Sybase ASE/RepServer monitoring

I originally posted this as a reply to Nicolaw on Livejournal

After a great deal of inspection, Nagios won’t work for what I need but I’m taking specific design ideas from it. Not that the design of Nagios is all that novel, but some parts of it are well thought out while other parts you just want to take the CLUE BAT (TM) to the developers. One of the big problems with Nagios, and similarily Big Brother, is that they don’t scale very well at all without significant customization.

I’m in the design phase of monitoring only about 100 Sybase ASE and Replication servers so while we aren’t talking about a lot of servers, the amount of information we are going to gather relating to performance, space utilization, diagnostics, and maintenance is considerable. Since this is a project for work, it is unlikely to see the light of the outside world 🙁 Maybe I’ll be able to convince the Powers that Be that releasing would be good PR. maybe..

Maybe on my spare time, I’ll create a lightweight Nagios plugin for the Sybase ASE and Sybase Replication server.

Oh, found out the ieee1394 driver in 2.6.17 doesn’t like a flakey external ieee1394 (firewire) harddrive too well. It causes my machine to restart. The enclosure also has a usb2 connection so I’ll try that this weekend. My other external harddrive (same model enclosure and hd model) works fine using ieee1394. I prefer ieee1394, because it is:

  1. faster than usb2
  2. less load on my box
  3. I use my firewire card for something other than the Dazzle Hollywood Bridge


One of my biggest gripes about Nagios is that it doesn’t really have a repository (back end database) where the data can be mined. I’m sure I can add a repository for all the data but I’m unsure whether it is worth the effort if I’m not able to release the code back to the Nagios people.

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2 Replies to “Sybase ASE/RepServer monitoring”

  1. I was wondering if you got the chance to develop the lightweight Nagios plugin for the Sybase ASE – if so, I could be your beta user – regards, aaburub

  2. Actually we went with a home grown monitoring system. Nagios is really a monitoring system built around availability of a machine or service. It wasn’t designed to handle performance monitoring, MDA table archiving, etc. For a sysadmin, Nagios is invaluable but for a DBA, Nagios would have to be nearly completely redesigned for it to be useful.

    I’m working on documenting our home grown solution. In a nutshell, we have perl scripts that connect to each Sybase ASE, RepServer, and open server application to collect:
    is alive?
    performance metrics from MDA tables, sp_monitor, and certain dbcc commands
    space usage of database devices and databases (a modified sp__dbspace from Ed Barlow
    current replication queue status along with information on any exceptions

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