Why Database Automation?

Databases are the repositories of a company’s most critical information, and is typically the most complex part of the application. Databases are complex to install and manage, especially when clustering or high availability is involved. High-availability cluster configurations are today becoming the norm for today’s mission-critical databases.

There are a number of ways that databases can be made highly available, either with features that exist within the database or with the help of external components like the operating system, storage infrastructure or third-party clustering middleware. The huge number of knobs and dials to control these features means that there are many ways for databases to be deployed in non-standard ways. This can jeopardize the stability and performance of applications.

High availability database configurations tend to be highly complex, but once they are designed, they tend to be duplicated many times with minimal variation. Therefore, automation can be applied to provisioning, upgrading, patching and scaling. Database administrators can then focus on more critical tasks, such as performance tuning, query design, data modeling or providing advice architectural advice to application developers.

What is the difference between ClusterControl and existing tools like phpMyAdmin, Nagios, Zabbix, Cacti?

phpMyAdmin is a database administration tool, allowing users to administer their database. Nagios, Zabbix and Cacti are system monitoring tools that collect system data from hosts and devices via e.g. SNMP. The output is presented in the form of graphs through a web interface.

They try to make it easy to determine “what’s different today” when a performance problem crops up, and to see how resources are being utilized.

Alerts and Notifications are raised when something changes unexpectedly on a monitored resource, e.g. metrics collected outside of standard baselines, or a service shuts down without warning.



These are all great tools. Companies have plenty of monitoring, what they don’t have is control and automation. A monitoring tool will not configure and deploy a highly available database cluster, or keep it up to date with the latest patch, or scale up or down by adding/removing nodes to it. The diagram illustrates the differences.