Sybase Blockers Test

One common problem encountered with databases is blocking. Suppose that process A is modifying data that process B wants to use. Process B will be blocked until process A has completed what it is doing. This is only one type of blocking situation; others exist and are common. What matters to a database administrator is identifying when blocking is a problem and how to deal with it effectively. When blocking is bad enough, users will notice slowdowns and complain about it. With a large number of users, it is common for tens or hundreds of processes to be blocked when slowdowns are noticed. Killing these processes may or may not solve the problem because 10 processes may be blocked by process B, while process B itself is blocked by process A. Issuing 10 kill statements for the processes blocked by B probably will not help, as new processes will simply become blocked by B. Killing process B may or may not help, because then the next process that was blocked by B, which is given execution time, may get blocked by process A and become the process that is blocking the other 9 remaining processes. When you have lots of blocking that is not resolving in a reasonable amount of time you need to identify the root blocker, or the process at the top of the tree of blocked processes. Imagine again that you have 10 processes blocked by process B, and process B is blocked by process A. If A is not blocked by anything, but is itself responsible for lots of blocking (B and the 10 processes waiting on B), then A would be the root blocker. (Think of it as a traffic jam.) Killing A (via kill) is likely to unblock B, and once B completes, the 10 processes waiting on B are also likely to complete successfully. The SybaseBlockers test monitors the number of root blocker processes in a database.

Target of the test : A Sybase ASE (Below v15) server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every Sybase server being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed.

Host

Refers to the IP address of the Sybase server.

Port

The port number at which the Sybase server listens to.

User

A Sybase user who has the “sa_role”.

Password

The password corresponding to the above user

Confirm Password

Confirm the password by retyping it here.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Number of root blockers

Indicates the number of root blocker processes.

Number

Usually, the number of root blocker processes should be low. If this value increases suddenly, this is a cause for concern. Likewise, if a root-blocker process has been blocking other processes for a long time, it is a reason for further investigation. The detailed diagnosis for this test, if enabled, provides details of the root blocker processes - their SPIDs, programs running these processes, and the queries being issued by these processes. It is usually the case that killing any root-blocker process that has been running for a long while will get the database running well again.