Documentation forDatabase Performance Analyzer

DPA 2021.3 Release Notes

Release date: August 31, 2021

These release notes describe the new features, improvements, and fixed issues in Database Performance Analyzer 2021.3. They also provide information about upgrades and describe workarounds for known issues.

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

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New features and improvements in DPA

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DPA 2021.3 offers new features and improvements compared to previous releases of DPA.

Secure by design

As part of our commitment to being Secure by Design and providing a more resilient platform, the DPA 2021.3 release has implemented the new Secure Software Development Build Environment.

Alert information on the DPA homepage

The DPA homepage shows you which monitored instances currently have triggered alerts. The icon in the Alert column indicates the highest level of the currently triggered alerts. For example, indicates that one or more alerts are triggered at the High level.

Acknowledging alerts

After an alert is triggered, you can acknowledge it to indicate that the appropriate people are aware of the issue and it is being addressed. Acknowledging an alert prevents DPA from sending further notifications for that triggered alert.

DPA automatically records when the alert was acknowledged and the account that acknowledged it. You can also add notes that other users can read. In addition to preventing further notifications, acknowledging an alert can provide an audit trail, help DBAs focus on alerts that still require attention, and prevent multiple people from working on the same issue.

If you acknowledge an alert in error, or if the situation changes, you can unacknowledge the alert. When an alert is unacknowledged, DPA begins sending notifications again based on the specified notification policy.

For more information, see Acknowledge or unacknowledge a DPA alert.

Current alert status page

The alert status page has been redesigned to help you quickly find information about currently triggered alerts and broken alerts.

  • To find an alert, use the Search box to search for an alert name or database instance name. Or apply one or more filters, including status, instance name, alert type or name, and custom properties.

  • Change the sort order by selecting an option from the drop-down menu:

  • Hover over the icon to see who acknowledged the alert, when, and any comments.

  • Hover over the Status changed value to see when the alert was last evaluated.

  • Click the vertical ellipsis menu () on the alert row to perform additional actions, such as displaying details or acknowledging the alert.

Alert details page

The Alert details page has been redesigned to provide additional information about the alert's current status, definition, and history. You can acknowledge or unacknowledge the alert from the Current status details section.

The History section lists the dates and times when the alert status changed or when the alert was acknowledged or unacknowledged. Expand the Filters pane on the left to filter items in the History ssection.

New alerting log file

The following log file is available to help investigate issues with alerts:

alert_history.csv

It is available with other logs in the installDir/iwc/tomcat/logs/ directory. It includes information about each triggered alert.

User interface for creating custom properties

In addition to the physical properties of a database instance (such as database vendor, version, and IP address), custom properties allow you to associate business or organizational attributes to monitored database instances. For example, you could use custom properties to specify the location of a monitored database instance or the DBAs responsible for an instance.

You can include custom properties as variables in email templates for alert notifications. Receivers of email alert notifications can set up rules to prioritize, forward, or otherwise process incoming notifications based on the custom property values in the emails.

In previous versions, custom properties could be created only through the DPA REST API. DPA 2021.3 includes a user interface for creating and editing custom properties. For more information, see Create and manage custom properties.

Metric baselines

Baselines are available again for resource metrics on the Resources tab in DPA. Baselines can be used to compare values from a specific period to historical norms.

Baselines are not available for metrics collected for the VM Option.

Click the Baselines toggle switch in the top-right corner of the Resources tab to show or hide baselines. When you show baselines, a shaded area indicates the historic values between the 10th and 90th percentiles.

Metric with a darker band that represents the baseline

Option to manually create the monitoring user when registering with a wizard

When you register the following types of database instances with a wizard, you can choose to manually create the DPA monitoring user before running the wizard:

  • Self-managed Oracle
  • Self-managed SQL Server
  • Self-managed Sybase
  • Amazon RDS for Oracle
  • Amazon RDS for SQL Server

When users choose this option, they are not required to enter the credentials of a privileged user into the DPA interface, and the DPA monitoring user is not assigned an elevated role (such as the sysadmin role for SQL Server databases). SolarWinds provides scripts to ensure that the monitoring user has the required privileges.

The original wizards, which require privileged user credentials to create or configure the monitoring user, are still available.

DPA 2021.1 gave users the option to create the DPA monitoring user manually when they registered instances using the API or mass registration.

CyberArk Credential Vault integration

Customers who use CyberArk for secure credential management can now use the CyberArk Credential Vault to store the credentials needed to access or connect to monitored database instances, VM Option VMware servers, SMTP email servers, the DPA repository database, and AD/LDAP servers.

For more information, see Configure DPA to use credentials stored in CyberArk.

Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL support

DPA supports monitoring PostgreSQL database instances in the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

SSL authentication

Users can specify SSL authentication for Oracle, SQL Server, and Sybase database instances. Users can specify this option in the registration wizard, the Update DB Instance Connection Wizard, mass registration, and the API.

Driver used to connect to SQL Server database instances

Previous versions of DPA used the jTDS driver to connect to SQL Server database instances. DPA 2021.3 now uses the Microsoft JDBC driver by default. The MS JDBC driver provides better support for SSL and NTLM2.

When you register a new SQL Server database instance, DPA uses the MS JDBC driver. SQL Server instances that were registered previously will continue to use the jTDS driver by default.

If you want an existing registered instance to start using the MS JDBC driver, update the instance properties and select Microsoft JDBC Driver on the Update Monitored Database Instance Connection Information panel.

After a successful connection with the MS JDBC driver, you cannot switch back to the jTDS driver.

