Embarcadero Boosts Storage, Cross-Platform Capabilities of Database Admin Tool

Embarcadero Technologies' new database administration software ups the ante in terms of storage management as well as adding backup and restore capabilities for Microsoft's SQL Server database.

Embarcadero Technologies Inc. on Monday rolled out a version of its database administration platform that ups the ante in terms of storage, performance, backup and capacity management as well as adds backup and restore capabilities for Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server database.

DBArtisan Workbench 8.0 has been fine-tuned to handle the latest database platforms, including IBMs "Stinger," the codename for DB2 Universal Database 8.2, which became generally available earlier this month.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read an interview with IBMs Jeff Jones, director of strategy for DB2, in which he explains the rationale behind freezing the price on Stinger.

According to Robin Schumacher, vice president of product marketing for Embarcadero, of Louisville, Ky., Stinger exposes a number of new metrics. DBArtisan Workbench 8.0 is enabled to exploit those new metrics in order to help DBAs (database administrators) troubleshoot the database engine by, for example, uncovering performance bottlenecks.

Workbench does the same for Oracle Corp.s latest database upgrade, Oracle Database 10g, which also exposes new metrics, such as those concerned with response and wait times.

"In 10g, theres a lot of things that help DBAs troubleshoot response-time analysis," Schumacher said. "There are historical metrics in 10g so a DBA can say, We had a big spike last night. Who was logged on, and what were they doing? We make use of [such metrics] so DBAs can look back in time."

DBArtisan 8.0 also supports Oracle RAC (Real Application Clusters). Schumacher said that this is in response to customers who requested the ability to monitor an entire cluster of database servers. "They want to see all the different nodes," said Schumacher. "Whats underutilized, whats overutilized, whos logged onto which nodes, which is performing well or poorly."

The new release supports the monitoring of Oracle RAC environments running on Oracle 8.0 and higher. Also, it supports Sybase Inc. databases.

The new version of Workbench introduces Backup Analyst for SQL Server. The technology applies up to 90 percent compression to backups. A built-in meter tells DBAs how much storage theyve saved with each backup. With the decreased physical I/O, the end result is faster backups, with response-time deductions in the range of 50 percent, according to Schumacher.

Backup Analyst also features encryption, applied during backup as a file wrapper. According to Schumacher, its Level RC5 encryption hasnt caused the performance dips that are typical with, for example, row-level encryption.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here for eWEEK.com Database Editor Lisa Vaas primer on database encryption.

One beta tester of Workbench 8.0, Alan Woodling, said that Embarcadero appears to have "really tuned up this backup and restore thing." Woodling is a DBA at a large restaurant chain that he declined to name. He uses DBArtisan Workbench to administer SQL Server databases, although hes sticking to Microsofts Enterprise Manager for backups.

"I use DBArtisan in a different perspective: Its my big troubleshooting tool," said Woodling, in Louisville, Ky. "It allows me to quickly get to the bottom of a problem, isolate it, see whats wrong, and in most cases, it lets me implement a fix quickly, efficiently and usually right the first time."

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here for an archived version of eWEEK.coms recent eSeminar on Database Encryption.

In addition, the update delivers one improvement that Woodling asked for: the Data Monitor now lets users see threads when users access the database.

"You can see whats under the covers: Is it a Select or an Insert statement? How much CPU was used? How much memory? Is it taking too long?" Woodling said. "Initially, [the Data Monitor] was nothing more than seeing the … truncated version of the syntax being run under the covers. Now it shows you the whole thing. Thats a big improvement to me."

Embarcadero will be hosting a free Webinar on the new product on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.

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