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Home > Success Center > Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) > Frequently Asked Questions about Database Performance Anayzer for AWS

Frequently Asked Questions about Database Performance Anayzer for AWS

Created by Melanie Boyd, last modified by Melanie Boyd on Nov 09, 2017

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Getting started now

Get started managing your SQL Server, MySQL, Aurora, or Oracle databases on EC2™ or RDS within minutes. Once you get your DPA server running, you can log into it via the web browser. Your password will be your instance ID, which only you can get from the EC2 console. DPA is a subscription application, and will start charging you only after you register and start monitoring database instances.

Deployment

Q: What are the steps for deploying DPA from the Marketplace?

A: There are three steps:

  1. Start the AMI from the Marketplace.
  2. Connect to a database to act as a repository for DPA to store data.
  3. Start registering databases and begin monitoring.

For detailed steps, see Launch SolarWinds DPA on Amazon AWS in a Linux AMI.

 

Q: What size server do I select when deploying the Database Performance Analyzer AMI?

A: An m3:medium is sufficient for most trials with 20 or fewer monitored instances. Since the m3 has only one CPU, upgrading to at least m3.large is highly encouraged for larger deployments.

 

Q: Is there any other software to install?

A: No. Database Performance Analyzer is agentless and requires no client software. After you deploy the AMI, all configuration and monitoring is done through the Web browser interface. Just point your favorite browser at the server name or IP address of the Database Performance Analyzer server and start registering instances to monitor.

 

Q: Does Database Performance Analyzer support RDS™?

A: Yes. It can monitor both RDS databases and those deployed on an EC2 server.

 

Q: How many database instances can it monitor?

A: From a single deployment, it can monitor up to 200 instances. We recommended m3:xlarge++ for larger deployments. If you need more than 200 instances, deploy multiple DPA servers. Database Performance Analyzer includes DPA Central for free, and it provides the flexibility to aggregate multiple DPA servers into a single view, allowing you to monitor an unlimited number of instances.

 

Q: What is included in the Database Performance Analyzer AMI?

A:  The Database Performance Analyzer AMI comes pre-installed on an Amazon Linux EC2 server. Once your AMI is set up, connect DPA to a repository (MySQL, Aurora, SQL Server, or Oracle) to store historical data to analyze trends, baselines, and reports. Once the repository is set up, start registering database instances to monitor.

 

Q: Which databases does it monitor?

A: A single instance of DPA is capable of monitoring SQL Server, MySQL, Aurora, Oracle, DB2®, and SAP ASE on EC2.

 

Q: Can I run a Database Performance Analyzer trial without paying for an EC2 instance on Amazon®?

A: Yes. You have two options:

  1. Visit this link for an interactive demo. There you can test drive the product using performance trends captured from actual production database instances.
  2. Download the on premises version, which can monitor databases on premises, virtualized, and in the cloud. A high speed/low latency network connection required.

 

Q: How much load is there on the monitored servers?

A: Database Performance Analyzer does not use an agent, making it safe to use in production environments. Database Performance Analyzer’s nominal load on the monitored instances is less than 1%, making it ideal for monitoring even your most critical production instances.

 

Q: Can I use it to monitor my on premises databases from the cloud or vice versa?

A: You can monitor both cloud and on premises databases no matter where Database Performance Analyzer is installed as long as you have connectivity to the database instance you want to monitor.

Using DPA

Q: How do I get started using Database Performance Analyzer?

A: While you can see current issues by just clicking on the current tab, you will find the most value after at least a few days of continuous monitoring to identify trends, baselines, and anomalies. This is due to the non-deterministic nature of database performance issues.

 

For an example of using DPA to investigate a performance issue, see Investigate an application performance problem in the DPA Getting Started Guide.

 

Q: What performance counters are available?

A: Database Performance Analyzer starts by first focusing on the time applications are waiting on the database. This includes the SQL statements and Wait Types/Wait Events trends (discrete steps within the RDBMS). Wait time analysis sets the context for a more detailed drill-down into the effect execution plans, query blocks, deadlocks, and server/storage metrics have on database performance—both now and historically. By taking this approach, Database Performance Analyzer ensures that the focus remains on issues that are having the biggest impact on database performance, without the distraction of counters that may not have any direct causation.

 

For information on wait-based analysis, see The DPA approach to investigating performance issues.

 

Q: Is support available during my trial?

A: Yes. Submit a ticket here https://customerportal.solarwinds.com/support/submit-a-ticket.  Here is advice for some of the fields.

  • Case Type: Technical Support 
  • Product: Database Performance Analyzer
  • Version No: The latest version
  • SolarWinds Customer ID (SWID): SW22309847

Pricing and subscription

Q: How much does Database Performance Analyzer cost and how do I purchase it?

A: Database Performance Analyzer is licensed per monitored instance via AWS Marketplace subscription service.  Please see the Marketplace for the latest per-hour pricing.

 

Q: What does subscription charge for?

A: Each hour, DPA will charge you for the number of database instances that DPA successfully collected data from. You can register as many instances as you want, but control your costs by turning instance monitoring on and off as needed. 

To turn monitoring on and off for a database instance, click the Action menu for that database instance on the DPA homepage. Then choose Start Monitor or Stop Monitor.

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