MySQL is the second most popular relational database management system (RDBMS) after Oracle. It is endearing facts like being a free and open-source database platform – while still offering advanced data management features and a robustness few others can match – that have contributed to its being favored as such.
This popularity also means there will always be a market for MySQL monitoring tools that database administrators (DBAs) can use to get the maximum performance out of their databases.
Here is a summary list of the six best MySQL monitoring tools:
- SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor – FREE TRIAL – this tool comes from the market leader in the server monitoring market and works with almost all databases, not just MySQL, allowing for the ultimate integrated database administration experience.
- Idera SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL – FREE TRIAL – a package of database monitoring analysis that includes optimization for MySQL queries and the databases that they run on. Available for Windows and Windows Server.
- Paessler MySQL Monitoring – this is a cloud-based network infrastructure monitoring tool that uses numerous sensors to help administer MySQL databases as well as the hardware and software solutions that support them.
- ManageEngine Application Manager – here we have a popular suite of software and hardware monitoring tools for enterprise database solutions like Oracle, MS SQL, and MySQL which makes it a great choice for businesses with hybrid data storage systems.
- Percona Monitoring and Management Tool – this is a free and open-sourced database monitoring, management, and security solution for all flavors of MySQL.
- AppDynamics MySQL Performance Monitoring – a comprehensive database monitoring tool that works round-the-clock and gives in-depth insights into their performances as well as dependable forecasts.
What are the main metrics MySQL monitoring tools keep track of?
A good MySQL monitoring tool reads the pulse of a MySQL database and server system by tracking four main metrics:
- Queries: it is important to keep an eye on the performance of every single query to ensure there is an optimal performance in execution time. On the other hand, databases need to be monitored for inefficient joins between tables, insufficient indexes, and unnecessarily complex SQL statements which should trigger alerts.
- Capacity issues: database performance can be affected by issues with the hardware it sits on like low processing power, slow hard disk read-write times, hardware misconfiguration, low disk space, and low memory.
- Conflicts among users: when there are many users on a database they could run queries that interfere with one another's' activities. If one user's database query takes too long, it could cause a page or row lock. Transactional locks or deadlocks could also keep other users out until they are released. These tools help identify such conflicts.
- Configuration issues: improper hard disk configurations can cause issues. To avoid such performance issues, a tool can monitor for issues like insufficient buffer sizes or the absence of a query cache.
Armed with input from monitoring tools, a DBA can quickly resolve issues and get things back on track.
The best MySQL monitoring tools
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform with a web-based user interface; it deploys lightweight agents for specific tasks via multiple configurations. This makes it easy to install and use. It can be used to monitor MySQL databases in the cloud, local, or hybrid networking architecture environments.
SAM stores both real-time and historical data that can be used to pinpoint, analyze, and resolve current performance issues as well as make forecasts. It also uses multiple methods to protect sensitive data which helps with achieving GDPR and SOC 2 compliance.
Some more features include:
- This is a tool that monitors ALL servers but it can be made even more detailed and powerful with the Database Performance Monitor extension which can also work with MySQL databases. Meanwhile, SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer for MySQL and MySQL Performance Monitoring integration tools specifically manage MySQL databases.
- With the MySQL performance monitoring tool, DBAs can measure latency and throughput times and receive warnings for errors in index usage and execution plans.
- It offers 24/7 real-time monitoring to help attain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) goals for availability, deployment frequency, reduced failed deploys, and short change lead times.
- The tool makes instant recommendations on which server configurations to tweak and finds queries with potentially erratic behavior.
- The Query Analyzer is a root cause analysis tool that shows a master-detail view of all servers and has the capability of drilling-down into queries, EXPLAIN plans, and cross-correlating it with other metrics like I/O and CPU. Alternatively, it can drill down from a global view to a single problem query on a single server.
- The tool can monitor and classify data on MySQL queries, users, databases, processes, hard disks, and processors, among many other system components. It can also dissect these queries, users, and databases to compare them for trend and delta reports.
Download a fully functional 14-day free trial of SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer for MySQL.
Idera SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL is a package of monitoring and management tools for databases created in the MySQL DBMS. It is also able to monitor other DBMSs and there is a different version of the package that caters to SQL Server databases.
Features included in this package are:
- Monitoring facilities for MySQL, MariaDB, Aurora, Azure Database for MySQL, Amazon RDS, Google Cloud SQL for MySQL, and Oracle Cloud MySQL Cloud Service DBMSs.
- Live monitoring for databases, including graphical representations of resource usage.
- Alerts arise when system resources become in short supply or when queries take too long to complete. This allows for unattended system monitoring.
- A performance optimizer for queries that shows the interaction of each transaction with database objects. This tool also enables the improvement of database structures.
- Tracking and recording of automated system processes, such as backup and replication.
- A log manager that stores all of the log files produced by the databases being monitored.
Idera offers a 14-day free trial of SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL.
3. Paessler MySQL Monitoring
Paessler AG – the makers of PRTG, a cloud-hosted network, and infrastructure monitoring tool – offers predefined sensors for every important database manufacturer, including MySQL, with the help of its MySQL v2 Sensor.
Features included with this monitoring tool are:
- PRTG can monitor Oracle, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, as well as MySQL which makes it ideal for a complex database environment.
- The tool's dashboard is flexible, customizable, clean, and easy to use – it has tabs for quick access to features like notifications, alarms, and logs to effortlessly keep on top of issues.
