Documentation forDatabase Performance Analyzer

DPA 2021.1 Release Notes

Release date: January 19, 2021

These release notes were last updated on May 3, 2021.

These release notes describe the new features, improvements, and fixed issues in Database Performance Analyzer 2021.1. (The full build number is 2021.1.775.) They also provide information about upgrades and describe workarounds for known issues.

Other resources:

If you are looking for previous release notes for Database Performance Analyzer, see Previous Version documentation.

New features and improvements in DPA

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DPA 2021.1 offers new features and improvements compared to previous releases of DPA.

New code-signing certificate

DPA is signed with a new digital code-signing certificate.

For more information on the additional steps SolarWinds is taking to improve our security posture and policies please reference this blog by SolarWinds President and CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna.

Find SQL

The DPA Trends charts display SQL statements with the highest wait times. But in some cases you want to analyze a SQL statement that is not in the Trends charts. With the Find SQL feature, you can search for any SQL statement based on what you know about it. You can specify the time range when it was likely to run, and then apply any combination of filters and search strings:

  • Even if you don't know anything about the SQL text, you can apply filters to locate SQL statements that were executed by a certain user, ran as part of a certain application, were executed from a certain computer, or queried a specific database.

  • If you know anything about the SQL text, you can enter search strings such as table names or the operation being performed. In simple search mode, you can enter search terms or place double quotes around phrases. Switch to advanced mode to include wildcards, grouping, Boolean operators, and other advanced features.

When you locate the SQL statement, click the SQL hash or name to display detailed information about it on the Query Details page. For detailed information about using the Find SQL feature, see this topic.

The Find SQL feature is enabled by default for new installations. If you upgraded from an earlier version, the feature is not enabled by default. You can enable or disable this feature globally or for specific database instances. For more information, see this topic.

Tracking SQL Server database backups

When database backups fail or are not performed regularly, organizations run the risk of losing crucial data. DPA 2021.1 includes new metrics and alerts to make you aware of any issues and ensure that backups are performed on schedule.

New metrics

DPA 2021.1 includes the following new metrics. You can alert on any of these metrics.

For more information about these metrics, see SQL Server metrics collected by DPA. For information about alerting on these metrics, see Configure a DPA Resources alert.

Metric Description
Active Backup Jobs The number of currently running backup jobs for the instance. If this number is higher than expected, it can have performance implications or indicate issues with the scheduled backups.
Sum of All Backup Assets Required for Recovery of All DBs (GB) The cumulative size, in GB, of all the backup assets for all databases in the SQL Server instance that are required to recover to the current point in time.
Longest Time for a DB without a Successful Full Backup (days)

The longest time that any database in a SQL Server has gone without a successful full backup.

If a SQL Server includes databases that do not require regular backups, you can exclude databases from this metric and the metrics below.

Longest Time for a DB without a Successful DB Backup (Diff or Full) (days)

The longest time that any database in a SQL Server has gone without a successful full or differential backup.

Longest Time for a DB without a Successful Transaction Log Backup (hours)

The longest time that any database in a SQL Server has gone without a successful transaction log backup.

New alerts

DPA 2021.1 includes the following new Administrative alerts.

Alert Description
SQL Server Backup Frequency

Alerts you if the number of days since the last backup of the specified type (full, differential, or transaction log) exceeds the threshold.

SQL Server Recovery Backup Assets Size

Alerts you if the size of all backup assets required to recover a database exceeds the threshold, specified in MB.

SQL Server Backup Jobs Running Alerts you if the number of currently running backup jobs for a specified database instance exceeds the threshold.
SQL Server Backup Time Allotted Alerts you if the time required to complete the last backup of the specified type (full, differential, or transaction log) exceeds the threshold.

New advanced option

By default, DPA tracks backups for all databases that have previously been backed up. However, a SQL Server instance might contain databases that have been backed up but do not require frequent backups (for example, databases used for testing).

Use the advanced option TRACK_BACKUPS_FOR_DBS to specify the databases in a SQL Server instance whose backups DPA should track. This option specifies which databases DPA uses to calculate the "Longest Time" backup metric values. It can (optionally) be used to specify which databases DPA uses to calculate the values that trigger the following backup alerts:

  • SQL Server Backup Frequency
  • SQL Server Recovery Backup Assets Size
  • SQL Server Backup Time Allotted

For more information, see Exclude SQL Server databases from backup metrics and backup alerts.

Tracking information about the SQL Server TempDB database

Space required by the TempDB database fluctuates based on the number of queries running and the nature of those queries. If TempDB fills up and cannot autogrow, the performance of all queries is affected.

