Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Spot the bottleneck

This article (http://www.internetretailing.net/news/waitrose-picks-precise-to-manage-website-performance-and-availability) is quite interesting for a couple of reasons:

  1. Did they really need a contract with a third party to work out that some SQL statement were causing performance issues?
  2. The fact that improving SQL performance is their primary mechanism for performance gains.
  3. IBM provided the platform.

It would be very interesting to get a view into their existing architecture – to see how much tuning they have done so far.

(PS – I know performance is difficult – you only need to look at the website I currently work with/for/on to see that I don’t have all the answers; my argument is that if they have the money to employ someone specifically for the task that suggests they have exhausted all possible internal solutions. There is surely nothing more dispiriting for a development team than to be held to account for a performance issue and then denied the resources to solve it, only to see a third party parachuted in and given all the assistance they require.)


The other thing that I wanted to mention was the issue of scalability – we’re being asked to scale 1,000% in three months – should I be scared? An increase of 35% seems trivial – why can’t they scale out to cover that increase?

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