Finding the right tools to manage enterprise MySQL deployments is often left up to the DBA team. But without regular training, these teams sometimes fall behind in learning about new tools that can do the same jobs better. MySQL database software typically includes basic tools, but when it comes to monitoring, additional add-on tools are generally required to meet the data-heavy needs of large organizations.
Even then, however, the majority of monitoring systems are not designed to monitor MySQL servers, which is what most DBAs install them to do. They must monitor MySQL performance at all times, and for that a dependable monitoring system – with failover in case of emergency – is mission critical.
Avoiding data loss is essential, and when archiving between servers, avoid distributed transactions. When archiving into MyISAM or another nontransactional storage engines, insert into the destination before deleting from the source to prevent any loss of data. To be safe, it is also recommended to write archived data to a file during this process. Try to design the archive jobs so you can kill and restart them when needed, provided this does not trigger inconsistencies or index-violation errors within the MySQL software.
A solid unarchiving strategy can also enable you to trim more data because it lets you archive data that might not be needed later – but you have that option if needed. MySQL database software gives you that flexibility but many DBAs do not utilize it – probably because they are simply unaware of that option.
Equally important as making regular backups is a detailed strategy to monitor MySQL performance. Monitoring, and graphing, of your organizations databases ensures that you will likely be the first to know when something is not working correctly. No DBA wants to get that news from a customer. Maintaining performance metrics also allows you to better line up events with performance changes as well as understanding growth and performance trends when planning for future capacity.
Installing, configuring and maintaining monitoring and graphing tools are key for organizations today. Doing so provides them with powerful MySQL performance monitoring capabilities. This includes more than the MySQL database servers – it also encompasses operating systems, network, storage, web servers, caching servers, and all other components in the LAMP stack. Associated technologies include: Nagios, Munin, Cacti, Zabbix, Ganglia, SNMP, Monit, Zenoss among others. For overall monitoring and graphing, most DBAs agree that open source software is ideal, not to mention the most cost effective.
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