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Monitor Your MySQL, MariaDB and Percona Servers with Navicat Monitor

Thursday May 10th 2018 by Rob Gravelle

The latest player to enter the database monitoring arena is Navicat. Rob Gravelle provides one of the first looks at Navicat Monitor's many features and describes how to configure it, with an emphasis on Windows 10.

Configuring Navicat Monitor on Windows 10

One of the hottest trends in database administration is agentless monitoring. Tools that employ an agentless architecture collect performance metrics from your database server(s) without requiring the installation of any agent software on the server(s). From the perspective of database administrators (DBAs), the agentless approach is a lot easier to manage than agent-based monitoring because you don't need to deploy agent software on every server and can monitor your server(s) remotely. The latest player to enter the database monitoring arena is Navicat, whose line of database administration tools for MySQL, MariaDB, SQL Server, SQLite, Oracle and PostgreSQL are widely regarded as industry leaders. Today's article will provide one of the first looks at this promising new tool by exploring some of its many features as well as how to configure it, with an emphasis on Windows 10.

Requirements

Navicat Monitor monitors your MySQL, MariaDB and Percona servers, and collects metrics at regular intervals using an agentless architecture. It's also compatible with a variety of cloud databases like Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, Oracle Cloud, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud. The Monitoring software is installed on a local computer, server, or virtual machine and then collects a number of process metrics such as CPU load, RAM usage, and a variety of other resources over SSH/SNMP.

Navicat Monitor employs a dedicated database to store alerts and metrics for historical analyses. The repository database can be any existing MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, or Amazon RDS instance.

Supported Operating Systems (OSes)

Navicat Monitor will run on much the same OSes as their other products. As such, there are installation packages available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here are all of the specific supported OS editions:

  • Microsoft Windows:
    1. Windows 8
    2. Windows 8.1
    3. Windows 10
    4. Server 2008
    5. Server 2012
    6. Server 2016
  • macOS:
    1. Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
    2. Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
    3. macOS 10.12 Sierra
    4. macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • Linux:
    1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 or later
    2. CentOS 6.6 or later
    3. Oracle Linux 6.6 or later
    4. Fedora 20 or later
    5. Debian 8.0 or later
    6. SuSE Linux Enterprise 12 or later
    7. openSUSE 42.3
    8. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    9. 16.04 LTS or 17.10
    10. Amazon Linux 2

Supported Browsers

Navicat Monitor is a server-based software, which can be accessed from anywhere via a web browser. With Web access, you can easily and seamlessly keep track of your servers from anywhere in the world, around the clock.

You should consider using one of the following browsers before any other. Of course, other browsers will probably work as well, but these have been tested and are recommended by Navicat:

  1. Firefox (Latest Version)
  2. Chrome (Latest Version)
  3. Internet Explorer 11 or later
  4. Microsoft Edge 39 or later
  5. Safari 9.1.3 or later

Features at a Glance

We've already established that Navicat Monitor employs an agentless architecture and can be installed on any workstation/device OR server running one of the main three (Windows, macOS, Linux) OSes. There are two ways to configure the Navicat software:

  1. You can install the Navicat Monitor software directly on your workstation/device and then access it locally via your preferred browser.
  2. You can also install the Navicat software on a server, which would allow you to access the monitor tools from any device that can communicate with your server.

Now let's take a bird's eye view of Navicat Monitor's other pertinent features. Some are integral to any professional monitoring tool, while others go above and beyond, offering additional value in one complete package.

  1. Real-time Performance Monitoring

    Real-time data monitoring (RTDM) is a process through which an administrator can review and evaluate the overall database processes and functions performed on the data in real time, i.e., as it happens, through graphical charts on a central interface/dashboard. Navicat Monitor includes both a set of real-time and historical graphs that allow DBAs to drill down into the details of server statistics. It provides a fine-grained view of server load and performance metrics relating to availability, disk usage, network I/O, table locks and more. Moreover, by showing side-by-side statistics for each server, DBAs can easily spot and track deviations in performance and traffic among servers. Using the metrics provided by Navicat's interactive dashboard, DBAs can determine possible remedies and adjust server settings accordingly.

    Real-time Performance Monitoring
    Real-time Performance Monitoring

  2. Alerts

    Even the most dedicated DBA can't be watching server performance 24/7. Even if it was feasible, that wouldn't be a an enviable existence! That's where database alerts come in. An alert is raised when a threshold value for a System Monitor counter has been reached. For example, you could create an alert that is raised when the number of deadlocks exceeds a specific value. In response to the alert, Navicat Monitor's built-in Alert feature notifies you before bigger problems arise to ensure your databases are constantly available and performing in optimal capacity. Notifications can be sent via email, SMS or SNMP whenever a warning or critical condition occurs in your infrastructure.

    After an alert has been raised, Navicat Monitor provides advanced root cause analysis that enables you to drill down and find more in-depth information when an issue is found - server metrics, performance statistics, hardware usage, and historical data. You can also monitor your alerts in the Alert Details screen, which provides an overview of the selected alerts that comprises its summary, timeline, metric charts, and more.

    Navicat Monitor Alerts
    Navicat Monitor Alerts

  3. Query Analyzer

    The query analyzer monitors queries in real time to quickly improve the performance and efficiency of your server. It shows the summary information of all executing queries and lets you easily uncover problematic queries, for instance:

    • identifying top queries with cumulative execution time count
    • slow queries with unacceptable response time
    • detecting deadlocks when two or more queries permanently block each other

    Query Analyzer
    Query Analyzer

  4. Reporting

    In addition to collect metrics of multiple instances on the same chart to compare and analyze data, Navicat Monitor can also generate professional reports at lightning speed. You can also save your report as a high-quality PDF document via the PDF button.

