Quest enables GreenStar to boost SQL Server performance

22 Jul 2009

Quest Software has cleaned up Greenstar’s SQL Server performance monitoring and compression and delivered diagnostic times savings of 80pc.

GreenStar, the environmental, waste management and recycling solutions company has completed a deal with Quest Software for Quest’s Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise and LiteSpeed for SQL Server environment monitoring and backup compression following successful trials of both.

GreenStar has 35 remote sites throughout Ireland, all connected to a live server at its head office in Dublin which supports up to 150 users and over 100,000 transactions throughout the country.

Quest’s Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise will provide GreenStar with a complete picture of the health of its SQL Server databases in one view, enabling a more proactive and speedy approach to monitoring. The company had previously experienced difficulties in diagnosing performance issues, which were a particular issue during busy times like month end.

Through using Spotlight, Greenstar has experienced diagnostic time savings of at least 80%.

“Previously, it would take us approximately 20 minutes to identify the cause of a performance-related problem,” said Martin Hill, Business Information Manager, GreenStar.

“With Spotlight on SQL, it now takes four minutes at most.” In addition, Greenstar’s time to resolve problems has decreased by approximately 60%, due to the additional information Spotlight provides when it detects an issue.

“Previously, I was spending around 45 minutes of my day resolving up to five identified performance issues,” noted Hill. “Spotlight has helped reduce this time to less than 20 minutes. The help desk is also experiencing similar problem-resolution time savings.”

Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise enables Greenstar’s IT team to address problems before they affect users and reduces the number of performance-related calls to the help desk. “Spotlight displays the health of our systems and alerts us if, for example, there are blocked processes,” explained Hill.

“We can then act on the information to address the issue before our users are affected by the inevitable reduction in performance. This proactive approach has ensured the problems we experienced with refuse weighbridge readings, for instance, are now a thing of the past.”

Greenstar will also use Quest’s LiteSpeed for SQL Server to address issues it had been experiencing with its database backups including the excessive length of time involved in copying the SQL Server backup files to Greenstar’s data recovery site.

LiteSpeed for SQL Server has reduced the size of Greenstar’s backup files by over 80%, which in turn has reduced the time to transfer the backups to the data recovery site by 80%—from 10 hours to two hours.

“LiteSpeed has considerably reduced the size of our database backups; for instance, the size of our operational database backup has dropped from 35 GB to 5 GB,” said Hill. “More importantly for us, the time savings we’ve subsequently made on backup transfer has heavily reduced the risk of it extending into business hours and impacting system performance and ultimately productivity.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years