MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0 Makes MySQL Ready for the Data Center [INTERVIEW]

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MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0 Makes MySQL Ready for the Data Center [INTERVIEW]

Easily Manage and Configure 100s of Servers with MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0mysql_logo

As part of our Four Cornerstone Consulting interview series, we had the pleasure of talking with Alan Martin, Oracle MySQL Senior Account Executive, about the recently revamped MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0 (MEM 3.0) and how it can help you with your large volume MySQL instances or MySQL in a data center environment. We will also discussed how MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0 allows you to do more with less.

Before we get started, if MySQL Enterprise Monitor is of interests to your comapny, schedule an onsite workshop of MEM 3.0 at FourCornerstone.com or call (817) 377-1144.

Hunter Herren (Four Cornerstone): Good day Alan!  Thank you for joining us.  Let’s get right to MEM 3.0 and it’s improvements.

Alan Martin (Oracle): Good morning! You’ve picked a great topic – the improvements to the new Enterprise Monitor address some of the most widely requested features, especially if you are concerned with DB performance or have any kind of hand in making this work in the Data Center.

HUNTER: Alan what can you tell us about MySQL Enterprise Monitor (MEM) 3.0? What is it and what does it do for large enterprises?

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ALAN: Well, as you know, a majority of companies and institutions around the world use MySQL for their database. Facebook relies on MySQL, so do AT&T, CA Technologies, OfficeDepot, YouTube, Flickr, BBC, GE, McAfee, Avaya, and even Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine and GoDaddy and Savvis offer MySQL-related services.

Not just because it is open source, but also because it gives you the highest levels of performance, scalability, ease-of-use and quality. All these while also keeping 100s of MySQL instances efficient to manage which is where MySQL Enterprise Monitor or MEM 3.0 comes in.

What if we tell you that you can amplify all of these benefits with MEM? Yes, you can improve on performance, quality and scalability, while making the life of a DBA managing 100s of instances easier and much more efficient.

HUNTER: That’s a bold claim, especially when you consider that today’s businesses often have to deal with more data, which means that they would need more MySQL instances.

ALAN: Yup, even as the business requirements increase, MEM can still deliver. You forgot to mention that enterprise applications are also more sophisticated now and capabilities, features and functionality are added regularly. Even so, MySQL Enterprise Monitor can help you make sure that your MySQL is optimized from start to finish. It also helps you manage and monitor high amounts of MySQL instances effectively and efficiently. MEM 3.0 literally enables DBAs to go from managing 40-60 instances to 100s!

Even more, the MEM constantly monitors the replication, performance and dynamic security of all your MySQL servers. Your database administrators will still be updated on potential issues, as well as give them proactive steps and remedies that can be carried out.

More than that, you can get predictive alerts and outlier detection. This is because MySQL Enterprise Monitor can also access historical data.

HUNTER: That’s really cool! So how do we get MySQL Enterprise Monitor?

ALAN: You can get it with MySQL Enterprise Edition. This would include MySQL Enterprise Service Manager, which allows you to get a consolidated view of the security and health of your MySQL server.

You also get the MySQL Query Analyzer, which monitors your MySQL queries and points out problematic SQL codes. This will allow you to improve on these codes so you get better performance.

Most importantly, you have the Advisors and more than 250 advisor rules. These give you easy and simple troubleshooting suggestions on everything – MySQL administration, security, backup, schema, replication, product updates, performance, MySQL Cluster and other things.

HUNTER: That sounds like a lot! Am pretty sure it would take you a long time to install and deploy MySQL Enterprise Monitor, right?

ALAN: Nope! That’s just it, installing MySQL Enterprise Monitor is pretty straightforward. You just install the service manager and then everything is up and running in just ten minutes. The installation would auto-discover your MySQL servers, and the advisors are already configured and scheduled out of the box.
You don’t need any agents, and no configurations are necessary to make it work.

If you need to customize things, there’s a centralized configuration dashboard that you could use where you can tweak event handling, advisors, as well as global settings, users, logs and preferences.

HUNTER: Okay. So let’s talk more about efficiencies. What are the things that are monitored by MySQL Enterprise Monitor?

ALAN: Aside from the visual query analyzer that monitors your query and pinpoints problematic SQL code, MEM also monitors your uptime, availability and other performance-related metrics on your server. MEM also monitors:

  • Important InnoDB metrics that may affect MySQL performance.
  • Your disk capacity, so that you would know when you need to buy more storage. This type of monitoring gives way to trends, which are analyzed so that you could get accurate projections.
  • Security. MEM can identify security holes in your MySQL servers and helps you plug these holes.

Replication monitoring also happens and it gives you a look into the health and performance of your MySQL master and slaves.

MEM also ensures that your hot backups done online are running as they should.

Important MySQL Cluster metrics that affect availability and performance, as well as your CPU usage, RAM usage, load average and other operating system metrics are also monitored.

HUNTER: Whoa! So it really is an all-in-one enterprise monitoring solution for your MySQL! And it does seem that you could do more things with MySQL Enterprise Monitor because it saves you time in actually monitoring your MySQL instances and figuring out what is causing slow downs in your MySQL. So with all that automation happening there, you could easily free up your database administrators from having to do the work manually, and search the community for answers. I hear it’s not unusual for administrators to manage hundreds of database instances, which is way more than the industry average of 40 to 60 instances.

