When is the right time to optimize your database platform?

In the previous blog of this the series, we explored how database servers naturally grow over time and the perceived limitations that prevent them from being optimized. In this article, we look at the benefits of consolidating your database platform and how you can make the process easier.  

Updated 10.9.2020.

Companies face a need to renew their data platform, or a part of it, every now and then. There are the occasional situations related to changes in hardware or software, or for example in the company’s data center strategy. As an example, renewing your Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) may seem like a chore one undertakes every three years. Deciding the right licensing for your SQL Servers brings with it considerable administrative overhead and software management costs.

But your next data platform renewal may be a blessing in disguise—the perfect time to review the structure of your SQL Server platform.

SQL Server licensing is usually based on the number of CPU cores on the servers. If your business operates on scattered 100 servers, for example, but can get the same results from only 20 consolidated bigger servers, a license renewal is your chance to cut away some dead weight. Alternatively, your server architecture may be fine, but if the software is getting old, it might be time to upgrade to achieve better performance.

By eliminating the unnecessary database servers and CPU cores, data platform renewals provide a real opportunity for cost savings, providing you have ample time to prepare. But the challenge is exactly that—time.

Microsoft database optimization is a complex process. It works on a sliding scale—the more time you can dedicate to analyzing your database servers, the more streamlined and cost-efficient your database platform can become.

In this post, we’re going to look at when, how, and why you should consider optimizing your data platform. 

Visma customer case study

Polarizing approaches to data platform optimization

Each of the following situations provide an excellent opportunity to optimize your data platform:

  1. License renewal: Your SQL Server license agreement is reaching the end of its cycle and you want to optimize your software assets you are paying for in the future.
  2. Outdated, legacy hardware or software: Your current hardware or software has become outdated and you want to modernize your data platform.
  3. Change in strategy: You’re for example re-locating your datacenter (e.g. migrating your SQL Server to Microsoft Azure) or changing your service provider.
  4. Company merger/acquisition: If your company is going to have a merger, the data from both companies needs to be integrated to avoid maintaining multiple data centers.

If running a large datacenter, you might rely on your own expertise, contact your service provider or discuss with an external consultancy when moving, migrating, or consolidating your data platform. But this approach will often result in the traditional ‘copy and paste’ method, without a proper fact-based analysis related to the current situation. By choosing this method, you’re accepting the business is going to incur the same costs as the previous cycle. By repeating this pattern, businesses will miss a golden opportunity for cost-savings.

But smarter companies are realizing how to kick the habit.

If you take the time to analyze your environment, rather than just packing up your database servers and moving them to a new location, you have time to perform a comprehensive and holistic database capacity optimization. And within this is an opportunity to streamline your data platform and streamline costs.

SQL Governor is a one-of-a-kind SQL Server capacity and performance optimization solution that can help you gain massive cost savings when applied at the time of a data platform renewal. But the key is to start early. You need to allow time for both the capacity analysis and for the implementation planning in order to see where cost-savings can be made, thus the optimization process needs to begin at least a few months prior to your intended renewal date.

So, the time to act is sooner than later! But how does data platform optimization work, and why do you need a specialist solution to do the job? 


Optimizing your data platform, piece by piece

Think of your database platform as a large, complex puzzle. To optimize the platform, you need to arrange the pieces to the optimal order. Building a regular large puzzle will take time and effort, but you at least know all the pieces are there in front of you. But the behavior of individual databases will depend on time, meaning the size and form of those puzzle pieces keep changing. You need to analyze the behavioral patterns to build the big picture. The longer you can analyze the behavior, the more accurate a picture you can create.

If your organization deals with a large number of SQL Servers, you now – thanks to SQL Governor, for the first time ever – have the opportunity to gain massive cost savings while renewing your platform. Otherwise you end up paying essentially as much as you did before, as doing a comprehensive optimization manually is near impossible, thus you basically end up into the “guess-work” situation. And experts should work with facts, not guesstimates.

SQL Governor's optimization solution can thoroughly analyze your data platform and come up with the most optimum way for you to fit the puzzle pieces together.

Timing is everything when it comes to cost-savings

IT specialists must constantly tackle the challenges of growing quantities of data, modifications to databases, and the technical expertise required to manage SQL Server technologies. Even with all this to deal with, there’s no excuse for allowing your next data platform renewal to ignore SQL Server optimization. It's time to take control.

SQL Governor automates the capacity planning and right-sizing of SQL Server platforms, working in the background to both analyze your current environment and build the architecture for your new system.

SQL Governor can remove the burden of database analysis from your shoulders with the modern and fact-based approach to data platform optimization. With that, come the cost savings: companies that have used SQL Governor have reduced licensing costs by on average 44 %, in addition to hardware and service cost savings on similar level, resulting in millions of saved dollars.

If your business is utilizing SQL Servers, your crucial first step is to recognize early enough when your next data platform renewal is due. The quicker you can do that, the sooner you can give a solution like SQL Governor the time to analyze and optimize your data platform.

Like our customer A-Lehdet did, saving nearly 50% on licensing costs:

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Kari Tuisku
DB Pro Oy 


P.S. To find out more, check out this video on SQL Governor, or talk to us today about how to optimize your Microsoft data platform.