Often in the IT world you will hear the term "Healthcheck" thrown around, and at a base level, that typically means having someone else come in and evaluate your technology stack for improvements. Having been on both sides of the fence, I thought I'd weigh in on what makes a healthcheck valuable and why you would want to consider having one.
The technology stack that drives a customer's business usually has more than 1 component. You will have a database on the backend, a middle tier consisting of application and web servers and a front facing (or clients) as a model to operate from. Most of the time, different groups will manage or support the different tiers of the stack, and each will have their own impression of acceptable performance. From my experience as a database administrator or architect, the database is usually the culprit (or the first component or team) to get blamed when the application stack is slow. Note - I didn't say the database was the performance botteneck, I just said it was the first to be blamed for the slowness. And I think most DBA's will agree that this is simply not the case... so now prove it!
Proving the database is not the performance bottleneck is the responsibility of the DBA, and most skilled DBA's can quickly get to the root of this and determine a resolution. But for those who are not so experienced, and cannot communicate to the broader audience why the slowness occurred in the first place, the situation is ideal for a neutral party whose focus is on in this case, database performance, to come evaluate your database environment for improvements.
Thus comes the outside professional who has the experience to be able to evaluate a client's environment quickly, offer recommendations to provide improvements to the customer and present these findings to the team or management. This is otherwise known as a "Healthcheck".
Having an independent voice, or one that comes from outside of the team or company who manages the technology stack can be an effective way for companies to progess to higher levels of performance more rapidly than relying on in-house resources. External consultants are not tied to budgetary restrictions, vendor relationships or daily workloads of the internal staff, so they can typically formulate or even architect an optimal path or design that has not been thought of in-house. They often discover problems in the design or technology being utilized, and can drive getting resolution to those nagging performance issues that have lingered on due to the limitations or workload of the in-house staff.
If you are interested in a database healthcheck, or have questions about healthchecks and methodologies in general, feel free to contact us.