DPA 2021.1 includes the following TempDB metrics to help you monitor the amount of space needed and to determine what types of objects require the most space. These metrics are shown on the TempDB tab.

For more information about these metrics, see SQL Server metrics collected by DPA.

Metric Description
Total TempDB Log File Size

The amount of disk space allocated for the log file in the TempDB database over time.

TempDB Log File Utilized Space The amount of space allocated to the TempDB log file that is currently being used.
TempDB Log File Free Space

The amount of space allocated to the TempDB log file that is currently free.

TempDB Log File % Free Space

The percentage of space allocated to the TempDB log file that is not currently being used.

TempDB Free Space

The amount of free space in TempDB. Spaced used in TempDB fluctuates based on the nature and volume of the SQL statements that are currently running.

TempDB Internal Objects

The amount of space in TempDB used by internal objects.

TempDB User Objects

The amount of space in TempDB used by user objects. User objects are temporary objects explicitly created by users. They include temporary tables and indexes, temporary stored procedures, table variables, and cursors.

TempDB Version Store

The amount of space in TempDB used by the version store.

TempDB Mixed Extents The amount of space in TempDB used by mixed extents. Mixed extents are shared by up to eight objects.

Information about PostgreSQL wait types

DPA 2021.1 includes detailed descriptions of common PostgreSQL wait types and suggested resolutions. On the Query Details page, click the information icon next to the wait name to display this information. On the Top SQL Statements chart, click the name of the wait type.

Updated UI for resource metric charts on the Resources tab

Charts on the Resources tab are clearer and easier to read. The final value in the selected time period is displayed in a blue box to the right of the chart. When you move the cursor over the chart, the box displays the value for the currently selected time. Periods during which the value violated the warning or critical threshold are shaded in yellow or orange.

The time picker and Resource settings dialog box (where you can set or change thresholds) have also been updated. For more information, see View resource metrics in DPA and View or change DPA resource metric thresholds.

Baselines for metrics are no longer shown.

Updated UI for charts on the DPA homepage

Charts on the DPA homepage have also been updated. Hover over any bar or any area of the line chart to display the values for each monitored instance at that time.

New security role for user management

Accounts with the User Manager role have privileges to create and manage DPA user accounts, but they cannot view data collected by DPA or perform any other DPA tasks.

By default, accounts with the Administrator role also have privileges to create and manage DPA user accounts. To enforce a strict separation of duties, you can remove user account management privileges from the Administrator role.

Changes to system requirements

The following changes affect the DPA 2021.1 system requirements and the database instances DPA can monitor:

  • A MySQL 8 database can be deployed as the DPA repository database.
  • DPA can monitor Db2 11.5 and PostgreSQL 13.x instances.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and legacy versions of Microsoft Edge are no longer supported browsers. (See End of support.)
  • CPU, RAM, and disk space requirements for the DPA server have changed.
  • If the Find SQL feature is enabled, a new requirement has been added for the disk space needed to store the Find SQL indexes.

New customer installation

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For information about installing DPA 2021.1, see the DPA Installation and Upgrade Guide. You can download a free trial from the SolarWinds website.

How to upgrade

If you are upgrading from a previous version, use the following resources to plan and implement your upgrade:


Fixed issues in DPA 2021.1

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DPA 2021.1 fixes the following issues.

Case Number Description
00604563

If you create a SQL Server Availability Group Status Change alert and select "Notify when level changes" as the notification policy, DPA sends a notification whenever the level has changed including when it returns to Normal.

N/A

When you are monitoring an Azure SQL Managed Instance (ASMI) that is registered via the public endpoint, DPA no longer displays The connection is closed if you turn the DPA monitor off, open the Real Time Sessions page, and then refresh the page after three to four minutes.

00585608 In previous versions, DPA sometimes failed to detect that pg_stat_statements was enabled on a monitored PostgreSQL instance, and therefore did not display statistics for that instance. This issue is resolved.
00570938

Table tuning advisors display information about table fragmentation. In some environments, the query to get table fragmentation information can take a long time and will sometimes time out. DPA 2021.1 provides the advanced option INDEX_ANALYST_FRAGMENTATION_QUERY, which can be used to optimize or disable the query. The following values are available:

  • DISABLED disables the query. Table tuning advisors will not show fragmentation information.
  • LIMITED scans the smallest number of pages and can improve query performance in large-scale or slower environments.
  • SAMPLE is the default.
00574053

Monitoring a PostgreSQL database instance (not an EDB Postgres instance) no longer results in the following error being logged to the PostgreSQL server:

ERROR: relation "dual" does not exist at character 21

If the error is reported on an EDB Postgres instance, the check is performed less frequently to avoid filling up the logs.

