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TCG has the unique ability to span all director level political/technical groups within the organization: DBAs and specialists in platforms, OS, networking, storage… They really knocked it out of the park.

    C. W., Account Executive,
Computer Services Industry



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I agree 100% that the work as originally defined for this engagement with our organization has not only been completed, but has even exceeded our level of expectations and satisfaction with deliverables. I would also like to add that both my staff and I found you to be very professional, knowledgeable, accommodating and a pleasure to work with.

    – C. W., Account Executive,
Computer Services Industry









We were concerned about the current system load performance, as well as the scalability of the application, as its workload is expected to increase by orders of magnitude over the next few years. Other consultants were engaged at the site for over 6 months, but so far, were unable to explain where their current and future bottlenecks were occurring. In just 2 days, we knew exactly where the current and developing bottlenecks were occurring within the system. During one afternoon meeting, all of the observations and recommendations were presented and explained in detail to management and technical staff. Specific issues were prioritized on the spot and implementation plans initiated.

    – N. K., V.P., Computer
Services Industry







General Electric  |  BCBS  |  Farmers Insurance  |   Sneaker Mfgr

Performance Tuning Case Studies

Please understand that due to the sensitive nature of the problems faced by our customers there is an understandable reluctance to make public the details of the issues we help solve.

We thank the few brave thoughts leaders bold enough to share their good experience with you.

When your database is on fire the The Certainty Group lights up the darkest sky.



Problem: A division of GE system was experiencing difficulty with the quarterly close of books in the batch window. Due to the strict regulatory climate and legal deadlines, the top-level executives were anxious and the users were frustrated.

TCG Solution: After management met with one vendor at a time to diagnose the problem without any success, The Certainty Group was contracted to assess the situation. After collecting data for the entire system, we discovered problems in the database configuration, an I/O bottleneck, a shortage of memory and several database security risks. Our detailed observations and recommendations enabled the company to correct the problems and to successfully close their books within the allotted time frame, thus meeting their legal and business deadlines. In addition to resolving the urgent issues, the recommendations made by TCG had a tremendous long-range business impact.

Business Impact:

Estimated Staff and Consulting Savings


Increased Capacity for Workload


Estimated Hardware Savings


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BCBS – The Certainty Group Creates Healthy Oracle Environment




Oracle Database, CLARiiON, Web Server and DB


Performance problems with client access web environment after installing a new storage system

Problem: A regional office of a multi-billion dollar health insurance provider was experiencing severe performance problems with their client access web environment after installing an EMC CLARiiON storage system. The situation was so complex and involved so many different technology areas that the company struggled with the problem for over two months, despite numerous consultations with specific vendors to diagnose and repair the system.

TCG Solution: Finally, The Certainty Group was called in to conduct a performance analysis. After assessing the entire infrastructure—from the Oracle stack to the logical volume managers—TCG produced a report citing 150 performance issues and their root causes, many of which were outside of the Oracle stack and could not have been detected by single product vendor. Moreover, TCG provided recommendations and risk assessments, as well as guidelines for implementing the changes, thereby quickly resolving the issues and enabling the health insurer to get back to business.

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Growing Fast – Farmers Insurance


Farmers Insurance


Big Sun Hardware / Siebel CRM


Farmers Insurance was adding new business, which would significantly increase the workload of the CRM application

Problem: Farmers Insurance was preparing to expand their business, which would significantly increase the workload of the CRM application. They were nearing the maximum CPU memory and couldn't buy a bigger machine. The Farmers Insurance DBA suspected that SQL code changes in the Siebel CRM product were needed; however, the Siebel consultants believed that the problems stemmed from the network or storage.

TCG Solution: The Certainty Group was called in for a performance analysis. Their diagnostic analysis demonstrated that the network, platform, OS, Volume Managers and storage were operating properly. However, their results also revealed that some poorly written SQL statements were performing over 4 trillion logical I/O's during execution. TCG tuning decreased the CPU load substantially. One SQL statement, for instance, was reduced from 400 million logical I/O's to 8, thereby implementing a maximum improvement in overall performance.
Additionally, before The Certainty Group got involved, Oracle's shared memory fragmentation required periodic shutdown of the database to clear the shared memory buffers. TCG’s analysis also identified the solution to eliminating those costly shutdowns entirely.

After TCG’s diagnostic analysis and reporting services were completed, Farmer’s Insurance conclusively determined that they would be able to very comfortably accommodate their growing business using their existing computer system.

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Sneaker Mfgr Applications’ Run Like the Wind.


Sneaker Manufacturer


Database:           Oracle
Software:              TimeFinder®, SRDF

Hardware:            EMC High End Storage


There were so many uncertainties surrounding application performance that the customer could not focus on the real issues. The application vendor was trying to shift the blame to any other convenient target.

Problem:There were so many uncertainties surrounding application performance that the customer could not focus on the real issues. Project implementation was being held hostage by problems that were not even the under the vendor’s control.

Moreover, the application vendor was not helping the situation. Instead, they were trying to shift the blame to any other convenient target.

TCG Solution: The vendor needed an independent consulting service to come in and sort it all out for the customer. Since it’s up to every account executive to figure out exactly what is needed for their customer, The Certainty Group was the perfect resource. Their independence and expertise in analyzing the entire technology stack provided the ease and assurance the customer wanted and needed to obliterate the barriers to extremely good application performance and reliability.


In just a few days, The Certainty Group completed an incredibly wide and deep scope of analysis on the database systems, and put to rest all previously confusing and contradictory issues. This enabled everyone to focus back on the real goal at hand. The result?  Project success on time and on budget. Estimated Project Cost Savings $500,000.00.

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