The monitoring of your business database is a vital component of the maintenance of any application. When you detect issues in the system on time, it will help your database stay accessible and healthy. Suppose you do not have solid database monitoring practices in place. In that case, most database outages will go undetected until it is so late that your business begins to start losing revenue and, most importantly, customers.
Proactive and reactive database monitoring
Specialists in the field of database management state that like every business operation in your company, databases can either be monitored proactively or reactively. The former being preferred by most business owners. The major task of proactive business database monitoring is to detect any problems before becoming huge challenges for your company. Proactive monitoring is attained by examining the database system’s metrics and alerting the respective IT teams or admins when the values turn abnormal.
Reactive database monitoring takes place after an adverse incident occurs. It is generally conducted to investigate a security breach, major incident reports, or performance troubleshooting.
4 Best practices for database monitoring
From the above, it is evident that if you want your company to get a strategic edge in the market, it is prudent to monitor proactive database monitoring. This post will now look at the best practices to do so below-
Monitor the resource consumption and availability
This is the first step where you should examine all of your databases online regularly. This needs to be done both during business and after-business hours. You must note this is the first, most basic and vital test. Everything will come after this step. However, there should not be a need for a manual check. Here, you should resort to an effective database monitoring tool so that you can be automatically alerted in the event of an outage.
Experts from the esteemed company in database consulting, management, and administration, remotedba, say that there are times when the multi-node cluster might experience failover. This application might still be up and operating on one database mode. Since a subsequent database failure takes the application down, you must examine all the nodes present in one cluster.
In case you do not have anything offline, the next step is to check the resource consumption. These resources are generally related to the infrastructure like the memory, CPU, network, and disk in the above case. Again, here you must ensure that the database monitoring is planned well to send you alerts about abnormal traffic in the network, low disk spaces, low memory, and high CPU before they escalate into major issues.
Measurement and comparison of throughput mean the volume of tasks the system does under regular working conditions. Examples of these throughput metrics include the completed transactions every second or the number of connections for every second, queries waiting for disk IO every second, or the replication latency.
The measurement of the throughput is an integral part of proactive database monitoring. There is no specific category that is dedicated to it. The nature of the metric that is measured today is used as a baseline for comparison tomorrow. Any major deviation of the present reading from the baseline will call in for an investigation.
Note the time taken for creating any throughput baseline differs. The IT team should record multiple readings at various production times for more than two weeks or one month. These regular baseline figures for operations can also be deployed as a threshold for alerts.
For example, suppose the average volume of database connections for every second is 20 during the regular operating hours. In that case, the monitoring tool will notify you with alarms if the number of connections goes above 30 for over an hour. You should note that your database throughput should be a component of the application capacity measurement.
Monitor the expensive queries – It is possible for you to experience poor database performance when you have everything online and your resources are not undergoing pressure. The above can take place for several reasons like inefficient queries, indexes that do not exist, database statistics that are not managed, poor design of the database, changes, or blocking the database schema.
When you are troubleshooting the above problems, it becomes harder and needs a specific degree of awareness and good knowledge about the database’s internals. It involved examining query plans, filters, and joins used by the optimizer for database queries.
Troubleshooting for database performance for slow queries begins with searching for those queries that take a very long time to run. You will find them on the database logs provided that it is configured for capturing slow queries. Once they have been detected, you can resort to further analysis.
Track changes to the database – Modern applications evolve with agile development, and these changes affect the performance of the database. A new version of any application might add, modify or even drop objects of the database like functions, views, and tables. You will find that any new data source will add millions of rows in the table without any partitions. If there is a wrong step in the optimization process that adds index, it will cause significant delays in the queries.
Events like the above need monitoring for future impacts. There are two key ways for you to do the above-
- Create a baseline for the throughput immediately after a change is made. This assists you in comparing the before and after images of the database performance.
- Monitor the changes to the database schemas as they take place. These changes can be tracked from the database logs if the logs capture the data definition language queries (DDL).
DBAs here can create alerts on the database schema change events like “create,” “alter,” or “drop.” Any change in the performance following such an event will be a great starting point for any investigation.
Therefore, when it comes to proactive database monitoring for your business, ensure you keep the above best practices in mind. Hire skilled DBAs for the task and enjoy a strategic edge in the market with success!
Author’s Bio: Pete Campbell is a social media manager who has worked as a database administrator in the IT industry and loves to play cricket and baseball.