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Percona Live Featured Session: Using SelectStar to Monitor and Tune Your Databases

 | April 4, 2017 |  Posted In: MongoDB, MySQL, Percona Live

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Percona Live Featured SessionWelcome to another post in the series of Percona Live featured session blogs! In these blogs, we’ll highlight some of the session speakers that will be at this year’s Percona Live conference. We’ll also discuss how these sessions can help you improve your database environment. Make sure to read to the end to get a special Percona Live 2017 registration bonus!

In this Percona Live featured session, we’ll meet the folks at SelectStar, a database monitoring and management tool company. SelectStar will be a sponsor at Percona Live this year.

I recently came across the SelectStar database monitoring product. There are a number of monitoring products on the market (with the evolution of various SaaS and on-premises solutions), but SelectStar piqued my interest for a few reasons. I had a chance to speak with Cameron Jones, Principal Product Manager at SelectStar about their tool:

Percona: What are the challenges that lead to developing SelectStar?

Cameron: One of the challenges that we’ve found in the database monitoring and management sector comes from the dilution of the database market – and not in a bad way. Traditional, closed source database solutions continue to be used across the board (especially by large enterprises), but open source options like MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL and Elasticsearch continue to gain traction as organizations seek solutions that meet their demand for agility and flexibility.

From a database monitoring perspective, this adds some challenges. Traditional solutions are focused on monitoring RDBMS and are really great at it, while newer solutions may only focus on one piece of the puzzle (NoSQL or cloud only, for example).

Percona: How does SelectStar compare to other monitoring and management tools?

Cameron: SelectStar covers a wide array of open and closed source database solutions and is easy to setup. This makes it ideal for enterprises that have a lot going on. Here is the matrix of supported products from our website:

Database Types Key Metrics Monitored by SelectStar
Big Data

  • Hadoop
  • Cassandra
  • Ops Counters – Inserts, Queries, etc.
  • Network Traffic
  • Asserts
  • Locks
  • Memory Usage
Cloud

  • Amazon Aurora
  • Amazon Dynamo
  • Amazon RDS
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Queries
  • Memory Usage
  • Network
  • CPU Balance
  • IOPS
NoSQL

  • MongoDB
  • Ops Counters – Inserts, Queries, etc.
  • Network Traffic
  • Asserts
  • Locks
  • Memory Usage
Open Source

  • PostgreSQL
  • MongoDB
  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • Average Query Execution Time
  • Query Executions
  • Memory Usage
  • Wait Time
Traditional RDBMS

  • IBM DB2
  • MS SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • Average Query Execution Time
  • Query Executions
  • Memory Usage
  • Wait Time


In addition to monitoring key metrics for different database types, one of the key differences with SelectStar came from its comprehensive alerts and recommendations system.

The alerts and recommendations are designed to ensure you have an immediate understanding of key issues – and where they are coming from. MonYOG is great at this for MySQL, but lacks on other aspects. With SelectStar, you can pinpoint the exact database instance that may be causing the issue; or go further up the chain and see if it’s an issue impacting several database instances at the host level.

Recommendations are often tied to alerts – if you have a red alert, there’s going to be a recommendation tied to it on how you can improve. However, the recommendations pop up even if your database is completely healthy – ensuring that you have visibility into how you can improve your configuration before you actually have an issue impacting performance.

With insight into key metrics, alerts and recommendations, you can fine tune your database performance. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to become more proactive with your database monitoring.

Percona: Is configuring SelectStar difficult?

Cameron: SelectStar is easy to set up – in fact, most customers are up and running in 20 minutes.

Simply head over to the website – selectstar.io – and log in. From there, you’ll be greeted by a welcome screen where you can easily click through and configure a database.

Percona Live Featured Session SelectStar

To configure a database, you select your type:

Percona Live Featured Session SelectStar

And from there, set up your collector by inputting some key information.

Percona Live Featured Session SelectStar

And that’s it! As soon as it’s configured, the collector will start gathering information and data is populated within 20 minutes.

Percona: How does SelectStar work?

Cameron: Using agentless collectors, SelectStar gathers data from both your on-premises and AWS platforms so that you can have insight into all of your database instances.

Percona Live Featured Session SelectStar

The collector is basically an independent machine within your infrastructure that pulls data from your database. It is low impact so that it doesn’t impact performance. This is a different approach from all of the other monitoring tools.

Percona Live Featured Session

Router Metrics (Shown Above)

Percona Live Featured Session

Mongo relationship tree displaying router, databases, replica set, shards and nodes. (Shown Above)

Percona: Any final thoughts? What are you looking forward to at Percona Live?

Cameron: If you’re in the market for a new database monitoring solution, SelectStar is worth looking at because it covers a breadth of databases with the depth into key metrics, alerts and notifications that optimize performance across your databases. We have a free trial, so you have an easy option to try it. We’re looking forward to meeting with as much of the community as possible, getting feedback and hearing about people’s monitoring needs.

Register for Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2017, and meet the creators of SelectStar. You can find them at selectstar.ioUse the code FeaturedTalk and receive $100 off the current registration price!

Percona Live Data Performance Conference 2017 is the premier open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community, as well as businesses that thrive in the MySQL, NoSQL, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Data Performance Conference will be April 24-27, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara & The Santa Clara Convention Center.

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Manjot Singh

Manjot Singh is an Architect with Percona in California. He loves to learn about new technologies and apply them to real world problems.
Manjot is a veteran of startup and Fortune 50 enterprise companies alike with a few years spent in government, education, and hospital IT.

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