View Per-Process I/O and More With VividCortex

Posted by Baron Schwartz on Nov 17, 2014 7:19:00 AM

What can explain mysterious slowdowns in database performance? Sometimes it’s not the database or the queries it’s running, but the non-database activity on the server. One of the most important types of activities to analyze is processes. That’s why VividCortex tracks process activity, including per-process CPU, memory, and I/O, in 1-second detail. It’s like a historical view of top, and you can view it across your entire environment in a single screen, then drill down to individual servers and programs. If you see interesting regions you can click and drag with the mouse to zoom in and correlate. You can rank and sort by any of the per-process metrics we capture, and you can mouse over the sparklines to see the instantaneous rate, second by second.


Try it yourself! One thing I can almost guarantee is that you’ll find something suprising immediately. “That process is doing what?”

We built per-process performance monitoring into VividCortex because if you don’t know what’s running on your servers, you’re flying blind. The database needs resources to do its work (primarily CPU, memory, network, and storage), and if there’s contention for those resources, MySQL performance can suffer. If you’re only looking at the database performance, or worse yet only looking at queries in isolation in the slow query log or similar, you won’t be able to capture these problems or solve them.

We’ve recently enhanced our Top Processes view with additional per-process data, including I/O (bytes written and read) and number of file handles. The number of file handles is possible because of our efficient fast-path access to process statistics. That enhancement allowed several other types of data to be collected, which we’ll integrate into more features in the future as well.

The new I/O statistics per-process are particularly useful for understanding the impact of processes on each other. If you see in our Faults dashboard that MySQL got stuck for an instant, for example, perhaps the cause was a burst of I/O from another program on the system that starved MySQL for resources. The only way to answer such questions is by monitoring MySQL performance and system resource utilization in very fine granularity.

VividCortex has a free trial, so there’s nothing to lose. Sign up for your free trial right now. Installation is ridiculously easy and fast, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

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