Press "Enter" to skip to content

Day: April 8, 2021

Finding Spinlock Owners in Dump Files

Forrest McDaniel leaves us with a head injury:

Now, I may not be an expert, but sqlmin!Spinlock sounds like…a spinlock. This thread has been spinning for over a minute, never returning to a waiting state, because something else is holding the spinlock resource.

Thankfully, helpful friends alerted me to a blog that revealed the value of an acquired spinlock “is the Windows thread ID of the owner.” Meaning I might be able to find the cause.

Read the whole thing.

Comments closed


Alex Stuart hits a weird error:

Conversion/overflow errors aren’t that unusual – normally a data flow broken by some unexpected data (“no, there’s no chance that field would ever have a character in it”), or perhaps a column hitting max size (“INT will be enough for years, like, 5 years. I’ll have left the company by then”)

But that wasn’t the case here – the package and user tables involved were checked by the dev team and there was no possible overflow. I’d checked system databases for maxed-out identity columns and found nothing. Heads were scratched.

Read on for the post-head-scratch answer.

Comments closed

Automating Montoring

Thomas Williams has a multi-part series. Part 1 is a big picture primer:

It would be nice if every problem, now and in the future, was automatically monitored by an intuitive, cheap, flexible tool that only raised the alarm when there was a real problem, at the right time, to the right people.

However, in reality, monitoring is a game of whack-a-mole, built on an ad-hoc collection of tools and technologies, requiring know-how to interpret the often puzzling situations which may be high priority – or just background noise.

Part 2 continues the big picture look:

Monitoring is here to stay. There’s never enough disk space, memory, CPU, network throughput. If they ever existed, perfect conditions don’t persist, whether because of a downstream system failing, newly-discovered security issue, change in process, extraordinary amount of load etc. And, systems grow and change to meet new requirements, so yesterday’s monitoring may not meet tomorrow’s uptime goals.

Following on from part 1, here are some further “big picture” considerations for automated monitoring for the DBA:

Part 3 gets to ideas on instrumentation:

With some of the broader ideas out of the way, if there’s no monitoring in place and I was the “accidental”/”default” DBA, there are some metrics I’d definitely want to monitor. However, there’s a ton of real-time metrics I haven’t included below like CPU & memory use, number of current connections, disk I/O as at right now. They’re probably not good candidates for “roll-your-own”-type monitoring.

I consider “alerts” in the table below to include an e-mail, SMS or dashboard item that aims to trigger a response to fix. The collection frequency especially is just a guide – closer to real-time might be desirable, but the trade-off is impact on servers and connected apps.

Check out all three posts so far in the series.

Comments closed