Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Andy Thurai, Pat Romanski, John Katrick

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

@DXWorldExpo: Article

Software Quality Metrics for Your Continuous Delivery Pipeline | Part 2

The metrics around database access

No matter how often you deploy your application or how sophisticated your delivery pipeline is, you always need to know the quality status of the software you are building. That can only be done if you measure it; but measure what exactly? In Part 1 we introduced the Concept of Quality Metrics in CD (Continuous Delivery) by looking at the metric # of Requests per End User Action. In Part 2 we will focus on metrics around database access.

You need to be aware of bad database access patterns right when they get introduced in your code. Whether the reason is incorrectly configured O/R (Object Relational) Mappers such as Hibernate, TopLink or JDO, or because of bad coding. Finding these problems immediately by looking at the right metrics will make it is easier for developers to fix the problem, which will reduce test cycles and give operations more confidence that a new deployment will not blow their current database server.

Examples of Bad Database Access Patterns
The following example is taken from a web application that displays an account report with 25 items per page that contains the names and high-level statuses of these accounts. The developers decided to go with Hibernate in order to access these account objects stored in the database. A closer look at the generated SQL queries when generating this report reveals that Hibernate not only loads the account objects that match the search query, but actually loads all account objects including all referenced objects in a related history table. These history objects are not needed at all to generate the report. The way Hibernate is used by the application (premature loading of all objects and referenced objects) results in more than 4000 SQL executions contributing 6s to the total page load time:

The way Hibernate is used by the application results in 4k+ individual SQL Statements, returning much more data than is actually needed for the report

If you want to learn more about database access problems check out load balancers cause database locks, when it is really the database to blame or the "Understanding Hibernate" Series: Part I - Session Cache, Part II - Query Cache and Part III - Second Level Cache.

Metric: Total Number of SQL Statements per Transaction
The first metric you want to take a closer look at is the total number of SQL executions per transaction. If you want to go a step further you can even monitor SELECT, INSERT, DELETE and UPDATE statements separately.

If you're always aware how many database statements are executed for your individual transactions (Login, Search, Checkout) and you monitor this along the delivery pipeline for every build, you will immediately see how the newly added functionality impacts the load on your database. The following screenshot shows a way to track this number across builds and across your different deployment stages. In this scenario, Developers extended the search feature in Build #3 by making an additional call to a 3rd party recommendation service. Build #3 suddenly shows a huge spike in SQL queries in the Load Stage and Production. Why is that?

A new call to an external third-party service introduced with Build 3 has major impacts on the load (capacity stage) and production environment when this new feature has to deal with real production data

What can we learn from these metrics above?

  • Commit stage: The executed Unit Tests in that stage didn't catch the problem because the call to the third-party service was mocked and therefore no actual DB calls were executed by that service.
  • Acceptance stage: A change in behavior was detected due to the additional call to the recommendation service which executed 2 additional SQLs. This could already be a warning sign but will probably still stay unnoticed.
  • Capacity stage: a 200x increase in DB calls must stop this deployment so that it never reaches Live. The reason why we have 200x and not only two should also trigger the integration tests to be executed against more than sample database content.
  • Production: 4k SQLs instead of just two is a huge impact on production. This again can be explained because the production database has "real life" data and the database access pattern of this third-party service queries every piece of data. If this really makes it into production and we monitor this data down to the transaction level, it is easy to pull this change back and engineering can immediately start working on the problematic area. Most important, however, is that this build never makes it into production because the problem was found in testing already!

How to Measure on Dev Workstations
Developers can look at this data by either turning on certain SQL Logging options of the frameworks that they are using, e.g., Hibernate (see stackoverflow discussion). They can profile their code using the profiler that comes with their IDE or use tools such as the Development Edition of dynaTrace (or the 15 Days Free Trial) to see all database calls made by their own code or the code that they are calling. The following shows a screenshot taken from Database Access Patterns Gone Wild and shows which data can be analyzed on a local machine:

Developers can analyze which SQL statements are executed by their own code or third-party frameworks they use. In this case it was code executed by Telerik to populate .NET control data.

For more measurement tips, and for further insight, click here for the full article

More Stories By Andreas Grabner

Andreas Grabner has been helping companies improve their application performance for 15+ years. He is a regular contributor within Web Performance and DevOps communities and a prolific speaker at user groups and conferences around the world. Reach him at @grabnerandi

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Kin Lane recently wrote a couple of blogs about why copyrighting an API is not common. I couldn’t agree more that copyrighting APIs is uncommon. First of all, the API definition is just an interface (It is the implementation detail … Continue reading →
The United States spends around 17-18% of its GDP on healthcare every year. Translated into dollars, it is a mind-boggling $2.9 trillion. Unfortunately, that spending will grow at a faster rate now due to baby boomers becoming an aging population, and they are the largest demographic in the U.S. Unless the U.S. gets this spiraling healthcare spending under control, in a few short years we will be spending almost 25% of our entire GDP in healthcare trying to fix people’s failing health, instead o...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...