In December, Oracle launched SPARC Supercluster, claiming that the new database system can perform 30 million database transactions per minute—three times faster than the previous record set by IBM's DB2 on a P7 cluster. IBM scoffed at its rival's achievement, saying, "Oracle's benchmark was driven by linking together an incredible 27 systems – a highly inefficient approach that is not practical in the real world, but lumped together simply to win a benchmark."
Whether or not the SPARC Supercluster is a practical system for the real world, it's a clear example of just how fast modern database systems have become. It also signifies how complex database systems have become, particularly due to constant and increasing interactions with the application, network, and storage layers. This complexity in turn has exacerbated database performance issues, such as lack of visibility into production systems and the inability to identify and correlate root-cause problems, often resulting in the degradation of critical applications and the unnecessary purchase of additional hardware. With the database market estimated at about $21 billion a year, according to Donald Feinberg of Gartner, and growing rapidly, these issues will only escalate.
While there are many tools for managing database systems, they all come with some significant downside for DBAs. Here are some of the tools and associated issues, from my point of view:
To address the challenges of database monitoring—without agents and profilers, synthetic transactions, or offline packet analysis—ExtraHop announced today that we've added application performance management support for IBM DB2, enabling agentless database monitoring for all seven major database systems, including IBM Informix, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Sybase, and PostgreSQL. This support enables our customers to monitor all database transactions in real time without having to run invasive tools, which can severely degrade overall application performance. The addition of DB2 also rounds out our support for the top three providers—IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft—which, according to Gartner, accounted for more than 87 percent of worldwide revenues for the relational database market in 2009.
As databases continue to modernize and increase in complexity, the ability to provide deep visibility and identify database issues within minutes will be a tremendous asset for our customers.
Gartner's Feinberg seems to agree:
"Despite the volatile economy over the past couple years, we've seen the data warehouse database management system (DBMS) market continue to grow," said Feinberg. "Application performance management vendors supporting the top-tier DBMS providers are well positioned to address this increasingly important market segment by providing deep insight into the performance of large-scale databases and their associated systems."
Check out the press release to learn more about how the ExtraHop application performance management (APM) solution supports IBM DB2 and other databases.
We also have some great examples of customers using the ExtraHop system to manage databases. If you'd like to see a demo or learn more, please send me an email: j.baker [at] extrahop.com.