Is your database environment in need of an overhaul? This guide will help you focus on the top priorities when maintaining your servers.

IT professionals are under increasing pressure to produce fast, and reliable services both in-house and for external clients. In many organisations this means that your team will need to be on top of monitoring and maintaining your database servers to provide a secure platform with a great performance, that is fully compliant. Here are some top tips to ensure your databases run smoothly and are always available.

Building Your Test Environments

To guarantee uptime and fast performance in your live environment, you’ll need to commit to building and maintaining a test environment that is a close match to the real thing. As server estates are growing, with 2019 delivering a 4% increase compared to the previous year, it’s important to invest in the integrity of your test environment, by using masked data which will keep your data secure and as close to production as is feasible. Test any security patches or updates before switching them to your live servers to see how they’ll perform.

Choosing The Right Database Platform

If your database processes and servers are somewhat outdated and need to be made more efficient, then it might be time to look at a new setup. You can either choose from a brand new bespoke database development package, which is customised to suit the precise needs of your operations, whether you wish to incorporate Apache Cassandra, Haystack or MySQL. Alternatively, you may want to adapt and improve on certain database elements that are working well for you. When looking at your database setup, you’ll need to decide how to spread your database estate, determining whether to keep all of your servers onsite, or to rely on the cloud. 2019 has seen a 15% increase in organisations using SQL Server in the cloud for at least part of their estate. Commonly, IT departments choose to keep highly sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information (PII) onsite, and rely on the cloud for services which require better performance. This type of hybrid setup might be a good solution for your database estate, but it can be tricky to stay on top of when it’s spread out.

Ensuring Optimal Performance

Fast performance is a top priority of any IT team, and databases with a demanding user base will require optimisation techniques to ensure they’re delivering results. Capacity planning is an essential feature to make use of, but as well as planning, you’ll need to depend on sophisticated monitoring of your servers. Manual monitoring can be a slow process and prone to user error, so it’s important to use advanced tracking and alert systems so that you’re able to identify any performance issues and resolve them before they affect your end users.

Keeping Your Data Secure

Finally, but a key priority, is to remain compliant by keeping your data 100% secure on your servers. Human error is known to be the greatest cause of database issues this year, which is why it’s so important to set database access permissions for different levels of staff. This allows you to protect your servers from the possibility of a security breach, and easily identify who is at fault in the event that something does occur.

Improving your database servers largely involves anticipating any negative impact in terms of performance, security, or increased demands, before they are to occur. Make use of inbuilt monitoring and performance features, and don’t be afraid to opt for a new bespoke database package if your current setup isn’t working for you.