Monitoring and managing your databases is one of the most crucial aspects of running a modern business. There are valuable tools that you can use to organize your data and allow staff to look for the most relevant information efficiently, but what practical aspects are involved in managing your database and monitoring its performance to a high standard?
Get a Baseline to Measure the Throughput and Compare
The throughput of your database is the set of results that lets you see how much work it is getting through. This lets you see the number of transactions that are completed per second, the number of queries in the queue per second, latency, and so on.
The simplest throughput metric is the total amount of work that has gone through scaled by the database volume and then divided by the time between the first and last query. However, the throughput isn’t going to be the same throughout the day or the week. Therefore, you need to work out the baseline by taking a series of readings of these figures over at least two weeks.
This article at https://www.towardsdatascience.com/common-sense-baseline shows how important it is to have a baseline when looking at any data issue. Having done that, you can then use a database monitoring tool to ensure that the average figure is maintained, with an alarm set to go off if the numbers deviate too much from what is normally seen.
A comprehensive but easy to use tool is needed to make this task efficient and effective. The SolarWinds database performance monitor tool seen at https://www.solarwinds.com/database-performance-monitor uses a combination of real-time and historical data to look for performance issues, regardless of whether the data is stored locally, in the cloud or on a hybrid basis. There are extra measures in place to ensure that this data is secured and protected in line with regulatory guidance.
Monitor the Database Logs for Different Queries
The previous point lets you see the general performance of the database, but if you have a wide range of queries, you will also want more specific details on how they are performing, which is where the database logs will come in useful.
These logs can be used to let you see if there are issues with certain types of queries running slowly. You can see the exact queries that have been run and how long they have been taking to run, allowing you to spot if there is one or more running slowly and causing problems.
There are several different database logs that you should look into, including scheduled task logs, maintenance routine logs, and slow query logs. Since there is so much complex information contained in these logs, you will need to use a visual representation tool to better understand what has been happening.
Remember that the audit logs should be securely stored on a server that sits outside the database. The length of time that they are retained for will depend upon the legal requirements for your industry, as well as your company’s preferences.
Discover Suspicious Activity Quickly and Automatically
The huge value and importance placed on the data that is held by your business are probably due to its sensitive nature as well as the fact that it is needed for your day-to-day operations. Bearing this in mind, you need to look out for any suspicious activity that you should be aware of.
Hackers all over the world are keen to steal your data and it is no secret that numerous databases with millions of user details are put up for sale on the Dark Web, as confirmed by https://www.zdnet.com/sale-hacked-databases in 2019.
For instance, you will want to be alerted if an unauthorized IP is used to access the data, or if a user is generating more results than you would normally expect to see. It is also possible to categorize the data by security risk, allowing you to focus on the most sensitive information that is held in the database.
By taking care of these practical aspects, you will feel far more confident that your database is running smoothly and supporting your business in the way that it should be.