True Visibility Suite

Industry Insights Interview with DBAs

Ross Dailey: Hello this is Ross Dailey with Blue Medora. The purpose of this video series is to interview DBA’s to give you insight into the industry and gain from their experience.

Uneasiness of the visibility after virtualization is a huge concern for Database Administrators or DBA’s in the Enterprise Management industry. So today, we’re going to be talking with a Database Administrator who is working in an “Oracle shop” with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and has recently virtualized with VMware. As you may know, virtualizing has a significant return on investment, but comes with major flaws and can leave you blind to what is going on in your environment, which leaves you open for performance and availability issues.

Let’s go to today’s interview, so we can start learning from Brian’s knowledge and expertise.

Good afternoon, could you introduce yourself to our audience and tell us how long you have been DBA?

Brian Pardy: My name is Brian Pardy. I am a Database Administrator (DBA). I’ve been working as a DBA since 1996.

RD: Why be a DBA?

BP: I really enjoy it. It is a lot of fun being able to keep systems up and running and to be able to help people out when they have trouble getting to their data.

RD: What is important to you as a DBA?

BP: To be able to have the visibility of the systems to optimize their queries, create indexes, and other items necessary to help my systems run better.

RD: Every DBA I’ve met, has a lot going on in a highly stressful field and rapidly changing industry especially as more shops are virtualizing. Can you talk about the visibility you were experiencing before the Blue Medora Plugin was installed?

BP: A complete lack of any visibility into the virtualization. I had access to the vSphere console with a very limited set of permissions. I could essentially see that a virtual machine is up and running but didn’t know anything else about it.

RD: What issues arose from this complete lack of visibility you mentioned?

BP: Specifically noticing things like balloon memory, reclaimed memory, etc. as far as seeing what is going on in the “back end”.

RD: How about after the Blue Medora Plugin?

BP: So once we brought in the Blue Medora Plugin for VMware, I was able to get my Storage Admin and VMware Admin to set up accounts for the plugin to use and I had increased permissions that then allowed me to see what was going on.

RD: The plugin is installed and starts giving you results immediately, what was it that you noticed right away?

BP: Probably the most helpful issue was getting into one database the OS (operating system) on the virtual machine (VM) was set up to have 8GB ram available to it, but the memory limits on the VMware side were only set to 2GB. Essentially, the VM was running a production database and was constantly “swapping” and not from the OS point of view, but from the VM point of view. Being able to find that is not something I would have found “poking” through the vSphere client manually. Having the plugin available and taking a peek at it during a time when I was having a performance issue, the issue ‘stuck out’ and it helped me! That actually wasn’t even an Oracle database, that was a SQL server database, so it’s not only useful for Oracle.

RD: That is all we have for part one of the interview, be sure to join me next time as I talk to DBA, Brian Pardy about how the Plugin for VMware improved team communications and what Brian instantly found inside his system after the quick install process!

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