00594706

A second stats poll query has been added to collect data from SQL Server monitored instances. This query avoids overcounting certain types of SQL statements.

By default, DPA 2021.1 uses the same SQL Server stats poll query as DPA 2020.2. If you are experiencing an issue with DPA overcounting SQL statements on SQL Server instances, you can configure DPA to use the new stats poll query by setting the advanced option SQLSERVER_STATS_POLL_V2.

00446644,
00558602,
00571154,
00620837
To improve security, DPA has updated a number of third-party components and libraries shipped with the product. In addition, DPA removed a dependency on Hibernate Validator and made other changes related to third-party software.
00495927 To improve security, the HTTP methods OPTIONS and TRACE are disabled in the version of Apache Tomcat shipped with DPA.

Known issues

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Database types supported for the DPA repository

Issue: In the Repository Creation Wizard, the line that lists variations of MySQL that are supported for the DPA repository includes MariaDB. However, MariaDB is not supported for the DPA repository. For DPA 2021.1.x, the list of MySQL variations should include only MySQL, Amazon RDS for MySQL, or Amazon Aurora for MySQL. 

Resolution/Work-around: For a complete list of the database types and versions supported for the DPA repository, see the System Requirements for your version of DPA.

The DPA Options page does not open

Issue: If the file containing the DPA SQL authentication password is misconfigured, the DPA Options page does not open. This file can become misconfigured when password protection for DPA features that allow custom SQL is configured, and a password containing '<' or '>' characters was not enclosed with CDATA when it was entered.

  1. Look for invalid XML such as the following (shown in red):

    <entry key="sql.authentication.password">
       <![USER_PASSWORD]]<
    >/entry>

  2. Reenter the password enclosed in CDATA, and edit the XML so that it is valid. For example:

    <entry key="sql.authentication.password">
      <![CDATA[MyPasswordWith<SpecialCharacters>]]>
    </entry>

  3. Save the file.

    Changes take effect immediately. The password in the sqlauth.xml file is encrypted the first time DPA prompts a user to enter it.

DPA cannot monitor a PostgreSQL database instance with multiple connection properties

Issue: If you enter multiple connection properties in the JDBC URL field (either in the Registration Wizard or the Update DB Instance Connection Wizard) for a PostgreSQL database instance, DPA cannot monitor the instance. DPA repeatedly attempts to start monitoring the instance, but monitoring fails to start.

Resolution/Work-around: Change the property separator in the COND table in the DPA repository database from & to ;. For details, see this article.

Creating the repository user when creating a MySQL 8.0 repository database

Issue: For MySQL 8.0, the default authentication plug-in has changed from mysql_native_password to caching_sha2_password. If you attempt to create a MySQL 8.0 repository database and allow DPA to create the repository user, the process fails because DPA cannot authenticate a user created with the default option.

Resolution/Work-around:

  1. Create the repository user manually and specify that the mysql_native_password plugin be used to authenticate that user. For example:

    CREATE USER 'userName'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'userPassword';

    You can verify user creation by querying the mysql.user table:

    select user,host,plugin from mysql.user;

  2. Grant the required privileges to the user. See the GRANT statements in the script available through the Repository Creation Wizard.
  3. On step 2 of the Repository Creation Wizard, select Provide the repository user. Then enter the user name and password of the user you created.
Alerts stop working after a database instance display name is changed

Issue: If you include a database instance in an alert and then change the display name of the database instance, the alert stops working for that instance and emails are not sent. Even though the instance name appears to be updated in the alert definition, it is not updated on the Alert Status tab.

Resolution/Work-around: Open the alert definition and save it again, without making any changes. Saving the alert definition updates the name on the Alert Status tab.

Validation of the LDAP/AD server host name fails because it doesn't match the subject of the certificate

Issue: Java validates that the host name of the LDAP server matches the LDAP certificate by checking the subjectAlternativeName's dNSName fields of the certificate. If the validation fails, you will see the following error when you are configuring DPA to use AD/LDAP:

The subject of the certificate doesn't match your AD/LDAP server.

Resolution/Work-around: Follow the instructions in this article to resolve the issue.
Adding a distributed AG to a server prevents DPA from monitoring non-distributed AGs on the server

Issue: If DPA is monitoring non-distributed SQL Server Availability Groups (AGs) on a server and you add a distributed AG to the server, DPA stops monitoring the non-distributed AGs.

Resolution/Work-around: Do not add a distributed AG to the server.
Microsoft reports incorrect metric values for SQL Server on Linux

Issue: When you monitor a SQL Server 2017 database instance that runs on a Linux server:

  • The O/S CPU Utilization resource always shows usage at 100%.
  • The Instance CPU Utilization resource always shows usage at 100%.
  • The O/S Memory Utilization resource always shows usage at 0%.