    Reporting
    Reporting

  5. Replication

    Monitoring a replication topology is an important aspect of deploying replication. Because replication activity is distributed, it is essential to track activity and status across all computers involved in replication.

    Using Navicat Monitor, you can apply schematic diagrams to visually represent the relationship between master servers and slaves. You can monitor the overall health of a replication topology as a whole, each individual node, and each replication subsystem to make sure the data on the replicated servers is always up to date.

    Monitored Replications
    Monitored Replications

  6. Manage Users and Roles

    Navicat Monitor allows the creation of local users, or external users using LDAP or AD authentication, along with their access rights and restrictions by assigning roles to users. You can customize the pre-defined roles to best fit your needs or create new roles with customized privileges settings to restrict access to selected pages in Navicat Monitor.

    Manage Users and Roles

    Manage Users and Roles

  7. Instances Management

    Organize your servers into groups to make it easier for users to find them by category. Assign users to specific groups as members and apply the same alert configuration settings to them with minimal effort. All members will get notified when an alert is raised.

    Instances Management
    Instances Management

  8. Export Monitor Settings

    Exporting Navicat Monitor settings can be useful if you want to migrate an application server or for backup purposes. The exported zip file includes Token Keys, Instance Settings, Repository Database Settings and all the files necessary for the restoration.

    export_monitor_settings (69K)
    Export Monitor Settings

Configuring Navicat Monitor

The rest of the article will explore how to configure Navicat Monitor on Windows 10. You can download the trial version from the Navicat site. It will provide you with 14 days of full functionality to give it a thorough evaluation.

The Navicat Monitor icon is added to the Taskbar during installation. Right-clicking it displays a context menu with several commands, including one to Start monitoring, enable Auto-start, as well as Open Navicat Monitor in the default browser.

Navicat Monitor Context Menu
Navicat Monitor Context Menu

Upon first launching the monitor in the browser, you're greeted by the Welcome Screen. From there, you can either set the Monitor's initial settings or import them from another installation.

Navicat Monitor Welcome Screen
Navicat Monitor Welcome Screen

A wizard guides you through the configuration of the admin account, repository database, and monitor application settings, and then presents a summary of the initial settings.

Navicat Monitor Initial Settings
Navicat Monitor Initial Settings

Clicking the Finish button then configures Navicat Monitor and the launches the Login screen in a new browser tab.

Configuring a New DB Server Instance

You can specify DB servers to monitor via the + New Instance button. Clicking it opens the New Instance dialog.

In the New Instance window, you can enter a name to best describe your instance in Instance Name and select the Group of your instance. Groups include "Production" and "Testing" by default, but you can add a new group by clicking the + New Group button. Then, provide login information to connect your server.

New DB Server Instance
New DB Server Instance

Monitoring CPU and Memory

Navicat Monitor can collect your server's system performance metrics such as CPU and memory resources using SSH (Secure Shell) and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol).

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an Internet Standard protocol for collecting and organizing information about managed devices on IP networks and for modifying that information to change device behavior. SNMP exposes management data in the form of variables on the managed systems organized in a management information base (MIB) which describe the system status and configuration. These variables can then be remotely queried by applications such as Navicat Monitor.

You don't have to provide the SNMP login information, but you can only monitor your server without CPU or Memory metrics.

As someone who has a fair amount of experience with database monitoring, I know that the operating system has to be configured in order for applications to collect CPU and Memory related metrics. For the purposes of illustration, here are the steps for setting up SNMP in Windows 10:

  1. SNMP is not enabled by default, so you have to activate it by clicking the box on the Windows Features dialog:

    Windows Features
    Windows Features

  2. Next, we need to configure the SNMP service. On the Services dialog, right-click the SNMP Service, and select Propertiesfrom the popup menu.

    SNMP Service
    SNMP Service

  3. On the SNMP Service Properties dialog, click on the Traps tab, provide a name in the Community name combobox, such as "navicat", and click the Add to listbutton. Make sure that the Trap destinations include "localhost".

    SNMP Service Properties
    SNMP Service Properties

    Click Apply to commit your changes.

  4. On the Security tab, check the Send authentication trap box, and add the "navicat" Community name to the Accepted community names list with READ ONLY rights.

    Check the Send Authentication Trap Box
    Check the Send Authentication Trap Box

    Click OK to commit the changes and close the dialog.

Be sure to enter the "navicat" Community name in the Community text field on the New Instance screen to collect CPU and Memory metrics.

You can test your connection settings by clicking the Test Connection button. Watch for the green "Connection success!" confirmation message before proceeding.

Test Connection
Test Connection

Click the New button to add the new instance to the Navicat Monitor Dashboard.

Click the New Button
Click the New Button

Conclusion

In today's article, we got a first look at the new Navicat Monitor by exploring some of its many features and learning how to configure it on Windows 10.

Should you decide to purchase Navicat Monitor at the end of the evaluation period, you can purchase a token for each target server that you'd like to monitor. For example, if you need to monitor three MySQL Servers, you will need to purchase three tokens. If you need to monitor four MySQL Servers and one MariaDB Servers, you will need to purchase a total of five tokens. For each order, you will receive one Navicat Monitor key. Each Navicat Monitor key is for a single machine that has Navicat Monitor installed on it.

Tokens costs $399.00 USD each, but volume discounts are available for multiple licenses:

  • 5-9 licenses: receive a discount of 20% off
  • 10+ licenses: receive a discount of 30% off

A Non-commercial license for Navicat Monitor will also be available soon. It will cost less than half the price of a commercial license at only $159.00 USD per token.

See all articles by Rob Gravelle

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