ASE 15.7: A Fight between Cheetah and Rhino…

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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8 comments

  1. When can we expect the next posting for this story ?

    1. Soon. I am in the middle of rolling up all the rest of the customer ASEs to the latest non SPxxx ASE version. When done, I will post more technical details and additional technological insights for which the migration has opened the way….

  2. Any news or technological insights to report ?

    1. Still to come. I am overflown with work, but I will start posting soon.

      1. Thanks for the update. I look forward to it.

  3. Any insights likely before the end of the year ?

    1. Yes, but none technical…
      We have been running the 15.7 version for almost half a year now with great satisfaction. Very stable. Yields consistent performance. We have gained 50% to 100% boost in performance (went to 2K+ TPS from 1.5K- TPS). No issues. Many maintenance tasks there very a pain in a neck before ceased to be so and run smoothly and in a fraction of time. We still you very little new goodies (end of year is a technologically conservative period). At least as far as Solaris SPARC ASE 15.7 installation is concerned (pre SP5x ESD) – it is pretty stable and solid version, with stable and satisfactory performance. I will be involved in porting this version to the next generation SPARC servers in the next quarter – so more things will probably pop up in the close future in this space. So far – big thumps to SAP engineering…

  4. Andrew, Thank you for your summary.

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