SolarWinds Expands Database Performance Tool to Cover Storage Resources

SolarWinds, a provider of IT performance management software, has enhanced its database performance tool to now include insight into storage resources.  With new storage I/O analysis, users of SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA), can see the impact of storage on the database workload, gaining insight into how storage issues such as latency and disk performance are contributing to database response time and impacting the end user of an application.

Formerly known as Confio Ignite, SolarWinds DPA is based on a non-intrusive agentless architecture, making it safe to use in production environments with negligible performance impact. SolarWinds DPA can be used to monitor thousands of database instances running on premise, VMware or in the cloud.

New Storage Resource Visibility

The new storage resource visibility and correlation enables multiple teams in an organization look at an accurate set of data that gives them common ground and is designed to help avoid interdepartmental finger-pointing, explained Gerardo Dada, vice president of product marketing, SolarWinds. In the past, the product has covered databases, and with the VM option, visibility into the virtualization layer, and some of the additional resources, but now there is insight into storage I/O as a key component of the platform that supports the database.

Providing a Single Version of the Truth about Performance

“Everyone has their own data,” said Dada, and “based on what they can see, they think that they have no problem in their system. By adding the ability to look at storage I/O resources, and more importantly the ability to correlate that information with everything else we capture from the host, the virtualization layer, to what is happening inside the database,  there is no ambiguity anymore about where the problems are.”  In this way, he said DBAs essentially become “the performance gurus” of an IT department, offering a single truth that aligns teams behind facts and empowers them to take action.

In addition, using DPA 9.0, DBAs can now compare expected performance with abnormal performance using new resource metric baselining and alerting that allows them to proactively identify resource outliers, correlating this with application response time, and then drill deeper to see if the problem indeed originated in the database and, if so, how to resolve it.

According to Dada, the resource baselining looks at resource metrics in an “intelligent manner” and can alert users when a query is running slower than it was running in the past on the same day of the week. The baseline is based not only on historical data, but based on hourly data that relates to previous days of the week or previous weeks since application performance usually changes by the hour based on user workload.  “We can now do that with all of the resources that the DPA is monitoring,” he said.

Users can create alerts based on resource metrics such as CPU utilization, memory usage, and others, and also specify blackout periods for alerts on the new Alert Blackouts tab.

New Licensing Model for Database Performance Analyzer

In addition, said Dada, the product now has a new licensing model. “We have made the pricing more affordable in line with the SolarWinds strategy of making this technology broadly available and we have also simplified the licensing.”

Observing that, at Oracle OpenWorld, which he had just attended, there was a full session devoted to how to license Oracle in virtualization environments, Dada said SolarWinds had decided to go purely with instance-based pricing. “We don’t care how big your database is, so that means a lot of customers with larger databases are going to get very attractive pricing, and customers with smaller databases, such as customers running Oracle Standard Edition, are going to get lower prices. The goal is to make the product easier to license and remove price as a barrier.”

SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer provides database performance monitoring, analysis and tuning for Sybase ASE.

SolarWinds DPA 9.0 also updates supported database versions to cover IBM DB2 10.5, Microsoft SQL Server 2014, and single-tenant Oracle 12c.

For a complete list of features in SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer 9.0, go here.