Monitor MySQL Performance Interactively With VividCortex

Posted by Baron Schwartz on Dec 18, 2014 10:09:00 AM

If you’re monitoring MySQL performance on dozens or hundreds of servers, chances are you have a “rainbow chart” – a time-series chart with hundreds of tiny area graphs stacked on top of each other, crawling imperceptibly one pixel at a time across the big-screen monitor in your office. The trouble with these charts is they’re hard to see. It takes many minutes for enough new pixels to display after a change. In the meantime you can’t see the change clearly.

At VividCortex, we think we’ve found a better way to keep tabs on what’s going on in your infrastructure: a bubble visualization. It is compact, and immediately communicates current status and trend, with visualizations that your eye interprets in a glance.


This is the Activity layout on the Hosts dashboard. It’s designed to scale to hundreds, even thousands of hosts. Tabular layouts and strip-charts won’t do the trick, but live, interactive bubbles will.

The bubbles update live, as agents send metrics to the APIs. They’re actually a D3 physics simulation of heat, gravity, friction, and several other forces. A moment later, this environment’s load characteristics changed dramatically!


The bubbles are sized according to the host’s load, so busier hosts are larger. The color is the trend: redder bubbles are currently trending1 upwards, and bluer ones are getting less loaded. Similar hosts are grouped together in a single circle. It takes a lot of words to explain, but when you see it changing live, you get it instantly.

You don’t see it in this screenshot, but as the visualization auto-selects the hottest host, the right-hand sidebar of the page updates with the host’s details and history, making this a great dashboard to display on that big screen for everyone to see. If you’re using it interactively, quick-targets activate so you can drill down into the auto-selected host.

If you’re not getting immediate feedback from your MySQL monitoring system, what are you waiting for? Start your free trial today. Installation is super-fast and unintrusive.

1 In case you’re curious about the trend calculation, we use a MACD – Moving Average Convergence-Divergence. The exact metric varies by host type, but is either a utilization metric such as CPU busy, or a throughput metric such as queries per second.

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