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It has been quite a long time since I have been able to write anything in this public space.   The reason is that I have been completely absorbed by one of the most exciting projects I have been managing for the last couple of years:   moving the largest ASE site in the country I live from ASE 12.5.4 to 15.7.

I must confess, I am quite thrilled with 15.7.  Not only because it is brand new (it is like sitting in a new  car – you smell the flavor of the new parts and hear the new dialect of your engine).  But also because with ASE 15.7 you must be as adept as the speed-car driver.  You must learn the curves on the road ahead.  You must know how to steer.  You must prepare well for the ride.   And  you must be quick to react.  After all, driving at 80 mph and 160 mph requires different skills.

A comparison to 12.5.4 comes to mind.  12.5.4 has been for years a work-horse.  It run well.  A bit heavy at turns.   But as  DBA you might have known that, however badly you do your job, it will still run.  You may drive it into a wall, to be sure.  But you must be really creative to do it fast.

With 15.7 things are different.  It is a beautiful creature.  It may show you performance you might have only dreamed before.  But you better know what you are doing.  If you don’t know how to steer, better don’t turn on the engine.

I will not go into details at this time.  I will be posting things more technical at later stage (when I will free myself up more for the task).  For now, I will only throw a few notes on what I have seen.

Performance:

I have seen performance leap from 1000 TPS to 6000 TPS for the same application – running on the slower ASE host.  Very basic ASE tuning.  Make sure you know your host well.  ASE 15.7 runs better when it runs on the right host.

I have seen a leap from 2000 SP/Sec to 5000 SP/sec for the same application.  ASE 15.7 has introduced new patented features to manage plan/object sharing.  It is more light-weight as a result and runs much faster.

Monitoring:

I have seen customers getting frightened by the changes in SYSMON report.  You may see 99% utilization where you have been used to see 10% or less.  Read the documentation first, get scared (if needed) only after.  ASE 15.7 is a difference creature (I refer to the threaded kernel, which is the only one you should use).  It’s heart beats differently.   You must learn to listen before you judge.

There is a fantastic degree of transparency with 15.7.   There are areas in ASE 12.5.4 that you might only guess what happens inside.  In 15.7 you may actually look into the guts of your server and see what it is doing.  There are still things you don’t know.  But there is a lot of information you may find digging in that was not available before.

Satisfaction:

This on is problematic.  How do you measure it?  Oh, yes – end-user experience.  There are DB migration projects in which you switch the engine and start hearing complaints of the end-users:  why is it so slow?!  why my application get stuck all the time?!  I have been a little bit surprised with the 15.7 migration I have been orchestrating this time.  Despite all that I have seen from the inside, the end-users were consistently reporting overall satisfaction with the way their applications perform.   It is definitely an end-result of the preparations done (and there was a lot of work done in preparation for this migration).   But not only.   In my opinion, with ASE 15.7 we at last have yet another ASE work-horse version.  Give it the right attention.  Give it the right resources.  Heed to its needs.  It will give you unprecedented performance.

Hey cheetah, nice to meet you.

ASE 15.7?

From now on it is a history…

ATM.

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4 Comments

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  1. sudhir dubey

    Thanks Andrew, for me you did touch a point with sysmon and so writing this feedback. The first of 15.7 sysmon report did bug me until I figured out the changes.

    I updated a few large systems in-place from Sybase ASE 15.0 ESD 1 to 15.7 ESD4 using binary replacement and the greatest thing was the ease. (Documentation is still fragmented)

    For me  improved throughput, in-line LOB, compression and online reorg rebuild turned out to be winning business cases which I think any DBA’s can use to make a case for upgrade.

    In all as the blog mentions my overall experience with 15.7 has been extremely positive. New optimizer changes and features did need a bit of watching out.

    warm regards,

    sudhir

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    1. Raymond Ho

      Well done, Andrew, for finally jumping off the Rhino’s back and mastered steering the Cheetah (the speedy feline rather than Tarzan’s chum 😆 ).

      Cograts,

      Raymond

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  2. Karl Hoffmann

    Hi Andrew, it is always fantastic to hear about great customers experiences and how positive they are on SAP Sybase ASE. When you get a chance could you please contact me so we can get a little more insight into your project, this type of experience is very valuable for us.

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