Alex Williams
Alex Williams  —

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Monitoring Database Performance Metric iconIn today’s digital age, there is monitoring software for nearly every type of data.

We monitor website data (Google Analytics, Adobe, IBM), customer data (Salesforce, SAP), and our database infrastructures (Navicat, Solarwinds, Splunk).

And yet, making sure that are databases are well-optimized and performing efficiently is often considered a lower priority.

Databases are being asked to do more than ever before, and many people have grown to rely on on them because they are steady and often do not require a lot of attention.

In the early 1990’s, few people could have predicted the amount of information we would be putting in the cloud storage.


6 Most Database Performance Metrics

And yet, here we are. But all that data can weigh down a server, especially if it is not optimized. The secret to maintaining a fully optimized database is to monitor it for any performance issues.

Monitoring My Databases is Time Consuming. Why Bother?

This is a valid point. The reason some IT members prefer to bypass database performance altogether, focusing exclusively on resource metrics like utilization, saturation, errors and availability. There is no other component of your systems that presents more metrics to analyze.

Therefore, instead of getting caught up and overwhelmed about trying to sort through an ocean of data, it is time to decide which metrics matter the most in order to cut down on time spent monitoring your databases. 

You can save even more time by first choosing a reliable hosting provide. The best web hosting services have a monitoring infrastructure in place, so that you can get back to work without keeping an eye on database performance metrics.

Enterprise hosts like AWS come with a week of free performance history, helping DBAs identify and fix a wide variety of performance issues.


#1. Availability and Resource Consumption

This is where you will keep up with your databases, making sure that they are online and functioning on a regular schedule. These tests should be performed during peak and non-peak hours. You should not need to run a manual scan as your monitoring software should catch any outages.

An example scan procedure:

  • ☑️ Check that all databases and tables are online
  • ☑️ Check all nodes
  • ☑️ Check resource consumption (i.e. CPU, Memory, Disk, Network)

By regularly checking the availability and resource consumption metrics, you’ll be aware of any signs of stress and/or other issues that might need to be addressed in greater detail.


#2. Throughput

Throughput iconThis is the amount of work that the database is doing under normal loads.

Throughput measures:

  • ✅ The number of connections per second
  • ✅ The number of transactions per section
  • ✅ How many queries are in line, and so on.

Without throughput measures, you can be alerted in the event that an anomaly is occurring such as more users than normal (i.e. DDoS attacks, brute force intrusion attempts).


#3. Intensive Queries

Whenever information is needed from a database, a query is used to gather the data. If a query is poorly built, it can cause massive data storage and/or resource issues. 

In order to find these intensive queries, you need to check the processing time log and find the offending queries. Once identified, you can then begin to fix/re-code the queries to be more efficient.


#4. Successful Queries

performance metrics queriesTied into intensive queries is the ability to monitor successful queries.

These are queries that were able to execute without failing.

Therefore, all the data was gathered, no errors were encountered.

And the information was sent to the end-user properly. 

If your successful query rate is low, then you need to find out what is causing the query to fail and address it so that it doesn’t shut down your website and/or app.


#5. Database Logs

Part of monitoring database changes is monitoring database logs. This is where you can find information that may not be making to other reports. 

This is the rawest form of the data, but also the most helpful. Here, you’ll be able to see information regarding connection time, user data, query, error codes, and so on.


#6. Instance Metrics

memory-iconAnd finally, this is the ability to monitor all of your metrics such as CPU, Memory, and Disk Usage. These are near real-time metrics (behind only in seconds) and can help you see what is happening whenever a certain event is triggered. 

This can be beneficial in live-testing scenarios. The information from here can help you in identifying resource and/or network inefficiencies.


Conclusion

In order to keep your databases performing properly, it’s important to monitor their health. Ignoring your databases is a recipe for disaster. 

Studying every single metric related to database performance is impractical. Using the metrics provided above, you should easily be able to monitor your database health and behavior and catch any issues before they become an actual problem.

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