Tool Monitors Database Performance

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-03-04 Print this article Print

DBXray for Sybase lets DBAs monitor the health of a system, and anticipate and solve potential problems.

Sybase Inc. on Monday released a performance monitoring tool for Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise, the companys enterprise-class relational database management system. The tool, BMC Software Inc.s ASE Performance Monitoring Option-DBXray for Sybase, is designed to simplify database management through a performance dashboard that allows DBAs (database administrators) to monitor the health of a system, anticipate and solve potential problems, and get a 24-hour view of activity for database performance optimization. DBXray for Sybase provides monitoring capabilities from any PC with a common Internet browser. Besides providing a graphical snapshot of overall database health, it also identifies and eliminates potential server resource and other problems that could impact performance and availability. When specific activities fall outside user-defined thresholds, the monitor alerts users to the potential problem. Alerts are archived for 14 days so that recurring performance issues can be identified. To help DBAs avoid bottlenecks, DBXray for Sybase also provides information on disk subsystem and RAID configurations.
The tools 24-hour view of system activities is designed to help DBAs optimize performance, allowing users to determine peak activity periods and thereby schedule resource-intensive tasks during off-peak hours. Database activity is measured based on the number of cache reads or datagrams per second, I/O per second, and response times. Users can monitor memory use through detailed view of hit ratios for buffer cache and procedure cache, allowing them to track database usage patterns and recognize fluctuations in normal activity that demand more memory. Drilldown screens provide additional details about objects currently stored in memory. User and SQL drilldowns also provide information about each user and the SQL they are executing, allowing termination of inactive or redundant sessions.
The tool, shipping now, is available directly from Sybase as an option in Sybase ASE and is integrated with Sybase Central, a common graphical management console for all Sybase server and middleware products. It will be supported by Sybase, said company officials in Dublin, Calif. The tool runs on Windows NT 4, Windows 2000 and Windows Professional and includes an embedded application server. Pricing is $995 per CPU on the database system being monitored. Search for more stories by Lisa Vaas.
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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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