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What Is Database Monitoring and Why Is It Useful? Jul 29, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Databases play a central role in of most business processes and applications. As IT infrastructures become more diverse and sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important to be able to nip database issues in the bud. In simpler times, one or more database administrators (DBAs) could resolve issues manually as they came up in true fire fighter fashion. Today, that approach is almost certainly doomed to fail.

Smart DBAs rely on database monitoring to not only pinpoint trouble quickly, but even to predict future issues before they cause real problems. In this article, we'll examine what database monitors do. In up-coming installments we'll learn more about how they work and explore some best practices for using monitoring software.

Database Monitoring Explained

Simply put, database monitoring is the tracking of database performance and resources using key metrics with a goal of enabling high performance and availability to more fully support an organization's application infrastructure. Categories of common metrics for for database monitoring include:

  • Query details (top CPU, slow running, and most frequent)
  • Session details (current user connections and locks)
  • Scheduled jobs
  • Replication details
  • Database performance (buffer, cache, connection, lock)

Data from each of these categories is analyzed in order to minimize, or ideally, prevent database outages or slowdowns. The selection of the data points and how they are analyzed will vary based on the type of database. Moreover, the above metrics (and many others) are typically monitored in real time, thus allowing you to identify or predict issues. When done properly, effective database monitoring gives you the opportunity to enhance or optimize your database, in order to augment overall performance.

To maximize the efficacy of your database monitoring strategy, you should analyze data across a range of categories, with the intention of minimizing or preventing lags or unavailability. In that regards, note that different types of databases will require different metrics (and/or data points) to be analyzed.

Ideally, database monitoring tracks the performance of both hardware and software by taking frequent snapshots of performance indicators. This allows you to identify any changes, identify bottlenecks, and pinpoint the exact moment problems started to occur. With this information in hand, you can then rule out potential causes, and can address the real root cause of the issue.

Monitors Are Not All Created Equally

There are several competing products on the market that all provide similar functionality. If you use MySQL, MariaDB, SQL Server, or Cloud databases like Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, Oracle Cloud, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, you should consider Navicat Monitor. Although it comes packed with powerful features to make your monitoring effective as possible, that in itself is not the sole reason for choosing it. The most important feature is that Navicat Monitor provides agentless remote server monitoring. As such, it does not require any software to be installed on monitored servers, thus leaving their full resources available to process requests. Another benefit to utilizing agentless architecture is that Navicat Monitor can be accessed from anywhere via a web browser. With web access, you can easily and seamlessly keep track of your servers around the world, around the clock.


In this article, we examined the main functions of relational database monitors. In up-coming installments we'll learn more about how they work and explore some best practices for using monitoring software.

Interested in Navicat Monitor? You can try it for free for 14 days!

Rob Gravelle resides in Ottawa, Canada, and has been an IT Guru for over 20 years. In that time, Rob has built systems for intelligence-related organizations such as Canada Border Services and various commercial businesses. In his spare time, Rob has become an accomplished music artist with several CDs and digital releases to his credit.

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