With limited resources and increasing demands from users, managing a MySQL environment can feel like an endless to-do list. Luckily with the right MySQL monitoring tools, you can proactively stop problems before they start.
Here’s our list of the best MySQL Monitoring Tools:
- SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor (FREE TRIAL) Best all-around SQL monitoring tool for medium-sized dev teams and IT departments.
- PRTG MySQL Monitor In-depth MySQL monitoring with the ability to expand your monitors into other servers.
- DataDog SQL Monitoring Uses autodetection and automation to help identify MySQL problems before they create alerts.
- AppDynamics MySQL Performance Monitoring A holistic application monitor that features sensors for MySQL as well as over a dozen other services.
- Red-Gate SQL Monitor Creates a ‘single pane’ environment where all data can be monitored from one screen.
- SpiceWorks SQL Server Monitoring Free barebones MySQL monitor ideal for home networks.
- Navicat SQL Monitor Uses a clean UI that is best for businesses with multiple databases.
- Nagios MySQL Monitoring A straightforward MySQL monitor with basic features and no-frills.
The Best MySQL Monitoring Tools
SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor (DPM) is a dedicated platform built specifically to monitor database performance, detect and alert to SQL issues, and proactively perform database maintenance tasks.
Rather than having to dig through logs, DPM provides out of the box health reports and charts that bring the most critical issues to the forefront. A simple health report summary breaks down error rate, concurrency, throughput, and latency into swimlanes that give you a balanced look at your recent and real-time metrics. DPM uses a lightweight agent to monitor each database and can pull insights from MySQL environments that are in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid configuration.
The Top Queries section provides a top-down level view of all current processes and allows you to drill down into specific metrics like wait times, or hung queries. This quick view dashboard helps immediately give context to issues your helpdesk is likely already receiving tickets for.
On the proactive side, DPM can be used by admins or DevOps teams to see problems in the making, before they impact performance. This is done through both automated and manual behavior analysis tools, which identifies not just errors, but anomalies from your historic baseline. Snippets of past data can even be compared against new timelines to measure performance before and after a change was made.
Impressively, Database Performance Monitor takes this a step further by creating a mock test environment based on metrics from your live network. This lets engineers test their changes in a safe and realistic setting so they can be confident when publishing code.
The DPM tool was built with team collaboration in mind and features multiple ways to share information across your environment. Live dashboards can be shared and key focus areas can be highlighted for others to view. This highly visual method of sharing information makes spotting trends and events in performance analytics and SQL parsing much simpler, and more efficient.
Since DPM lives in the cloud, you won’t have to worry about costly hardware expenses, server maintenance, or equipment depreciation. While some companies might prefer on-premises solutions, having DPM in the cloud helps decrease deployment time and allows you for a quick onboarding process.
You can test out SolarWinds Database Performance Manager free through a 14-day trial.
The MySQL monitoring function with PRTG is part of a larger product called PRTG Network Monitor. The PRTG Network Monitor aims to monitor and manage everything from MySQL databases to Windows virtual servers.
While PRTG has much coverage, it can effectively monitor MySQL via its updated MySQL v2 sensor. This sensor comes in the form of a lightweight software agent that relies on .NET to function on the target system. This data can then be queried and interpreted via the PRTG dashboard. While the setup process isn’t as streamlined as DPM, the MySQL Monitor is still a strong candidate for the best MySQL monitoring tool.
PRTG’s dashboard is simple and customizable. Through module dashboards, you can prioritize metrics that are more important to your dev team, like response time and the number of connections. Different dashboards can be set and even cycled through to monitor the overall health of multiple applications or sites. Customizing a view is as easy as entering a query and selecting to monitor their output values.
When things do go wrong, you can configure alerts to be triggered based on specific conditions, return values, or thresholds. PRTG offers a wide variety of alerting options including SMS, email or push notification to your phone. If you have a SIEM or other system your organization uses alerts can be ported over the PRTG API for further customization.
If a repeat issue arises you can opt to have a script executed to correct an alert rather than create a ticket or alert with your helpdesk. Through testing, it was nice to see that PRTG alerts can be tuned in a way that avoids false positives and repeat alerts relatively easily.