- PRTG is also easy to set up which cuts the time needed to deploy and start running; once done, admins can use the default, preconfigured sensors, or configure their own for unique scenarios with the help of APIs.
- It can show execution times of requests – going from connection buildup, to query execution, to transaction handling, and disconnection times of a defined query. In the case of latency, it can then be tweaked for optimal performance.
- The tool can, for example, show the number of rows that were affected or added by a query like a SELECT statement when working with data tables and transactional insights are required for troubleshooting issues caused during execution time.
- When it comes to monitoring, PRTG minimizes query and return times which results in a real-time view of MySQL databases.
PRTG offers a free download of their unlimited version of the tool for 30 days after which the tool reverts to a free version.
4. ManageEngine Applications Manager
ManageEngine Applications Manager is another suite of software and hardware monitoring tools that holds a large share of the market. This tool has the ability to manage JDBC databases like Oracle, MS SQL, and MySQL.
Together, these tools help DBAs manage and monitor the performance and availability of their MySQL databases with features like:
- DBAs can monitor critical performance parameters of their databases to maximize uptime. Some key performance parameters monitored include: connection times, request times, thread details, query hit ratio, database and index sizes, and replication details.
- It monitors MySQL query performance by keeping track of a set of specific critical queries and associating alarms to them, to get instant notifications in case they perform abnormally.
- Similarly, it can be used to keep a check on the latency of data syncing – and flag delays in synchronization of data between database servers – depending on the type of replication topology employed.
- It is also a forecasting tool – Applications Manager's MySQL monitor compares historical performance reports of database servers to visualize future performance trends. These machine-learning powered forecast reports allow DBAs to predict future growth and utilization of their MySQL databases and then plan for resource upgrades as well as load distribution.
- MySQL Monitoring also offers the flexibility to create custom reports that can be scheduled to run at required intervals.
All in all, Applications Manager's MySQL Management tool enables users to gain end-to-end visibility into the performance of their MySQL servers with its robust managing, monitoring, alerting, and analytical capabilities.
DBAs can download a 30-day free trial which reverts back to the free version once it expires.
5. Percona Monitoring and Management Tool
Percona Monitoring and Management Tool (PMM) is a free and open-sourced database monitoring and management solution. It works with MySQL and all its variants: MongoDB, MariaDB, Amazon RDS MySQL, Aurora MySQL, ProxySQL, PostgreSQL – the tool even has dedicated dashboards for some of these versions – as well as Percona XtraDB Clusters.
The company is known for its expertise in the development and support of various MySQL open software solutions that have proven to be highly-scalable.
The monitoring tool comes with features like:
- Besides simplifying and optimizing MySQL database management, PMM also improves the security of other dependant business-critical database environments, irrespective of their location or deployment.
- The Security Threat Tool runs checks for common database security issues by helping to identify unexpected database queries, track database security loopholes, and reduce data exposure. The tool can run regular security checks on all open source databases and trigger alerts when databases are compromised.
- PMM offers real-time visibility, forecasting, and trends as well as a review of fleets of servers that allows for drilling-down into clusters.
- It also offers point-in-time and historical visibility of MySQL database performance for analysis.
- The Query Analytics (QAN) tool stays on top of the execution time of queries with details of MySQL query execution time to help understand the root causes of any latency.
- Security audits and history show real-time statuses of all databases and the currency of their details.
The latest version of Percona Monitoring and Management Tool can be downloaded for free.
6. AppDynamics MySQL Performance Monitoring
Apart from MySQL, the tool also monitors DB2, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and MS SQL Servers from one central installation that can oversee an organization's entire data storage system.
Features of this tool:
- The tool offers the capability to visualize end-to-end application performances using just a browser.
- It can help identify and resolve performance issues with real-time insights into statistical data on MySQL databases and servers that are presented in delta graphs.
- The database monitoring tool monitors trend key performance metrics such as resource consumption, database objects, schema statistics, and more, allowing DBAs to proactively tune and fix issues before they affect end-users.
- It also shows execution plans for slow MySQL queries to help identify performance bottlenecks and triggers alerts when database thresholds are violated.
- DBAs can monitor, and then improve on, their databases' performance metrics including top users, programs, and objects.
- They can also analyze MySQL performance trends over time and use the information to proactively tune performances.
- It offers real-time visibility into MySQL server statistics that are then displayed in delta graphs.
- One-click query statement analysis displays details of SQL statements' execution plans with drill-down capabilities for quick troubleshooting. This includes the help of information on current MySQL configuration parameters, properties, and related information on database objects and their configuration values.
- Historical reports of delta comparisons help make data-driven decisions about MySQL servers.
AppDynamics offers a 15-day SaaS trial version of MySQL Performance Monitoring.
Why do you need MySQL monitoring tools?
Apart from automating the care of, and administering, a MySQL server are there other advantages to using MySQL monitoring tools?
Yes, there are; they include:
- Accuracy in diagnosing issues to help cut their troubleshooting and remedying times.
- Forecasting to know what could happen in the future allows for accurate resource management and planning.
- Avoiding man-made errors before they occur helps cut the number of issues before they can cause interruptions.
- Alerts can be configured to keep an eye on systems round the clock, even when there are no DBAs around.
All in all, MySQL monitoring tools take the burden off of DBAs who need to have a complete insight into their databases, ensuring their optimal performances, and to remedy issues with the shortest amount of time and effort spent. They keep them a step ahead of issues and help them future-proof their assets, thereby enhancing the performance of DBAs and network administrators.