Build Systems that Drive Business
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

How to monitor your database

Baron Schwartz (VividCortex)
4:35pm–5:15pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Monitoring, Observability, and Performance
Location: LL21 A/B Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics: Systems Monitoring & Orchestration
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to monitor a database by understanding the difference between workload and resource monitoring—and the golden signals for each


The first time Baron Schwartz tried to monitor a database, he was overwhelmed. There were hundreds of variables to monitor as well as lots of Nagios check scripts that each had dozens of checks. He wasn’t sure what alerts to set up, so he set up too many and got a bunch of noise as a result. A couple of years later, Baron returned to that company and found all those alerts still in place, still spamming everyone, but the company had just filtered every alert to the trash.

Join Baron to discover how he learned to do monitoring better, so you won’t make the same mistakes he did. Any sophisticated system like a database has many more instrumentation points than you should actively monitor. The trick is approaching it with a sound monitoring framework in mind. Baron shares the framework he’s developed over many years, which breaks monitoring into a holistic approach that’s easy to understand and makes it obvious what kinds of data are useful for what purposes.

You’ll learn the seven golden signals (yes, seven and not four), how workload and resource performance are complementary and necessary for a complete understanding of database health and performance, and how to monitor technology-specific “sharp edges.” You’ll also see how these concepts work with a few databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.

Photo of Baron Schwartz

Baron Schwartz


Baron Schwartz is the founder and CTO of VividCortex, the best way to see what your production database servers are doing. Baron has written a lot of open source software and several books, including High Performance MySQL. He’s focused his career on learning and teaching about performance and observability of systems generally, including the view that teams are systems and culture influences their performance, and databases specifically.