions that will give you a good grounding for the situation that you are in. Most of these recommendations are focused on OLTP requirements that support the concepts of normalization discussed in Chapter 8.

14.1.1. How Many Users Will the Database Support?

The number of users that a software product is designed to support is a critical design data point for software development and is just as important for database modeling and support. The number of users and the nature of how they will use this database will provide valuable clues about how resources will be consumed in the database. Resource contention is typically the biggest issue that you are trying to minimize when performance tuning any database after the fact. Spending time up front to understand the user scale will provide some of this insight. User Scale

A user scale describes a category of users that perform certain use cases in a system. A simple count of the estimated users is not what you are interested in. You need ...

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