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Understanding Database Performance Monitoring: The Basics

September 28, 2020 No Comments

By Robert Ashford, Independent Technology Author

In the world of IT, database performance monitoring is a term you’ll hear bandied around a lot. While you’ll likely know that it can have a notably positive impact on your business, the average person is unlikely to fully comprehend what it is or how it works.

If this statement rings true for you, you’ll benefit from reading this article. Designed to give you a basic understanding of what database performance monitoring is and how it could be useful, it should provide a handy springboard for performing some further research of your own.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is database performance monitoring?  

ITB1Source: Pixabay

Database performance monitoring is a rather convoluted term, but its definition is reasonably simple: it’s the act of measuring how well a database is working. It can provide real-time updates to help you get to the root of any problems or potential issues.

As well as allowing you to identify these, database monitoring can also be used to optimize performance overall, by pointing you toward areas where efficiency can be improved. Typically, this is achieved through various types of monitoring software, which is either built into the system itself or comes from a third party.

An example of the latter would be the Database Performance Monitor from SolarWinds. Designed to track the performance of databases either in the cloud or locally, this uses real-time and historical data to pinpoint any performance issues. Offering various tools to help users do this, it’s primarily designed to make the process simpler and more streamlined.

How does database performance monitoring work?

As we explained above, the overarching goal of database performance monitoring is to pinpoint problems and provide the tools for solving these, while also actively improving overall functionality and efficiency.

This allows administrators to use various options and interfaces in order to gather information that they can utilize. It’s possible to both monitor the system as a whole and to study various portions specifically, depending on what one wishes to achieve.

The primary aim of database performance monitoring is to evaluate how the database’s server is performing, in terms of both its hardware and its software. To do this, the system will usually take regular ‘snapshots’ of various performance indicators, so it can assess exactly when and how issues arise.

For example, bottlenecks, which are a frequent problem with databases, can occur at any time, so asking an administrator to manually monitor performance often proves ineffective as a means of identifying problems and finding a solution. When historical data is also taken into account, however, as in the case of database performance monitoring, it’s much simpler to work out what went wrong and why.

Not only this, but the alarms and notification systems that are often built into these systems mean that it’s sometimes possible to spot potential issues even before they develop into a full-blown problem.

What are the benefits of database performance monitoring?

ITB2Source: Pixabay

As we’ve covered in the sections above, database performance monitoring offers some useful insights to administrators, but it also does much more than this. Its benefits are numerous and multifaceted, and include:

– The ability to identify whether and how performance can be enhanced;
– The ability to pinpoint performance and/or security issues by assessing application and user activity;
– Access to tools that can be used for troubleshooting and debugging, so that problems can not only be identified, but resolved quickly and easily in-house.

Tell us, would database performance monitoring be of benefit to your business?

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