Database Performance Monitoring, Responsibilities and Automation – The Real World of the Database Administrator

As a DBA, would you say that your database performance monitoring tasks are getting any less complex?

I thought not.

We commissioned a study called The Real World of the Database Administrator for a closer look at the facts of DBA life. In this post, I’ll align features of our Foglight for Oracle product with some of those facts of life and show how you can use Foglight to de-complicate your database performance monitoring tasks.

1. Multiple vendors, multiple platforms . . . Multiple tools?

Figure 8 (page 9 of the report) shows that about 70 percent of DBAs are managing databases from two or more different vendors:

And figure 23 (page 22) shows that more than a third of you believe that managing all those platforms will be your most challenging task:

Products like Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) specialize in monitoring a single database platform, so these DBAs will have to use a different tool for each one. But Foglight for Oracle offers heterogeneous coverage across multiple platforms including Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase and more.

Instead of using multiple monitoring tools for different platforms, it’s much easier to use a single monitoring tool for your entire database environment. Foglight for Oracle gives you an apples-to-apples toolset with multidimensional analysis, change tracking, lock analysis, compare capabilities and execution plan analysis.

2. Maintenance is paramount

The survey categorized DBA responsibilities in buckets – maintenance, performance, configuration, change management, data integration, etc. – then asked respondents two questions:

  • What do you consider the most important responsibilities for DBAs?

  • To which of these responsibilities do you think DBAs typically devote the most time?

In both cases, maintenance got the most votes, suggesting that it is both top of mind and top of the daily agenda for DBAs.

Foglight for Oracle can automate tasks like alerts and integrity checks using its Alert Log monitoring feature. It gives DBAs a view of all alert log messages with severity, type and associated expression. Alarms related to the alert log will be fired accordingly.

Foglight provides both out-of-the-box and customized message filtering for Oracle errors and issues. You can either add messages or modify existing expressions (by changing their severity level, for example) as shown below:

3. More automation

If you’re as busy as most DBAs, then automation will become your best friend.

Figure 21 (page 19) surprised us in that there is still a lot of work that many DBAs are either performing manually or not performing at all:

Foglight for Oracle can save time and effort by automating the tasks most common to database performance monitoring:

  • Verify all instances are up
  • Inspect error logs for unusual events
  • Verify that all scheduled jobs have run successfully
  • Verify success of database backups
  • Monitor disk space
  • Review database size and growth settings
  • Verify that replicated databases are synchronized
  • Tune performance

The Real World of the Database Administrator – Get your copy

You’ll find insights galore in The Real World of the Database Administrator, with all the results of our survey of 300 respondents in companies of all sizes. Find out how your organization rates on questions of database infrastructure, data under management, DBA responsibilities and the future of database administration.


About the Author
Senior Product Marketing Manager for Database Performance Monitoring products.