Outside of live dashboards reporting can also be configured through a few simple steps. PRTG really focuses on automating the report feature so you can get back to administrating your MySQL environment. In the reporting dashboard templates can be built that include custom insights. This ensures the marketing department gets the data that’s relevant to them, and your team gets the stats that are relevant to their work.
PRTG pricing is tied to the number of sensors you have deployed. Currently, all pricing tiers offer perpetual licensing, with their lowest tier allowing for 500 sensors active for $1750 (£1353.97). You can test out the PRTG MySQL sensor for free through a 30-day trial.
DataDog certainly isn’t a mutt among this list of best SQL monitoring tools. While the DataDog brand may be newer to the application monitoring scene, that doesn’t hinder its ability to provide quick insights and automated fixes to MySQL devs.
Like PRTG, Datadog can monitor a multitude of servers and applications but has a specifically configured agent to monitor SQL servers. At this time, the SQL monitoring agent is only available for Windows operating systems. After being installed on the SQL host through a few short commands, the agent will instantly begin pulling data back into the DataDog dashboard.
While you can fully customize DataDogs dashboards, there are two out of the box views you can use right away to start tracking performance. With the ease of drag and drop modular displays, you can stack and compare metrics like batch requests and SQL complications side by side to compare these numbers at a glance.
When it comes to proactive alerting, DataDog goes above and beyond most modern MySQL monitoring tools. Leveraging anomaly detection, forecasting, composite alerting, and outlier detection to ensure the right people are notified at the right time. These features are all rolled together into a system called Watchdog.
This auto-detection engine constantly monitors your databases and servers for tough to spot problems like latency creep in your microservices, and data drift. One of the best parts of Watchdog is that it works without any additional configuration needed.
All of this information is made available through real-time alerts, or can also be reviewed through what DataDog dubs as ‘stories.’ Stories are streams of chartered information that combine real-time and past events into an easy to navigate module.
Watchdog reads between the lines for you and can let you know if latency has been on the uptrend this week, or if a specific query has been returning data slower than usual. These at-a-glance insights summaries help you or your team make decisions quickly and with confidence.
Pricing for DataDog will vary depending on what service you wish to use. APM and distributed tracing start at $31.00 per host, per month when billed annually with volume discounts available for 500+ hosts.
If you want to test out DataDog for yourself, you can take advantage of its free 14-day trial.
AppDynamics is a Cisco company that offers application management as well as MySQL performance monitoring. Through agentless monitoring architecture, AppDynamics can measure the performance of your MySQL environment without risking the deployment of agents and software directly on your database servers.
Data can be displayed and organized by application, database, or query, and arranged on a customized dashboard for monitoring. Metrics can be tracked and charted across five-minute intervals with built-in features to measure custom KPIs and display delta graphics of any MySQL server across your environment.
The AppDynamics dashboard does an exceptional job at transitioning from top-level insights to more granular details. In one click you can quickly view SQL statements as well as the SQL execution plan. MySQL objects can also be categorized with full visibility into the objects’ configuration values and properties.
While AppDynamics automated features aren’t as intuitive as DataDog, they’re still a competitive option and deserve a spot amongst the best MySQL monitoring tools. While publicly available pricing isn’t available, recent estimates put the yearly cost for 1-10 units at about $3300.00 (£2554.87) per unit, per year. For the most accurate pricing, you can contact the AppDynamics sales team. You can also try out AppDynamics SQL Monitoring for yourself for free through a 15-day free trial.
Redgate is our first tool that is solely dedicated to monitoring SQL services as well as aiding in the deployment of SQL databases through automation. What makes Redgate so powerful is its simplicity. Through a single window, you can view your entire MySQL database and all of your SQL assets. Customizable views and modules can be arranged to ensure you and your team are viewing only the metrics you truly care about.
By default, statistics like the top 10 queries, CPU, Memory, Wait, and Disk I/O are visibly tracked over the course of the last two hours. These individual charts can be toggled on, off, or removed completely and replaced if needed. Under the main resource graph towards the top is a timeline that shows alerts when they occur as small color-coded dots.
Clicking these dots reveals the details of the error such as the object or query it relates to, and where it originated from. I personally enjoy this feature as it eliminates the need to sort through a list of alerts and allows you to see the direct correlation between resource usage and that specific incident.