When you monitor a SQL Server 2019 database instance that runs on a Linux server:

  • The O/S CPU Utilization resource always shows usage at 100%.

Microsoft reports these values.

Resolution/Work-around: Disregard the values that are incorrect on your version of SQL Server. Upgrade to SQL Server 2019 to resolve the issue for the Instance CPU Utilization and O/S Memory Utilization resources.
Monitoring a database instance in the Oracle Public Cloud
Issue: When DPA is monitoring a database instance in the Oracle Public Cloud, it sometimes reports incorrect values.
Resolution/Work-around: DPA does not support monitoring database instances deployed in the Oracle Public Cloud. Use DPA to monitor supported database instance types.
Creating the monitoring user when registering a MySQL 8.0 database instance

Issue: For MySQL 8.0, the default authentication plug-in has changed from mysql_native_password to caching_sha2_password. If you attempt to register a MySQL 8.0 instance and allow DPA to create the monitoring user, registration fails because DPA cannot authenticate a user created with the default option.

Resolution/Work-around:

  1. Create the monitoring user manually and specify that the mysql_native_password plugin be used to authenticate that user. For example:

    CREATE USER 'userName'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'userPassword';

    You can verify user creation by querying the mysql.user table:

    select user,host,plugin from mysql.user;

  2. Grant the required privileges to the user. See the GRANT statements in the script available through the Register Instance Wizard.
  3. On step 2 of the Register Instance Wizard, select I'll create the database user. Then enter the user name and password of the user you created.

Deprecation notices

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This version of Database Performance Analyzer deprecates the following platforms and features.

Deprecated platforms and features are still supported in the current release. However, they will be unsupported in a future release. Plan on upgrading deprecated platforms. 

Type Details
Database-specific mass registration spreadsheets Mass registration spreadsheets specific type of database, such as Oracle or SQL Server, are still included in DPA 2021.1, but they will be removed in an upcoming release. When they are removed, mass registrations for any type of database will use the spreadsheet for all database types.
Repository database Support for using Oracle 11.2 as the DPA repository database is deprecated. Oracle 11.2 is still supported as a repository database in the DPA 2021.1 release, but support will be removed in an upcoming release.

End of life

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Version EoL Announcement EoE Effective Date EoL Effective Date
DPA 12.0

June 4, 2020 End-of-Life (EoL) announcement - Customers on DPA version 12.0 or earlier should begin transitioning to the latest version of DPA.

September 2, 2020 End-of-Engineering (EoE) - Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for DPA version 12.0 or earlier will no longer actively be supported by SolarWinds. September 2, 2021 End-of-Life (EoL) - SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for DPA version 12.0 or earlier.
DPA 11.1

June 4, 2020 End-of-Life (EoL) announcement - Customers on DPA version 11.1 or earlier should begin transitioning to the latest version of DPA.

September 2, 2020 End-of-Engineering (EoE) - Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for DPA version 11.1 or earlier will no longer actively be supported by SolarWinds. September 2, 2021 End-of-Life (EoL) - SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for DPA version 11.1 or earlier.
DPA 11.0 November 5, 2019 End-of-Life (EoL) announcement - Customers on DPA version 11.0 or earlier should begin transitioning to the latest version of DPA. March 7, 2020 End-of-Engineering (EoE) - Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for DPA version 11.0 or earlier will no longer actively be supported by SolarWinds. March 7, 2021 End-of-Life (EoL) - SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for DPA version 11.0 or earlier.

See the End of Life Policy for information about SolarWinds product lifecycle phases. For supported versions and EoL announcements for all SolarWinds products, see Currently supported software versions.


End of support

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This version of Database Performance Analyzer no longer supports the following platforms and features.

Type Details
Supported browsers

Internet Explorer (IE) and legacy versions of Microsoft Edge are not supported browsers. If you access DPA using these browsers, some DPA functionality is not available or does not function correctly. For example:

  • The Find SQL tab is not accessible.
  • The Resources tab is not accessible.
  • Pop-overs and drop-down menus in other areas do not function correctly.

Chromium-based versions of Microsoft Edge are still supported. See the DPA 2021.1 System Requirements for a complete list of supported browsers.


Legal notices

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© 2021 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved.

This document may not be reproduced by any means nor modified, decompiled, disassembled, published or distributed, in whole or in part, or translated to any electronic medium or other means without the prior written consent of SolarWinds. All right, title, and interest in and to the software, services, and documentation are and shall remain the exclusive property of SolarWinds, its affiliates, and/or its respective licensors.

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