The Multifunctioning DBA

Dec 26 2008   5:59PM GMT

Sybase Training Day 5

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Sorry that I have not done this entry yet. I have been busy with the holidays and my wife just graduated from ASU. I am back now and should be getting back to a more regular schedule. So I have touched on the first 4 days of training and it was a five day class. The last day of class was very short but we did cover some good stuff. One thing in the book that we did not cover was Sybase Central. We did not cover this because it is a GUI and the instructor, as well as myself and the other student, figured that we can learn to click on our own. It does look like the book has some good information about Sybase Central so I will go over it myself and write a post about it.

The main topic on the last day was about monitoring the system. We talked about some third party applications that are around that will do this by monitoring some “Fake” tables that Sybase keeps only in memory just for monitoring purposes, and we also discussed monitoring the old fashioned way. My company does this the old fashioned way by monitoring the alert log and backup logs for any errors or events that we may want to know about. We also have functionality built in to monitor other files if we choose to. Essentially this works buy parsing the alert log and the backup log files at some interval and looking for key words. When a keyword is found the system then sends us an alert that something is wrong and we need to look into it. I am still pretty new to the Unix world so I will not be sharing the scripts with you as I do not know everything about them. I can tell you how to do this in the Windows world using Windows Powershell. I have a series of blog posts here on how to monitor SQL server using Powershell and I am essentially doing the same thing that we do in the Unix environment. Some things are a bit different but for the most part it is the same.

The big thing about this is that you need to have some sort of automated system set up to alert you when something is not correct in the database. If you do not do this then you will not know when things are going wrong until a user calls and tells you, and that may be too late, or you will spend your entire day watching the alert log and the backup log looking for errors. That is not a task that I would wish on my worst enemy. Be a good DBA and make your life easier, set up some monitoring and get some important things done during your day.

No matter what my title or what my job is, I will always work harder on making my job easier then I actually work on doing my job. In the Windows world I would script as much as I could. Sometimes the script writing would take me days to complete even though the task itself only took 30 minutes to do manually. I tell you what though, the next time I needed to do that task and I was done in 30 seconds it was well worth it. So please set up some monitoring and some auto responces to certain errors if you can. That way you do not even get a page. Life is good if you make your job as simple as possible. Good luck with this and if you need any help just let me know by leaving a comment or head over to and send me an email. I am always happy to help when I can.

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