System design
Load testing
Performance analysis
Tuning and troubleshooting
Tuning and troubleshooting
"Tuning happens from the day you start to design the system, until the day you go live. After that it's fire-fighting and trouble-shooting"
Jonathan Lewis, paraphrasing Tom Kyte

We regard tuning as the logical configuration of a system required to support the system design. Tuning engagements will usually start with a review of the system requirements with the client. A subsequent tuning activity plan is generated based on the expectations and targets agreed from the review of the system requirements.

Troubleshooting usually arises sometime after a system goes live (although it also occurs in development and test environments too). Very often this is either a problem with configuration parameter settings being inappropriate for a production environment or database queries slowing down as docbase volume increases. Troubleshooting proceeds with a quick overview of the system to establish the problem(s) and identify any 'quick wins'. If performance problems remain a more formal strategy can then be adopted. Analysis of the system is undertaken to identify where the problems are occurring, in conjunction with users, system administrators, database administrators and developers.

For each problem identified remedial actions are detailed in a report including an estimation of the improvement expected from implementing the recommendation. The costs and benefits of particular remedial actions are quantified in relation to the business activities the system supports.