How to Choose the Right Database Monitoring Solution

With the right database monitoring solution, organizations are better placed to maintain database performance. 

Maintaining acceptable performance levels is an ongoing activity that is the responsibility of an organization’s database administrators (DBAs).

Many options exist in database monitoring tools. The features of a solution differentiate it from competing products. For data-driven enterprises, the right database monitoring solution should include features that enable a database team to identify issues and optimize performance before response time impacts users.

Let’s look at some of the key database monitoring solution features you should look out for: 

Top 7 Database Monitoring Solution Features

1. Multiple Platform Support

A database monitoring solution supporting multiple physical and virtual relational database platforms - on-premises or in the cloud - from a single interface helps minimize the learning curve and promote productivity. The right tool should provide visibility into Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, IBM Db2, and SAP Sybase ASE systems.

2. Frequent Non-Intrusive Sampling

The right database monitoring solution should allow data to be collected using accurate sampling technology that requires very low overhead and won’t impact system performance.

This feature allows organizations to correlate and store information in a data repository where it is available for analysis without affecting the monitored database instance. This capability allows all real-time and historical monitoring information to be viewed from within the console.

3. View Findings and Recommendations

A ‘Findings’ area can be used to highlight problems in monitored databases. A graphical user interface makes it easy to navigate to the database area that is having problems. Findings can be drilled into to view guidelines and recommended steps to resolve the problem. A ‘Learn more’ hyperlink is available to provide expert knowledge and advice about the identified issue. 

4. Tuning Database Objects

When modifying the SQL statements does not provide the necessary performance gains, this database monitoring solution feature enables teams to tune database objects. The tool’s ‘Objects’ workspace will enable active objects to be examined to identify candidates that might benefit from tuning. The information available includes determining if an object is an index or table, the name of the database that contains the object, and a summary of the time the object spent in the database.

Some uses of an objects workspace are:

  • Examining an object’s space usage over time;
  • Analyzing the effects of configuration changes on resources;
  • Ranking the busy tables;
  • Examining the methods used to access tables and indexes;
  • Determining if a table would benefit from an index.

5. Display Execution Plans

Your database monitoring solution should enable you to identify the most resource-consuming SQL statements and provide a detailed explanation of execution plans.

Actual plans rather than estimates can be used when available. With this feature, the plan’s operations can be detailed in a tree format with each branch representing a single operation. Teams can analyze the execution plans to find areas where they can be optimized.

6. Perform What-If Analysis

What-If modeling helps database teams by enabling them to see the effects of changes before implementing them on production systems. The impact of dropping indexes can be modeled without impacting system workflow.

The ‘What-If’ workspace identifies SQL statements whose performance will be improved or degraded by the proposed changes so teams can make informed tuning decisions.

7. The Smart Tuning Process

This feature allows organizations to continually analyze performance data for a monitored database to identify suboptimal performance that may indicate correctable problems. Badly performing SQL statements, objects, and instance events are listed along with associated findings to point the way toward successful optimization efforts. 

The Right Tool for the Job

Monitoring database performance requires vigilance and the right tools. IDERA’s Precise for Databases is a valuable solution that helps support teams keep systems responding quickly and satisfy user requirements.

It boasts all the features listed above, and more.

Organizations running multi-platform database environments that include SQL Server, Oracle Database, IBM Db2, and SAP Sybase ASE will benefit from the feature set provided by Precise for Databases.

Teams can identify performance issues affecting their databases and take advantage of intelligent recommendations to resolve the problems. Using a unified tool for multiple platforms saves on software licensing costs and simplifies the life of the support staff.

More information about the feature set of Precise for Databases including screenshots can be downloaded with this solution brief.

Teams can try Precise for Databases with a free 30-day trial.

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