But can you use it on the cloud?

ALAN: Of course! In addition to auto discovery and simplified configuration, MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0 has a cloud-friendly architecture that allows you to remotely monitor your MySQL. And you no longer rely upon the remote agents or proxy servers to do this.

HUNTER: Let’s talk about use cases and start with developers. How can developers benefit from MySQL Enterprise Monitor?

ALAN: Ahh… this could take a whole day. But I guess it would be good to cite a real-world example to illustrate this clearly. You know, Big Fish?

HUNTER: Yes. They make online games and one of the top distributors of games online, correct?

ALAN: Yes. If you have played a Mystery Case Files game, or Life Quest and other popular casual games online, then you would know Big Fish. So you can just imagine just how many queries and how much load they get every day. It is easy to just get lost there. Using MySQL Enterprise Monitor, the company’s developers were able to quickly pinpoint problematic SQL queries and codes. Not only that, they were able to weed out these bad SQL scripts in a matter of days, instead of weeks.

So you could check your MySQL performance and weed out expensive queries. You could also optimize indexes, check out security weak points, and ultimately, allows you to follow the best practices in MySQL.

All of these lead to lower costs in development while also increasing your software or application’s performance. When everything is fast and seamless, you can expect to have a lot of happy customers.

HUNTER: Who else benefits from the MySQL Enterprise Monitor?

ALAN: At the top of my mind, software vendors and Webhosters.

They can offer MySQL Enterprise Monitor as a value added support package. They can remotely monitor their customers’ critical MySQL systems, give them round the clock support, scheduled maintenance, easy troubleshooting, and even ensure service level agreements. Basically, you can pass on the benefits you get from MySQL Enterprise Monitor to your customers. You could even provide MySQL Enterprise Monitor bundled into your products for technical or large customers, so that they could enjoy the benefits of using MySQL Enterprise Monitor while also retaining control.

Almost all webhosters offer MySQL. However, we are seeing that a managed service offering for corporate customers is setting some Webhosters apart from the competition. Savvis is a great example of a company that has embraced MySQL Enterprise Edition and offers value added managed services and have seen a healthy growth in this business.

HUNTER: What are metric graphs in MySQL Enterprise Monitor?

ALAN: MEM has graphs that are actually a collection of more than 600 variables being monitored by MEM 3.0.

These variables include:

  • Connections
  • Filesystem Usage
  • MySQL Cluster specific metrics
  • Network Traffic
  • Replication Delay
  • Slow Queries
  • Table Locks
  • Transactions

When you see something unusual, you can then just mouse over the relevant regions of the graph and highlight it, and that will launch MySQL Query Analyzer.

MySQL Query Analyzer gives you a filtered and context-sensitive assessment of the different queries that are being run during that specific time.

HUNTER: What sets the MEM apart from other SQL monitoring tools out there? What makes it unique?

ALAN: Having started my career with the HP OpenView program, I’m glad you asked. I have personally tried some of the products out there that monitor SQL code, MySQL and other metrics by 3rd party. But MEM is unique because it is the only one that was created and maintained by the same engineers that also built MySQL itself. You could not get more “insider” than this.

And also, I think the fact that MEM allows you to monitor MySQL instances continuously and give you expert and best practice advice on how to correct potential issues before they actually become a problem is really outstanding. other solutions do not have that.

HUNTER: If you only have to pick one thing you like about MySQL Enterprise Monitor, what would that be?

ALAN: Argh! It will be so hard to choose just one!

Well, I love how it could be very proactive in alerting you about issues and problem areas before these take down your MySQL servers and cause you more problems. I also love how it makes the lives of your database administrators easier, how it makes it easy to manage and configure even 100s of servers.

But the game changer for me, the one feature that made me say, “This is perfect!”. Well, that’s the MySQL Enterprise Advisors.

HUNTER: Okay. Please tell us more about these Advisors.

ALAN: Well, the MySQL Enterprise Advisors?

The MySQL Enterprise Advisors are actually sets of best practice guidelines that help you make sure that you get optimal use of your resources. The Advisors will be monitoring all of your MySQL servers and then alert you of any database application problems even before they happen. You get a detailed overview of the issues and potential problems that an advisor is designed to determine and identify.

And here’s the good part: it advises you on how to fix the problem. It gives you specific commands that you should implement if you decide to follow its recommendations. And if you are not sure, it gives you links to resources about the problem and the recommended fix, to help you if you want to do some further research.

Right now, there are more than 250 advisors that fall into 14 categories. And mind you, I just have to repeat this. These are based on best practices, and the recommendations are expert advice!

HUNTER: Thank you Alan! I really appreciate you taking time for this interview. It was my pleasure talking with you. I learned a lot. I wish we could have more time to discuss MEM 3.0 further. But for now, I have to say good-bye. Thanks again and have a pleasant day!

ALAN: You’re welcome Hunter! And everyone viewing, don’t forget to:

Schedule an onsite workshop of MEM 3.0 at FourCornerstone.com or call (817) 377-1144

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