Best MySQL Tools for Real-Time Monitoring Server Performance of SQL and MySQL

MySQL is an open-source, relational database management system based on Structured Query Language (SQL). MySQL is used by dev teams in a wide variety of use cases, most commonly in data warehousing, e-commerce, and logging applications. However, its most popular deployment is in web databases, since it’s highly flexible, reliable, and scalable. It can be used to store everything from single records of information to full inventories of products.

SQL Server, on the other hand, is a commercial relational database management system first developed by Microsoft. Like MySQL, SQL Server supports many platforms including Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Windows server systems. Most commonly, SQL Server is used by developers for .Net applications and windows projects. As a commercial product, SQL Server has a wider community of support.

In this guide, I’ll go over some metrics to help your performance tuning efforts. I’ll also discuss some of the best SQL Server and MySQL tools on the market, including the solution I most highly recommend—SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer—due to its robust monitoring and analysis features unlike any other tool on the market.

Monitoring SQL and MySQL Performance Best Practices

The most important aspect of monitoring your SQL performance is to make thoughtful decisions about what metrics and alerts you need to monitor. Although this will partially depend on your organization and industry, it’s generally a good idea to monitor the following processes:

  • Required process running
  • Common failure points
  • Resource utilization
  • Query executions (failures and completions)

In addition to monitoring these processes, you also want to monitor specific metrics related to your MySQL view performance health. The following are a good place to start:

  • Uptime: The second it takes for a server to respond to a request.
  • Threads connected: The number of clients currently connected to the server. If no one is connected or too many are, this might be a sign of trouble.
  • Max used connections: The numbers of connections made since the server started.
  • Aborted connects: The number of failed connection attempts. Too many could be a sign of suspicious activity.

Dev teams should also be sure they monitor SQL query metrics to ensure the database is fulfilling its basic tasks. Some examples are:

  • Questions: The number of statements sent by clients.
  • Queries: The number of executed statements including stored procedures.
  • Read and write requests: What allows users and developers to access the same page in real time.

Other important metrics to collect to carry out SQL Server or MySQL performance tuning include typical SQL errors. These are the frequent failure points you should always keep an eye on:

  • Errors: Always check to make sure there aren’t any errors on the mysql.log file.
  • Log files size: Inspect log streams to see if all files are being rotated properly. If not, it could bottleneck your server.
  • Deleted log files: Make sure the file descriptor is closed after any log files are deleted.
  • Backup space: Always be sure you have enough disk space for backups.

Best MySQL and SQL Server Performance Tuning Tools

best MySQL monitoring tools

Attempting to capture the above metrics is difficult without the right tools. The following programs are some of the best tools for real-time monitoring SQL databases, whether you use MySQL, SQL Server, or another relational database.

  1. SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer for MySQL


SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) offers a full-stack database performance monitoring and analysis tool. It’s an excellent solution for database administrators, IT teams, and application developers alike. It supports real-time monitoring and analyzes SQL database instances to mitigate bottlenecks, improve services, and save costs. You can easily compare MySQL vs. SQL Server performance metrics if you use both types of databases.

This cross-platform solution for database performance monitoring works in both cloud and on-premises databases, making it an ideal choice for an array of different organizations. It has tons of helpful features, like machine learning-powered anomaly detection and in-depth wait-time analysis. These features empower IT admins to improve their mean time to resolution and address database performance issues with faster speed.

One of its best features is it offers IT teams both real-time and historical data of their MySQL performance by tracking response time and server statistics in the data warehouse repository (which can be configured right to your MySQL database). These insights empower DBAs to address critical problems with a better understanding of their server infrastructure.

What’s more, SolarWinds DPA is incredibly easy to use. You can set custom alerts, create custom metrics, and even schedule graphical performance reports and have them delivered via email to the relevant IT team. To see if DPA is the best solution for your MySQL monitoring needs, you can download the fully-functional tool risk-free for 14 days.

  1. Idera Diagnostic Manager

Idera SQL Diagnostic Manager

Idera Diagnostic manager offers IT teams performance monitoring for SQL databases in both physical and virtual environments. It tracks performance statistics and key metrics and can be configured to sends alert to help DBAs better manage their VMs and database. It also enables IT teams to perform proactive monitoring of queries along with transactional SQL monitoring, while providing you with recommendations for your SQL DBMS.

With Idera, you can gain insight into not just availability and health, but security vulnerabilities and configuration settings. Use simple visual charts for at-a-glance visibility—easily analyze metrics like disk space or get an overview of servers with current warnings and alerts. Overall, this is a useful and flexible tool for monitoring SQL databases.

  1. SQL Power Tools

SQL Power Tools

Another good option for DBAs is the SQL Power Tools. Billed as a “zero impact” solution, this agentless database monitoring solution provides IT teams access to over 120 different metrics of their server infrastructure, from wait times and blocking to disk space usage and index fragmentation. You can view 30-day trends or set up alerts for instant awareness. It’s a reliable lightweight with little overhead, but larger organizations may struggle to scale it to fit their needs.

  1. Percona Monitoring and Management Tool


The Percona Monitoring and Management Tool is a free, open-source solution admins can use to monitor and manage their MySQL databases. Percona can be fully adopted into your existing IT system, meaning admins can be sure the solution is run in a safe and reliable setting. What’s more, Percona can map queries against metrics, which enables SysAdmins to make better decisions for optimizing their MySQL performance.

As an open-source option, support can be limited, and IT teams will lose out on some of the more advanced functions they’d expect to see in an enterprise-grade solution. But all in all, it’s a reliable option for many organizations.

  1. AppDynamics


This enterprise-grade MySQL tool has tons of comprehensive features that make it an excellent solution for many large businesses. For one, it offers IT teams real-time insights into MySQL database performance and health metrics, so they can identify and troubleshoot issues with efficiency. What’s more, AppDynamics enables IT teams to set metric baselines for what they deem to be healthy performance standards for their MySQL environments. The tool will then collect and display newly generated metrics against said baselines, so admins can monitor their systems with a better understanding of what is healthy behavior.

The only issue with AppDynamics is the solution comes in a lite plan and a pro plan. While the lite plan is free to use, it offers limited features and its data retention is almost nonexistent. The pro plan is better, but expensive.