The Virtualization Practice

Confio Software

IgniteVM

IgniteVM™ helps IT organizations remove the risk of moving critical databases from physical to virtual server environments. For use by DBA teams assigned to ensuring service and availability of the VMware hosted databases, IgniteVM restores the accurate resource monitoring lost when physical servers are replaced by virtual ones.

IgniteVM is the only monitoring tool that links database response performance with the multiple layers of the database architecture. It shows the DBA team what the database response delays are, and what are contributing causes at the instance, virtual and physical levels.

Transitioning production Oracle, SQL Sever, Sybase and DB2 databases to virtual servers is a step that IT organizations are taking cautiously because of concern over continuous availability, I/O bottlenecks, and performance degradation. Making IgniteVM part of the VMware project is a way to ensure the database service does not suffer with the move to virtual servers.

Virtual Layer Visibility

Virtual Layer Visibility

IgniteVM gives DBAs visibility to database and virtual server interoperation, to help ensure database performance and availability after the move from physical servers to VMware. Standard database monitoring tools do not give real visibility into the virtual machine, and when allocated CPU, memory or I/O resources are shifted away, standard tools have no way to gauge the database impact. For the DBA team tasked with keeping up with a virtual environment they cannot see or control, there is IgniteVM.

Why IgniteVM for DBAs:

Standard server resource statistics are meaningless on a virtual machine. Ignite captures the real statistics from VMware and exposes them to the DBAs.

  • DBAs have no virtual server visibility. Virtual server resource and configuration info is controlled and only accessible to the VMware administrator. IgniteVM gives DBAs the visibility they need.
  • Virtual server resources can change rapidly without DBA knowledge. On a virtual server, resources are subject to instantaneous changes by the VMware administrator, or even dynamic changes by VMware vMotion. A DBA cannot ensure reliable operation without knowing what CPU, memory and software resources are available.
  • I/O and CPU bottlenecks at the virtual server layer are of special concern and can impact database response. IgniteVM measures I/O and CPU/memory response time in the database and correlates it to the virtual server, so the DBA can see where the I/O and CPU bottlenecks really exist.

The IgniteVM home screen tracks high level performance, availability and alarms for every instance and the virtual machine it resides on.

Agentless Architecture

Agentless Architecture

IgniteVM takes advantage of the Ignite agentless architecture to monitor database instances, virtual hosts, and vCenter without installing any software on the monitored systems. It is the lightest, least-intrusive method of capturing combined database and server data.

How Does it Work?

Ignite captures database performance and resource statistics directly from the instance and stores them in the data warehouse repository. For VMware data, Ignite uses READ-ONLY access to vCenter and to the VMware ESX server to capture data and store it in the same way. Then Ignite correlates the samples and presents them to the DBA in the browser based interface, tying the database and VMware stats together in the easy to understand graphical display.

Imporant details:

  • Ignite VM monitors all Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 and Sybase instances simultaneously, whether on physical or virtual servers.
  • Ignite discovers the virtual server home and details of each registered instance, and detects when virtual servers move to different physical hosts.
  • Data is stored in an Oracle or SQL Server instance, typcially non-production. Detailed history for any point in time stays accessible, to answer the question ‘what was going on with VMware changes and database bottleneck’ at a specific minute when we had a problem.
  • Read-only access to vCenter (recommended) and ESX (4.x or greater) is needed. VMware admins can grant IgniteVM access to vCenter without ever sharing VMware credentials with DBAs, and credentials are encrypted to prevent DBA users from ever seeing them.
  • On its own, IgniteVM focuses on availability and high level instance performance. When used in combination with Ignite8, it expands to provide a detailed database tuning and monitoring solution along with virtual server data.

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