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IT management tools vendor SolarWinds yesterday announced a new release of its database performance management software. Earlier versions of the SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) technology supported Oracle and SQL Server databases, plus several other platforms, but version 10.0 adds support for Oracle's MySQL open source database.
Gerardo Dada, vice president of product marketing and strategy at SolarWinds, based in Austin, Texas, said the inclusion of MySQL in SolarWinds DPA 10.0 should be particularly helpful to Oracle users, since MySQL databases are often used alongside Oracle's flagship relational database software. Many Oracle users are "looking at MySQL as a way to save on maintenance," Dada said. However, he added that Oracle Database and MySQL scale differently, as well as require database administrators to manage and optimize them independently. DPA 10.0 provides a consistent set of tools and user interfaces across the two database lines.
Database Performance Analyzer is exactly what it sounds like -- a tool to identify and resolve problems that are hampering database server throughput. DPA focuses specifically on performance; it provides a wait time analysis capability, which determines what processes are causing slowdowns and alerts DBAs when problems occur. According to Dada, it could take days or weeks to pinpoint a specific problem manually, but DPA takes that process down to "three or four clicks" because, he said, "We have visibility all down the stack, all the way to storage."
Brian Jewell, director of systems and databases at BI Worldwide, is a longtime SolarWinds DPA user. BI Worldwide, a Minneapolis-based company that works with large corporate clients to help them improve their sales and marketing efforts, as well as design employee incentive programs, originally bought DPA for Oracle and shortly afterward purchased the SQL Server version as well. After years of using those two tools, Jewell is now beta testing DPA 10.0 for MySQL.
DPA serves as a "common interface across everything," Jewell said. "That's probably the best thing about DPA, because we can use it across all the databases." Oracle doesn't have a tool that can do what DPA does, he added, explaining that the SolarWinds software stores data on performance history and lets him drill down into the data to see exactly what was happening at the moment when something started to go wrong in a database.
Brian Jewelldirector of systems and databases at BI Worldwide
Jewell uses his Oracle and MySQL servers to run the incentive campaigns, the product catalog and training. For instance, Oracle and MySQL servers are used for the employee recognition and reward programs that make up a large part of BI Worldwide's business. The company runs the G5 Employee Recognition Platform, which uses social media and gamification to incentivize employees to perform better. The G5 Employee Recognition Platform tracks employee performance and awards points to high performers. Those points can then be used to purchase items, such as golf clubs, from the BI Worldwide catalog.
BI Worldwide is a multinational corporation, with offices in 125 countries. Despite its size, the company's Oracle servers are running the standard edition of Oracle Database 11 and 12 -- not the enterprise edition. The standard edition doesn't include the diagnostics and tuning package that comes with the enterprise edition. Jewell said some of that package's components can be found in SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer. However, he stressed that DPA isn't a full replacement for the enterprise edition software. BI Worldwide doesn't need many of the other enterprise edition features to run its business, he said.
Pricing for DPA starts at $1,995 for Oracle Standard Edition, MySQL and SQL Server, SolarWinds said. The cost starts at $3,495 for Oracle Enterprise Edition, as well as IBM's DB2 database and SAP's Adaptive Server Enterprise platform.
Find out how tools like SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer are helping some DBAs get their nights and weekends back.
Learn about another SolarWinds product: SolarWinds N-central, a remote IT services delivery platform for managed services providers.