Ilmar Kerm

Oracle, databases, Linux and maybe more

I wanted to share some of the Grafana dashboards I’ve built recently to monitor Oracle database environments. Images for now, for your inspiration, so you could build your own.

First up is Oracle database listener. Listener log is a very valuable source of information, that I think is often overlooked. For example just from monitoring listener logs you can get real time information if clients can connect to the database successfully or they get some error. Or so some specific client get an error only (misconfigured client), or some forgotten app is still running is hammering the listener with service name that does not exist anymore. Maybe some client is misbehaving and is trying to connect hundreds of times per second to the database, you will see it from the listener log, with the client information. Who are the clients still connecting with TCP and have not yet migrated over to TCPS connections like DBA-s are demanding? And so on.

And from grafana you can also generate alerts.

Here is the current state of my listener dashboard (this one is for human operators to drill down into issues, I have another dashboard for automatic alerts).

Data collector was published earlier:

Some InfluxQL queries behind these panels:

I think “Failed connections by service” is a very good metric to create an alert on.

To continue my previous post abiout ADR log mining, another monitoring agent that I created was just a very simple (initially) Linux monitoring agent. System metrics.

I know there are plenty of existing software products already doing exactly that, but I don’t really like the one that was chosen by my employer – other people maintaining it for different goals. Also I wanted to have much richer metadata (and Oracle specific – like cluster name) added to the monitoring data.

Here is the code:

Cheap to run and just uses regular expressions to parse information returned by standard Linux monitoring command. Data is again sent to InfluxDB backend intended to be used in Grafana dashboards.

I push it out using Ansible, so I left in some Ansible tags in the configuration section… and so pleople would not just blindly take the code and try to run it without understanding it 🙂

For a while now Oracle is using standardised log structure under Automatic Diagnostic Repository (ADR) – this includes database alert.log, listener log, CRS log, ASM log and much more. All this is very valuable information for monitoring.

I’m a fan of using Grafana (using InfluxDB as a data source) for monitoring, since in Grafana it is very easy to create your own customised dashboards and alerts – so lately I’ve ben creating my own monitoring agents to gather send Oracle monitoring information to InfluxDB.

InfluxDB is fast time series database, perfect for storing monitoring data – each record must have timestamp associated and data retention is also natively built in.

Since our Oracle environment is exploding in size, my goal is also to have monitoring tools/agents that figure out what to do themselves, deployed using Ansible. All without any human involvment.

Here is monitoring agent with following high level features:

  • Searches for all recently modified alert/log.xml files under ADR base
  • Parses newly added log messages for any tags that Oracle itself has added (like component and message level)
  • Parses log messages against custom regular expressions to parse out custom information

Code is here:

It is expected to run as SystemD service. I currently left in some Ansible tags, since this is how I distribute the agent to all servers (and to make sure people do no just take the code and run it without reading and understanding it).