froscon2007 - 0.96

Free and Open Source Software Conference

Giuseppe Maxia
Day 1
Room HS3
Start time 15:15
Duration 01:00
ID 47
Event type Workshop
Track Database
Language English

Logging and monitoring a database server

Make sure you know what happens, and retrieve what happened when needed

The life of a server, as seen from the administrator, can have several facets. Polling is the ability of tracking known things over time. It is also called statistics. Monitoring is the ability of tracking known things that your server is doing. Logging is the ability of tracking unknown events that may be useful to explain an unexpected behavior. Putting these three things together can be tricky. Tips and techniques are shown on a live system.

During administration duties, the DBA needs to know what the server is doing at present (monitoring), and to project the monitoring data over time (statistics). This is done with known data, i.e. the DBA knows what to expect, and sets the appropriate tools to record and show the data. Logging, on the other hand, is a different matter. It involves recording all kind of data that the DBA does not know if it will be useful or not. It's about recording unknown events that may become useful in case of the server misbehavior. Only then it will be clear what was needed. Logging and monitoring an active server can be a challenge. The amount of data to record, the possible conflicts with storage requirements, the need of analyzing data from several sources, all this can make the DBA life quite miserable. You need to know the appropriate tools for this task, and take advantage of the latest technology. Tips, tricks, and examples are shown on a live system.