Savant tells an Oracle's future

The software "helps database administrators understand what's going on," said
William Wynn, president and founder of Savant Corp. of Rockville, Md.


The administration tool runs little jobs in the background every two minutes to
benchmark the CPU, input/output, database sorts and other functions, Wynn said.


It aggregates those numbers and displays average response time as a dotted line. If the
standard deviation from the average is too great, the control displays that deviation and
turns red at the critical point.


The interface also maps how the database is using memory and shows network activity,
including the amount of two-way traffic between clients and the database and between
linked databases. It shows, for example, how many people are trying to read from and write
to disk and how backed-up their requests are.


Q Diagnostic Center predicts the time to failure by watching block growth and
allocation and deallocation inside the physical database, and projecting these numbers
into the future. The database administrator (DBA) can view but not fix any such problems
until the company builds role-based security into the application, Wynn said.


On LANs as well as WANs, a DBA can view a remote user's reboot history and show, for
example, "what Oracle sessions you have running and whether they're live or
dead," Wynn said.


If someone has the wrong version of Oracle SQL*Net installed, the tool reveals that,
too. It searches the user's path and every connected drive, which the DBA will be able to
edit after Savant completes its security work on the product.


"We have wide-area registry viewing on Microsoft Windows 95 and NT platforms and
will go to editing as soon as we get role-based security," Wynn said.


The DBA can resolve all connected users' IP addresses and notify them of scheduled
downtime, unless a firewall blocks the broadcast.


Q Diagnostic Center consists of a free viewer, a server agent for Oracle7 7.2 and newer
versions of the database management system, and client agents that run on each attached
PC.


Savant's server agent is a series of compiled Oracle PL structured query language
packages installed inside the database, not the operating system, Wynn said. The agent
uses the Oracle internal job scheduler, which makes it "very portable to Personal
Oracle, Oracle on a Cray, or Oracle on Digital Alpha."


Savant licenses Q Diagnostic Center for $3,900 per database. If more than three
databases reside on the same server, the company charges $11,700 for a server license.


Contact Savant at 301-548-9062.


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