Book Review–Database Benchmarking

Database Benchmarking by Mike Ault, Kevin Kline, Dr. Bert Scalzo, Claudia Fernandez, Donald K. Burleson

Overview

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I will give this book one thing, it was relatively easy to read.  I finished it in just a few days while working on a request at work to help determine standards going forward for benchmarking databases to do performance testing prior to major code changes or new implementations. 

In essence, I’ve been told if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.  So, I’ll try to find something good to say…

The book did remind me about the TPC-C and TPC-H database standards that are often used for benchmarking.  It caused me to look up other blog posts that introduced me to Hammerora which appears to be a decent tool that I’ll be using to produce database load while testing monitoring software.  The book introduced the readers to the concepts of benchmarking and had a few measurements that I would consider reasonable and good for tracking.  It told the user that tracking measurements over time is good and showed various examples of graphs showing the trending of that information. It even had some pretty pictures and silly cartoons.

With that said (See I said something nice!), the book should have been labeled as “Database Benchmarking with Quest Benchmark Factory”.  It felt like a marketing book for this software instead of a good book for theory.  The writing was inconsistent and it felt like the authors didn’t really talk (and the editor missed big time) in that several of the concepts were very briefly explained, again and again, in each chapter.  There was only a minor portion of one chapter which mentioned how you would actually benchmark a non-standardized database.  This caused the book to feel like database benchmarking was really only applicable for testing new hardware or new RDBMS software.  And that is not at all correct.

My advice would be to find another source of information for this topic.

A big thanks to Kevin Kline whom I got this autographed copy from at one of the SQL Saturdays a year or so back.  Even though it wasn’t what I was hoping for it was good to have. 

I read this book 2011-12-31 to 2012-01-02.

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