Managing Database Complexity with Percona Monitoring and Management

Managing Database ComplexityEvery software story starts with a simple idea of how to serve a specific user need. However, with the growing number of applications and ways to deploy those applications (on-premise or in the cloud or both) our environments are becoming more and more complex.  But complexity shouldn’t be a scary word, it should be something that businesses and individuals aspire to become because in today’s world it typically spells success. Complexity does come with its fair share of challenges but how organizations respond to those challenges makes a major impact on agility, capability, and stability.

Complex database environments can be a major point of contention amongst those who are responsible for caring for them. Performance issues at the database level can have a ripple effect that causes pain points including lost development cycles, productivity, and even hard cost on infrastructure. Whether that responsibility lands on DevOps,  SREs, or DBAs – they can all experience pain points involving schema changes, upgrades, or poor running queries when an environment interacts with the modern software stack. Helping consolidate and empowering those responsible is not only critical but often paramount in the success of an organization.

Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) helps solve this problem with a single solution that monitors your open source database environment that is easily deployable and useful with little additional configuration or work. This ensures your teams can focus on optimizing the performance, stability, and security of your open source databases.

Better Manage Complexity So You Can Focus on Optimizing Performance

Let’s focus on the behavior that is ongoing inside your databases themselves. Percona Monitoring and Management uses Prometheus and Grafana to visualize these metrics providing a single place to view and monitor all of your open source database environments. Making it easy to see how your databases are performing and then easily drilling into areas that may be having issues. The out of the box dashboards for MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL are backed by our experts’ collective years of experience, enabling all users regardless of their given background with the views they need to monitor their databases.

PMM also provides a Query Analytics tool to help users review their queries and identify slow running queries. You may, for example, then dive into understanding if the slower running queries are associated with business-critical application capabilities such as a cart/check-out experience or say a match-making functionality within the gaming industry? If so, this isn’t something your end-users will want to wait on. Monitoring tools offer the ability to review query behaviors in this regard, but PMM Query Analytics is what gives your team a true advantage by helping you easily identify these queries so that they can be quickly addressed.

Along with providing your team with common query performance metrics, Query Analytics provides the ability to sort by different metric series parameters within a database on a per-query basis. A DBA for example may specifically focus on filters including disk usage and how this correlates to the most expensive queries in order to optimize them. Another way that PMM is there to help manage the complexity involved with reviewing the numerous queries running.

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Customization Within Percona Monitoring and Management

In addition to the out of the box functionality, Percona Monitoring and Management is built on a robust set of widely used and available open-source solutions. This makes it extensible to advanced users in ways that other tools simply can’t be, at least not without needing a significant amount of either license cost or custom development. For example, custom exporters allow users to see data that is relevant to them or bring their own existing Grafana dashboards to the already rich set of dashboards and functionality available.

Oftentimes different teams would like to have customized views of the information that is most relevant to them and at the right resolution level. Customizing the resolution is simple with PMM along with helping manage the amount of data being recorded. Complex environments can involve large numbers of instances so it can add up quickly on a day to day basis. You can also configure your data retention settings to match your needs.

  • Retention: how long do you keep the metrics data (PMM default is 30 days)
  • Resolution: how frequently do you collect metrics – PMM uses 1s, 5s, and 30s polling intervals depending on the type of data being collected

With everything at your technical team’s fingertips, it’s easy to start thinking about KPI’s and simplified metrics that can be put into custom dashboards for even non-technical users to understand the current status and performance of a complex database environment without having to log into any other system. Percona Monitoring and Management can become the central hub for self-service questions, adding to the value that already exists on the technical front freeing the developers and technical resources to focus on their core mission – making your software the best it can be.

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