Determining Acceptable Performance in Greenplum

How to Determine Acceptable Performance in Greenplum

When approaching a performance tuning initiative, it is important to know your system’s expected level of performance and to define measurable performance requirements. Without setting an acceptable threshold for database performance, you will end up chasing a carrot always out of reach. Consider the following when setting performance goals:

1. Baseline Hardware Performance

The majority of database performance problems are caused not by the database itself, but by the underlying systems on which the database is running. I/O bottlenecks, memory problems, and network problems can significantly degrade database performance. Therefore, it is important to know the baseline capabilities of your hardware and operating system (OS). This will help you to identify and troubleshoot hardware-related problems before undertaking database-level or query-level tuning initiatives.

2. Performance Benchmarks

In order to maintain good performance or improve upon performance issues, you need to know the capabilities of your DBMS on a defined workload. A benchmark is a predefined workload that produces a known result set, which can then be used for comparison purposes. Periodically running the same benchmark tests can help identify system-related performance degradation over time. Benchmarks can also be used as a comparison to other workloads in an effort to identify queries or applications in need of optimization.

There are many third-party organizations which provide benchmark tools for the database industry, one of those being the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC). TPC-H is the ad-hoc, decision support benchmark. This benchmark illustrates decision support systems that examine large volumes of data, execute queries with a high degree of complexity, and give answers to critical business questions. For more information about TPC-H, go to: