MySQL is an open-source relational database management system that operates based on the client-server model by using SQL as its mode of communication. It is the second most popular database in the world owing to its flexible and scalable nature, high security, ease of use, and ability to handle large data sets seamlessly. Due to its wide range of functionalities, MySQL is employed as part of the database management system for several high-profile companies such as Facebook, PayPal, and Twitter.

What is MySQL monitoring? 

MySQL monitoring tracks the performance behavior of critical MySQL components like databases, queries, threads, connections, replications, and sessions to gain complete visibility into the database management system. As an integral part of any database management strategy, MySQL monitoring is employed to instantly alert admins whenever a performance breach is detected and to generate reports to analyze the cause behind such setbacks. Organizations with a complex IT structure tend to rely on MySQL monitoring tools like ManageEngine Applications Manager that keenly focus on helping users understand how their database system is operating from a performance perspective as well as drill down into individual components to enable anomaly detection and fault management.

While there are tons of monitoring solutions available to choose from, it would be a shot in the dark to find the one that can provide complete coverage into your MySQL environment. One of the best practices while choosing a monitoring tool is to employ the services of one that can expose performance problems and knows where to look for them. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most essential MySQL metrics that need to be monitored using a tool, and how monitoring can benefit you.

Features to look out for in a MySQL monitoring tool

MySQL performance monitoring: 

A basic feature that every monitoring tool should have is the ability to provide the health status of your entire MySQL system as a single unit. This helps you understand if the database processes are running smoothly without hindrance and ensure the smooth delivery of services across MySQL components. Applications Manager features the health status of the MySQL database in an overview dashboard, which can be further analyzed for statistics like downtime, uptime, mean time to repair (MTTR), and mean time between failures (MTBF).

Performance dashboard of Applications Manager's MySQL monitoring tool

The presence of too many active connections in the database server can occasionally lead to server overload. It is a best practice to have a MySQL monitoring tool that gives you insight into the number of active and open connections as a countermeasure for overloading issues. In addition, analyzing the processes that have been terminated or aborted by the server can help predict the factors that may lead to connection failure. Applications Manager provides information to help you understand the connectivity status of client processes in the MySQL server. You can also access additional statistics like the duration and request rate of the MySQL connection. Using Applications Manager, you can assign thresholds to important metrics that would trigger an alarm whenever a breach is detected. This way, you can preemptively detect and prevent issues like connection overload, failure, and slow connections.

Applications Manager also keeps track of other cluster elements such as threads, table locks, and key hit rates. The MySQL monitor helps get clarity into the number of threads that can process a request, the number of times a table lock can be assigned or denied, and the number of requests that resulted in a read. Lack of buffer cache memory can often lead to disruption in performance. Applications Manager provides the key buffer stats, which help you identify whether sufficient memory is allocated to MySQL index buffers.

Metrics to monitor: MySQL health, availability, connection time, request rate, byte transfer rate, open or aborted connection count, aborted client count, thread usage count, cache thread count, thread cache size, successful or unsuccessful lock count, key hit rate, key buffer usage, key buffer size, and more.

MySQL database monitoring 

When handling multiple databases within a MySQL system, it’s wise to keep track of all the DBs within a single monitoring dashboard, making it easier to isolate the faulty ones. Applications Manager has a dedicated panel that uses a pie chart to showcase the space allocated to all the databases within the system. It also breaks down each database to provide statistics such as total memory (MB), index size (MB), table count, and health status. By monitoring the health status of each database at a glance, you can easily identify ones that need attention and further analyze them to fix impending issues.

MySQL database monitoring with ManageEngine Applications Manager

Metrics to monitor: Name, total size (MB), index size (MB), table count, and health of the database.

MySQL replication monitoring 

MySQL has a reputation for being highly available, thanks to its disaster recovery capability that is offered through data replication. By creating multiple replicas of the primary database cluster, MySQL ensures seamless transfer of data in the case of connectivity disruption issues. However, even such a foolproof failover method is prone to performance setbacks. Replication lag is one such issue that usually occurs whenever the slave process is falling behind the master process, wherein the slave threads are often found to be the culprits. Due to innumerable reasons, the slave I/O and slave SQL threads could slow down, which could easily result in replication delays.

To help identify and rectify replication lags, Applications Manager features a graph that shows the time lag between the master and slave processes where replication lag can be identified at a glance. If a time delay is identified, you can take a look at the slave process, slave I/O, and slave SQL statuses to find out the root cause of the issue.

MySQL replication monitoring with ManageEngine Applications Manager

Metrics to monitor: Replication status, slave I/O status, slave SQL status, master host, master user, master port, last error details, and the time delay between slave and master.

MySQL query monitoring 

Inefficient querying is one of the factors that contribute to performance delays in a MySQL database server. When a query takes too long to execute, it can directly affect the communication rate between the data center and the associated application. As there are innumerable processes in play, it can sometimes prove difficult to pinpoint the exact query that is pulling the whole system down. Applications Manager makes MySQL query monitoring effortless by listing the top 10 queries along with their average, total, and max CPU duration statistics based on the performance speed of each query. You can use this information to isolate troublesome queries and make necessary optimizations for improved performance.

MySQL performance monitoring with ManageEngine

Metrics to monitor: Slow performing query, last execution time, average CPU time, total CPU time, max CPU time, and database name.

MySQL session monitoring 

Tracking MySQL sessions can come in handy when trying to understand their operation type and performance level. Applications Manager has a dedicated panel that lists out every user session taking place in the MySQL server with information about the query statement, memory and CPU consumption, user details, database details, and the program that triggered the session. With the tool’s MySQL session monitoring feature, it becomes easier to check the memory specified for a session against the amount of memory being consumed. This helps weed out the Out Of Memory error that occurs when there is not enough memory available for clients to store results.

MySQL session monitoring with ManageEngine Applications Manager

Metrics to monitor: Session Process ID (PID), status, user details, name of the database, program name, memory usage (KB), CPU time (ms), lock latency (ms), command type, thread query, last query type, and last query CPU time (ms).

MySQL variable monitoring 

One of the most common challenges while monitoring your MySQL database server is the lack of visibility into user-defined variables. By carefully tracking the predefined set of values configured in the MySQL database, IT admins can easily rectify potential errors by performing a root cause analysis and making necessary tweaks to the system. For example, the Connection Timeout error usually occurs when the client has been inactive for a longer duration than the values declared under the wait_timeout or interactive_timeout variables. Similarly, the Connection Overload issue usually occurs whenever the number of active connections exceeds the max_connection count. If you encounter the Table Full error, you can check the table count against the temp_table_size variable.

Applications Manager's MySQL monitoring dashboard shows all your MySQL configurations

Applications Manager’s MySQL monitor has a dedicated Configurations section that is integrated with the rest of the monitoring features within a single unified platform. This makes it effortless for IT admins to run the configuration variables against database metrics for a clear understanding of any errors that occur. For those with multiple MySQL systems, Applications Manager also has a history report where the configuration variables for every database being monitored can be viewed.

Making the right choice for your MySQL monitoring needs 

The ultimate goal would be to choose a MySQL monitoring tool that can see into every nook and corner of your database environment with the aid of its multi-dimensional tracking capabilities. Not only does this enable troubleshooting of issues, but having a single console that monitors all the crucial elements of your MySQL database paves the way for performing in-depth root cause analysis and improving overall performance output. Having access to all the above-mentioned features can vitally provide the edge needed to maintain a flawless database management strategy.

Applications Manager is one such tool that aims to reduce the burden of managing your MySQL database system through its wide array of features and around-the-clock vigilance. As an all-rounder when it comes to offering database monitoring services, Applications Manager is known to be one of the most convenient, affordable, and hassle-free solutions available on the market. In addition, it also has support for monitoring over 150 technologies.

Want the full MySQL monitoring experience?

Applications Manager offers a 30-day, free trial for you to explore  all the features associated with our MySQL monitor and find out if it is the right fit for your business! Download the 30-day, FREE trial now!