If you’re troubleshooting a single problem or event in your MySQL environment, you can click the Baseline button to quickly get an idea if this alert is anomalous, or happens at regular intervals. The baseline feature alone will save you countless hours of searching and manually correlating events to performance issues.
Pricing for Redgate is transparent and easy to understand. A single SQL server license will cost $1565.00 per year. This allows you to have multiple databases and server instances without increasing your yearly cost. At this time there is no free trial available, however, demos can be scheduled upon request.
If you’re in the market for a barebones MySQL monitor, SpiceWorks SQL Server Monitoring might be for you. Like many Spiceworks products, this MySQL monitoring tool is completely free to install and operate. Once the agent is installed, there is very little configuration needed.
Through an agent installation, the monitor works by analyzing the SQL servers log files for errors as well as reporting back the server’s resource usage and activity. While the dashboard isn’t the best, it does allow you to configure custom widgets to customize the metrics you wish to monitor. Multiple instances of servers can be tracked on the same dashboard, but don’t expect any advanced view settings like baseline averaging or scalable timelines.
On a very basic level, health checks can be set up to query the server every 60 seconds to check to see if certain thresholds are being breached. You can create thresholds around events such as CPU queue length, I/O speed, disk queue lengths, average wait time, or physical hardware utilization.
If you’re running a home lab, Spiceworks SQL Monitor makes for a great free tool that provides the most basic monitoring features. Due to the lack of features, software support, and the ability to effectively scale, I would not recommend this tool in a business setting.
Navicat can monitor MySQL, MariaDB, and SQL server through agentless monitoring across both cloud and on-premises environments. Metrics like CPU load and RAM are shared over SSH/SNMP and accessible via a web browser.
This makes Navicat a viable monitoring solution for those using Windows, iOS, or Linux. While the monitoring tool does use agentless architecture, it still needs a repository for metrics, alerts, and historical analysis. This repository database can be placed in an existing MySQL server for convenience.
The modern interface uses tabs to toggle between alerts, configurations, and the main dashboard. You can create modules for each database or server you want to monitor. Each server instance can be arranged in tiles across your board.
Depending on the current status of that server, the top will change from green, yellow, or red, reflecting its current alert status. Navicat does an excellent job of displaying data across all your servers in a way that can be understood at a glance. As an added bonus the entire interface can toggle into a dark mode, which night owls are sure to appreciate.
Configuring alerts in Navicat are straightforward and based on the thresholds you define. You can combine thresholds with a set duration. For example, you can set Navicat to only alert when memory usage is at 90% for more than 15 minutes. Notifications for your alerts can be received via SMS, email, or applications like Slack.
Navicat’s pricing puts it well within reach for smaller development teams and comes tailored for both commercial and non-commercial usage. Standard licensing starts at $32.99 (£25.74) per month for one server or four Azure Databases. Perpetual licenses are also available for $499.00 (£389.29)per server.
The Nagios MySQL tool is last, but certainly not least in our quest to find the best MySQL monitoring tools. The Nagios platform offers a suite of monitoring solutions that span across multiple servers and operating systems, but for now, we’ll focus solely on their MySQL monitoring capabilities
All of the metrics you’d expect are covered and displayed through a simple uncluttered interface. Track connection time, open connections, table cache hit rate, and slow queries across multiple servers from a single window.
Alerts are set by threshold or condition and can be delivered by SMS, email notification, or custom script. On the reporting side, Nagios has several prebuilt reports that highlight specific outages, events, and can be configured to track your own SLAs.
Nagios MySQL monitoring can be tested for free through a 30-day trial.
Choosing a MySQL Monitoring Tool
In this article, we’ve narrowed down eight of the very best MySQL monitoring tools, but which one is right for you?
For most medium-sized development teams and IT departments, SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor will be your best bet. DPM provides the best mix of MySQL monitoring, proactive alerting, and automated database management.
The DPM tool also features a host of manual tools that developers can use to troubleshoot database problems quickly and effectively.
Hobbyists running a home network will get all of the basic MySQL monitoring features using Spiceworks SQL Server Monitor for free but will have limited support and updates.
How do you currently monitor your MySQL environment? Is your monitoring proactive enough for your databases? Let us know in the comments below.