Yes it is that time of year again; we all start thinking about taxes. I know what you’re thinking; “What does this have to do with IT and enterprise efficiency?”
It comes down to managing SLAs. As you design your IT environment you need to be cognizant of Service Level Agreements. What are the expectations of your users for performance? What is the agreement you have with them about response time? Also what is the agreement you have with management about data protection, what are your Recovery Point Objectives and Recovery Time Objectives?
Databases are a great place to explore this balancing act. Databases underlie most of our business systems. As you size your database servers, you must ensure that SLAs for performance are met while at the same time making sure those SLAs for data protection are met. It turns out that this usually results in database servers being over-sized to deliver acceptable performance AND accommodate for the processing load of establishing recovery points. This is a “tax” that almost every IT organization is paying, and with the right storage strategy you can reduce, and even eliminate most of this tax.
In this series we’ll look at some lab testing of transactional database systems (TPC-C style workload) under different scenarios to determine what that tax rate might be. I think you will be surprised. The data shows on the order of a 40% tax rate being paid by IT departments. I mean by that on average servers must be sized so that 40% of their headroom lies dormant in order to make sure that performance and data protection SLAs can be met. And this assumes that IT departments are willing to use all available headroom and run their servers at 100% utilization during data protection operations, which is rarely the case in the real world.
It is time to hear from you. What is your experience with this issue? Are you paying these taxes? Would you like to reduce your tax rate? Can you share any specific examples?