Monday, July 28, 2008

MySQL Enterprise Monitor: Competition is a good thing!

As the Product Manager for MySQL Enterprise and the Enterprise Monitor I am constantly being asked questions from our Sales team, prospects, customers, etc. about how our products stack up against competing products. This is tough for a PM because competitive situations change with each new release cycle and ISVs (both free/open and commercial) with agile development practices can deliver new features in very short order. Further, getting into a feature-feature discussion is a no win situation because someone will ALWAYS have more check marks. Also, I tend to be more positive about competing products because a) healthy competition makes us all better and b) my competitors enable more people to use MySQL to build apps that will most likely need MySQL support and c) the best support for MySQL comes under a MySQL Enterprise subscription! With those things in mind you will *never* hear me or the Engineering team I work with bad mouth or otherwise run down a competing MySQL monitoring product.

When asked about competing MySQL Monitoring products I think it is best to focus most on the value the Enterprise Monitor provides by asking some simple questions:

- Does product X allow you to see and monitor all your servers in one consolidated view?
- Is product X agent and web based for scalability?
- Does product X use minimum connections to collect monitoring data from your MySQL servers?
- Does product X store monitoring data so you can analyze it later using any BI app?
- Does product X notify you of problems when you are not using the GUI?
- Does product X describe and help you fix/tune what/where/how when needed?
- Does product X plug into your existing notification/alert/escalation system?
- Does product X show you the top-N query resource hogs for specified periods of time?
- Finally, does product X come as part of solution that includes a version of MySQL fully supported with regular updates, and production support provided by the MySQL Support team for both the MySQL server and the monitoring product?

Not sure about other Monitoring products, but the answers for the Enterprise Monitor are, in no certain order, yes yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

I am also torn when I am asked to compare how the Enterprise Monitor compares to custom in-house written scripts used to monitor MySQL. Knowing the blood, sweat, tears and pride that goes into each script I usually ask "how will you spend your time now that won't have to collect and store metric data and then write, version, or maintain your own scripts to monitor it?" The former DBA in me recognizes when this particular question strikes a chord...


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