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RE: Evaluation checklist - monitoring s/w - LONG

From: aaaa wwwwww <>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 18:01:37 -0800
Message-Id: <>

Dear Sean

"We are currently NT bound, but there might be a possibility of Unix introduced too"

You removed the essence from your kaphy (coffee)



On Mon, 18 Dec 2000 08:06:28  
 Mark Leith wrote:

>Hi Sean,
>Being from a sales oriented background, and having had to deal with
>countless evaluations of these very tools, I feel my insight may be of
>To be fair, every tool should be tested on the exact same environment,
>without another tool running along side it at the same time as tests. They
>can conflict, and cause each other to perform "badly". The tool must be
>graphically easy to use, and have a relatively low learning curve.
>Depending on the level of monitoring, you may also want to have a background
>agent monitoring you databases without a GUI open at all times. If this is
>the case, what platforms will this agent support? You say you may move in to
>UNIX, so plan for the future, and add this in to your checklist. Typically
>you will find that the major players - Sun, AIX, DEC, HP, NT, LINUX, are
>almost always supported now, but there are some tools out there that need a
>specific platform already in place to be able to use the tool (Foglight -
>Quest - needs a dedicated Solaris system to run its Server on)
>I would include these background agents as a must have if you are planning
>to monitor real business critical systems. They will ensure that the
>databases are being constantly monitored at all times. There are a number of
>tools where the front end client just connects via SQL*Net/Net8, and
>monitors in a kind of diagnostic mode. The question you then have to ask is,
>what happens if this PC is shutdown for the weekend etc..
>Now from background experience, here is my list of must, useful, and nice to
>have options. I would also have to add that as minimum requirement a tool
>should be able to monitor this information both re & pro actively.
>1) Space Issues
> Tablespace - Space allocated.
> Free Space.
> Tables - Space Allocated.
> Unused space at block level.
> Proximity to max extents.
> Indexes - Space Allocated.
> Unused space at block level.
> Proximity to max extents.
> RBS - High Water Mark.
> Shrinks.
> Extends.
> Wraps.
> Archive/Error Log Space.
> Space Bound Objects.
>2) Database Usage
> Sessions - Number of Sessions
> CPU Usage per
> I/O Per
> Identifier - SID/PID/Terminal/User name
> Current SQL
> Locks / Blocking
> Sorts - memory/disk
> Transactions per second
> Average Transaction time
> Memory - SGA memory allocation
> Block Buffer Cache
> Buffer hit ratios
> Shared Pool
> Redo Log buffer cache
> SQL Area - monitoring for resource intensive SQL.
> Data Dictionary Cache Miss %
> Library Cache Hit %
> I/0 - Datafile Physical I/O
> Logical I/O
>3) Alerting
> The tool should be able to alert on any problems with the previous areas of
> You should be able to set up a reasonable time schedule of where and when
>to alert certain people. If you are a 24x7 shop, you may need to send out
>of hours alerts to a pager, or maybe SMS to you mobile phone.
> Can the tool send a corrective SQL/OS script to fix the problem? How
>flexible are the event/alert functions? Can I write my own? Do I need a
>"specialist" contractor to come set these up for me?
> Alert on new error log message.
> Instance Down
>1) Historical Information
> Many tools will store a repository of performance information. It may be
>useful to set up criteria on any information you may need to pull up about
>past usage of Oracle - transactions per minute/hour.
> You can also use the historical information for things such as capacity
>planning and so on.
>2) MTS information
> Dispatcher counts
> Queue Length
> Waits
> Percent Busy
> Requests
>3) Replication monitoring
> Broken Jobs
> Replication validation
>4) Parameter information.
> INIT file parameters, for quick reference.
>5) Log switching.
>1) O/S Monitoring
> Many, many people when evaluating Oracle performance tools, also want to
>have the functionality to monitor O/S statistics as well. Things such as
>overall CPU usage, I/O, process information, active jobs etc. Whilst all co
>uld arguably be of great use to a DBA, most tools will not have this
>functionality. A useful thing to find out is if the vendor doe actually
>supply these kinds of tools, and if so, how well integrated are they?
>2) An E-DBA
> Wouldn't it be nice for a performance tool to alert, fix, diagnose future
>performance problems, fix them before they happen, then open your CD drive
>to rest your plastic coffee mug in to? Hmm.. that would be nice from a
>3) Tips - There are some tools out there that will give hints on performance
>problems, and maybe tips on how to fix these problems. Sometimes these can
>be a little out of whack, but many are extremely helpful for diagnosing
>problems on the fly, as they draw your attention.
>4) A good help file!
>Have I bored you enough? I'll quickly say - Licensing can vary between the
>different vendors, there are some out there that license per instance, some
>per server, and a rare few that license per DBA client irrespective of how
>many instances they touch. Depending on the number of servers and number of
>instances per server, this can make the costs vary extensively! I heard
>recently that Quest were trying to charge on the criticality of a system!
>Maintenance is usually around the 18-20% of the full license cost. If you
>get a discount on the full license, you will sometimes still have to pay 20%
>of the LIST PRICE license cost though, regardless of discount!
>Maintenance should cover full 24x7 support, with all upgrades included. It's
>usually a good idea to go over all agreements to double check for yourself
>on any possible areas of concern.
>Right, I'm off for a coffee now, but before I go -
><Shameless Plug>
>We have a tool that you may want to take a look at! If you are interested,
>contact me away from the list, and I will get all of the information over to
>you. You may/may not have heard of it. A hell of a lot of people haven't
>which really does surprise me! Mostly just due to the vendors poor marketing
>strategy though! The tool is cool though! It's called DBGeneral, shortly
>rebadging under the name of NORAD! This is to bring it in to line with a new
>O/S, App monitoring tool being released on the 15th of Jan.
>Shameless Plug/>
>Right, mines black with 3 sugars please..
>Mark Leith
>Cool Tools UK Ltd
>Tel: 01905 330 281
>Hi Folks,
>Early next year I'm planning to evaluate and select Oracle DB monitoring
>s/w. We are currently NT bound, but there might be a possibility of Unix
>introduced too. Anyhow, to help select the monitoring software I am
>planning to put together an evaluation checklist to try and objectively
>compare the various offerings out there. I'd appreciate it if you would let
>me know what features you think a monitoring package should have, e.g. in
>categories, "must have", "useful to have", "nice to have" (if you can afford
>it???). It would be also useful to hear feedback from you folk who already
>have such software on other factors such as, support level, costs (licences,
>annual maintenance), or even such aspirations as "looking back what I should
>have gone for was", or "but nowadays the xxxx package does this and more".
>In return for your time and feedback I'll publish the evaluation sheet to
>members of the list for everyone to use if they choose to do so.
>Oh! and of course if there is already an evaluation sheet in existence that
>folk know of, I'll cut to the chase there ;)
>Sean :)
>Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ:
>Author: Mark Leith
>Fat City Network Services -- (858) 538-5051 FAX: (858) 538-5051
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Received on Mon Dec 18 2000 - 20:01:37 CST

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