With the latest release of MySQL Enterprise Monitor, database administrators get advanced replication and database monitoring, as well as easier installation, to help manage both commercial and no-cost MySQL open-source database installations.
Enterprise Monitor Fall 2007 is available with Silver, Gold and Platinum service plans. I tested the Platinum version, which has the most features and costs $4,999 per server per year.
The components of Enterprise Monitor Fall 2007, which became available last September, include a service agent, which is required for every monitored MySQL server, and a service manager that uses Java services on a single Windows or Unix server to collect MySQL and operating system data from each of the monitored MySQL servers in its domain. A MySQL database serves as a repository for the information used by the service manager to show and report on server health.
Probably one the biggest single reasons for MySQL DBAs to consider using the Enterprise Monitor is that it enables visibility into MySQL servers as a group instead of requiring administrators to log on to each system one at a time. While this kind of functionality has been standard fare in commercial databases, MySQL—which was commercialized just two years ago—takes a big step forward with this version of the Enterprise Monitor.
Enterprise Monitor also offers DBAs a Web-based Enterprise Dashboard to see graphs, charts and event data about monitored servers. I used the Enterprise Dashboard to configure Enterprise Monitor to keep watch over systems and to get updates from MySQL, as well as to see events and change settings.
DBAs who are running mission-critical applications on MySQL should consider using some version of the Enterprise Monitor. Its collection of expert Advisor policies, combined with features that made it easier for me to add slave systems, will likely provide significant administrative cost savings.
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Key in Enterprise Monitor are its Advisors—complex rules created to monitor and report on MySQL server administration, memory usage, performance, replication, schema and security. These rules are tuned out of the box to fit most typical MySQL server situations, but it is easy to copy and then edit rules to create custom monitors. I used the default settings in my tests.
Enterprise Monitor also makes it easier to manage MySQLs hierarchical master/slave relationships, where one or more databases from a master server are automatically mirrored onto other slave servers for backup or performance reasons.
Keeping track of these master/slave relationships is challenging in large environments, and improvements in this version of Enterprise Monitor provide auto-detection and grouping of master/slave relationships. I made several changes to the replication relationships among the MySQL servers in my test environment, and Enterprise Monitor was easily able to keep up with the changes in my pairings. In really large environments, in which multiple DBAs may not document every replication pairing, this type of service is invaluable.
Replication Advisor rules, which are available only in the Gold and Platinum versions of Enterprise Monitor, can now indicate when binary logs are no longer needed in the replication topology. Several other incremental improvements in the Replication Advisor rules can immediately point out when database communication errors occur, helping to ensure that problems are noted and corrected.
In addition to the 19 replication rules, there are more than 80 other measures that can be tracked in this version of Enterprise Monitor, including virtual memory and query cache efficiency for individual servers that can be shown as a group.
The Enterprise Monitor does require an agent for every monitored MySQL server. On each of my Windows 2003 Server test systems, the agent required 7.5MB of RAM. As with most agents, the Enterprise Monitor agents require their own maintenance plan.
In my tests, the service manager would work only with the agent shipped in this version of Enterprise Monitor. Earlier versions of the agent must be upgraded before they will work with the latest Enterprise Monitor components.
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