DBAs Get Management Help

By John S. McCright  |  Posted 2003-11-03

Data management vendors BMC Software Inc. and Quest Software Inc. are both rolling out tools to make it easier to manage IT environments that include databases from a variety of vendors without adding database administrators.

BMC this week will announce DBXray for DB2, a component for its SmartDBA console that adds the capability to manage IBMs DB2 database on mainframe systems in heterogeneous database environments. The software provides a Web-based interface to manage DB2 on distributed systems, as well as on Oracle Corp.s namesake database, Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server and Sybase Inc.s Adaptive Server Enterprise.

DBXray presents typical management information, such as buffer pool efficiency, with the ability to drill down on details. Alerts can be sent when thresholds are reached, and the system presents the DBA with advice or recommendations.

The Houston-based companys software includes a proprietary data collection engine that officials said is more efficient than the data collection engine included in IBMs DBMS. It also has DB2 tuning tools and the ability to dynamically change DB2 systems parameters without taking down the database, officials said.

Meanwhile, Quest last week unveiled Version 4.0 of Quest Central, a console for managing the three big DBMSes: Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server. Support for the Microsoft database is new in the upgrade.

With Quest Central 4.0, as with BMCs SmartDBA, an administrator can manage performance, administer specific domains and tune SQL queries, all from a single console. The Quest software supports mainframe operating systems, including z/OS and OS/390, as well as various flavors of Unix, Linux and Windows.

Trea Johnson, who has beta tested Quest Central 4.0 in his mixed Oracle and SQL Server shop, said that the Quest software makes some of SQL Servers built-in management tools redundant.

"It does everything that SQL Servers Enterprise Manager does; I dont even have to open that up anymore," said Johnson, senior DBA at a large construction materials company that he asked not to be named.

Johnson said the SQL tuning in Quest Central 4.0 was helpful after his company implemented a new archive requiring new indexes and table spaces to make SQL queries run more efficiently. With Quest, he was able to reduce some queries from 60 minutes to only 30 seconds.

"It took me an hour [of] total work," Johnson said. "If Id have had to study that [SQL query] and guess what index would fix it, it probably would have taken a couple days."

Rocket Fuel