Tips for DBAs Managing Open Source Databases

Companies are now managing a variety of open source and non-relational databases alongside relational databases like SQL Server and Oracle.

While managing these systems involve the same set of challenges most DBAs are used to: ensuring availability, diagnosing performance problems and managing capacity, just to name a few, each database platform has its own set of processes and workflows for collecting and analyzing information.

Most DBA's are comfortable managing their primary platforms, however when new platforms get added to the, there's a significant learning curve required to manage these systems at a high level.

DBTA recently held a webcast featuring Jason Hall, solutions architect, Quest Software, who explored some of the differences between open source databases and their commercial counterparts.

There is a SQL Server sprawl that’s stressing out DBAs, Hall explained. They are seeing the environment grow from 5 instances to 100 and cannot keep up with consolidation. On top of this, they are doing more with less and juggling multiple responsibilities.

Hall recommended DBA’s start small and ask themselves a few questions:

  • What are the basics that need to be covered for all platforms?
  • Are my database servers available (as available as they need to be)?
    • Don’t rely on end users to tell you a database server is down.
  • Do I have a proper backup and recovery strategy, and is it working?
    • Where to I find this information?
  • Do I have enough disk space to operate properly?
    • Persistent, and temp data?
  • Are there critical entries in the database servers “error” logs?
    • Every database server spits off logs, make sure you know where they are.

Eventually DBAs should look to adding three requirements to their repertoire including performance tuning, high availability, and security.

Quest offers a solution that meets these needs called Foglight for databases. The platform gives DBAs:

  • Best of breed SQL Server monitoring
  • Is combined with deep insight into Open Source
  • Consistent workflows for alerting, diagnostics, and reporting
  • Simplified the learning curve for open source adoption

An archived on-demand replay of this webinar is available here.