How to monitor a Oracle Standard Edition


Oracle has introduce his new Oracle Cloud Control which is a great product for a DBA or Developer which needs a good overview over the infrastructure to see what is going on. But however if you are using a Standard Edition database (as i often written before) you must disable your option packs. With disabled option packs you cannot use Cloud Control for production monitoring. For example a monitoring System must send alert mail notification, this feature is a part of the Oracle Diagnostic Pack. Also if you are working in a mixed Edition environment you must configure your Cloud Control or Enterprise Manager so that you only receive notifications for system where the Diagnostic Pack is licensed. For more information about that topic read MOS Note 947827.1  (How to Explain that Notifications Are Sent Even If the Diagnostic Pack Is Disabled for the Target ). So what does this mean? Without any additional license for your database your Enterprise Manager or Cloud Control will not be a powerfull monitoring system. But there are alternative monitoring solutions which covers many of the Cloud Control features without extra Oracle licenses.

gc_cloud_vs

So what we need from a monitoring system?

  • Small or none of False/Positiv alerts
  • Low cost
  • Simple operation / maintenance
  • Low overhead on the monitoring targets
  • Maximum flexibility
  • Intelligent metrics
  • Templates

Many Customers use Nagios/Icinga for monitoring there environment. I also think that this is a good option.

Benfits are:

  • Almost no investment costs
  • Full flexibility
  • Minimum load of the target systems
  • There are no limits for Intelligence

Disadvantage:

To get good Metrics you must create them for your own. OK there are many samples on the internet, but compared to Oracle Cloud Control you have a learning intensive effort.

One great product i know is DBMonipro.

So what makes this product cool? Because it covers many points that i have make here. The product is based on nagios with a rich set of „Out of the Box“ Metrics for Oracle and other products but it can also be custimized with a lot of rules (if you needing it).

For example, a simple tablespace usage metric. When should it fire? If your tablespace is less then 10% full or when the tablespace has less then 1G free space. If you have a Tablespace with a size of 500G then 10% will be 50G free space which can be enough for weeks. On the other side if your tablespace is only 50MB then 10% will be 5MB which can raise a tablespace full in hours or minutes. This is what i mean that a metric must be intelligent.

incinga_tbs_metrikThe sample show a metric where the overall status is only Warning even the free mb of the tablespace went to critical. Also note that this is a Multi Value which is not avaible in that form on Cloud Control.

DBMonipro has also a rich parameter set to handle metrics which are more complicated like a standby drift where no dataguard is in place. A other feature is that you can use a Oracle Database (also XE database) to store your metric data for reporting and historical analyse.

The next nice thing is that DBMonipro has a connection manager, which gives you also some nice enhancements.

  • No Permanent connection (latency)
  • Caching of key data
  • Shared Sessions
  • Limit of resources in the target database

Conclusio:
Clound Control is a powerfull tool, and don`t want to miss it in several szenarios. But for many of my customers this is not the right Software and i need good alternative for monitoring. There are many frameworks on the internet which bring a rich benefit to DBA which are working on Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition (without any option packs).

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