Maximum amount data stored for Find SQL

In previous versions, DPA stored a maximum of 30 days of Find SQL data. In DPA 2021.3, the default value is still 30 days but you can increase this value to a maximum of 90 days. The number of days of historical data stored determines the time period you can specify when you search for a SQL statement.

To change the default value, edit the advanced option CLEAN_DAYS_OF_FIND_SQL_DATA. Be aware that larger values require more disk space and could affect performance. If you lower this value, historical data beyond the updated retention period is removed by the nightly cleanup job.


New customer installation

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

Before you upgrade!

In DPA 2021.3 includes changes to the columns in the CON_ALERT_HISTORY table. When you upgrade from DPA 2021.1 or earlier, the upgrader migrates data from the old table structure to the new table structure, starting with the newest entries and going to the oldest.

The migration process is limited to one hour. If you have a large amount of alert history data, the migration process might not finish within this time limit and the oldest alert history records could be lost. To prevent this, back up your alert history data before the upgrade and then migrate it to the new table structure after the upgrade. See Migrate all alert history records before upgrading from DPA 2021.1 or earlier to DPA 2021.3 or later for instructions.

How to upgrade

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


Fixed issues in DPA 2021.3

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DPA 2021.3 fixes the following issues.

Case Number Description
N/A

Entering multiple connection properties in the JDBC URL field (either in the Registration Wizard or the Update DB Instance Connection Wizard) does not prevent PDA from monitoring a PostgreSQL database instance.

N/A

Using the default encryption scheme with certain types of passwords no longer prevents monitoring from starting.

00327977, 00795458

When Oracle database instances are registered using the TNS descriptor and the descriptor is on a single line in the tnsnames.ora file, integration with the Orion Platform no longer fails.

00545266

If you include a database instance in an alert and then change the display name of the database instance, the alert continues to work for that instance, and the instance name is updated on the Alert Status tab.

00668013, 00668090

The download process for large diagnostic files has been improved.

00726859

Query advisors are available even when the database has very little wait time.

00747082

DPA does not stop monitoring a PostgreSQL instance if querying the pg_stat_statements table returns a NULL value.

00758032

DPA has improved its evaluation of database names to avoid an error when All DBs is selected as the Evaluation Option for a SQL Server Backup Frequency alert.

00758804

In-product information about viewing query details has been updated.

00768996, 00770997

Administrative and custom alerts, live plans, and the DB Query tool work as expected on SQL Server instances monitored using Windows Authentication.

00769971, 00770728, 00771998

When the shift to daylight savings time occurs, bars on some DPA bar charts are no longer displayed as thin lines instead of bars.

00781147

DPA's ability to detect various MariaDB distribution types has been improved.

CUST-78406, DPA-7327

00782101

In previous versions, DPA displayed a warning message if the amount of heap memory allocated to DPA was insufficient to monitor all registered instances. DPA now displays this message based on the number of actively monitored instances, not the number of registered instances.

00783002, 00794152

When a SQL Server database is taken offline or removed, it is now automatically excluded from DPA alerts and resource metrics that track whether all databases have been backed up.

00790675

When you register a SQL Server instance without giving the sysadmin role to the DPA monitoring user, the validation of the privileges of the monitoring user has been improved.

00794644

The DPA Resources tab no longer opens slowly when the virtual machine hosting the database instance includes a large number of disks. In addition, the readability of resource metric line charts has been improved.


Known issues

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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.

Resolution/Work-around:

  1. Open the following file in a text editor:

    <DPA-install-dir>\iwc\tomcat\ignite_config\iwc\security\sqlauth.xml

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

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

  3. 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>

  4. 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.

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.
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.
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.
DPA fails to reconnect after losing its connection to a SQL Server instance

Issue: When DPA loses its connection to a monitored SQL Server instance (for example, when the DPA server is rebooted), and Windows authentication is used, DPA is sometimes unable to reconnect to the instance. This can happen if DPA attempts to connect before SQL Server has been able to connect to Active Directory. DPA interprets the rejected connection attempt as possibly occuring because the credentials were incorrect. To avoid being locked out of the account, DPA does not keep trying to reconnect. Messages such as the following appear in the logs:

Monitor for database [databaseName] failed to start due to [username and/or password must be updated due to previous login failure; if the credentials have not changed for this database, stop the monitor, wait for the monitor to stop, then start the monitor.].

Resolution/Work-around: When the monitored instance is fully initialized, manually restart monitoring. On the DPA homepage, click the Action drop-down menu for the instance and select Start Monitor.
Monitoring fails when a SQL Server AG is registered through the listener

Issue: When a SQL Server Availability Group (AG) is registered for monitoring through the listener, duplicate files collected through polling are not handled correctly in some situations, which can cause monitoring to fail. Errors such as the following can appear in the logs:

DEBUG (2021-04-03T17:16:50,214+0300) [repositoryManager-thread-23] {name=DBSERVER02 via AGLISTENER01} DatabaseMonitorJobListener:62 - Stopping monitor in SummaryPollJob

Resolution/Work-around: If possible, register each instance separately instead of registering the listener. If that is not possible, then disable IO stats polling by setting the advanced option IO_STATS_POLL_ENABLED to False.
VM Host Disk metrics load slowly due to missing indexes on tables that store these metrics

Issue: Loading the Host Disk metrics on the Resources page may take a long time when the host has a large number of disks. On new DPA installations, indexes to avoid this issue are created in the DPA repository. But for DPA upgrades, these indexes must be created manually.

Resolution/Work-around:

  1. From the DPA menu, click Options.
  2. Under Support > Utilities, click Review DPA Repo Schema.

    If your DPA is missing some indexes you are provided with a SQL script to manually create them.

  3. Follow the instructions on the page to create the missing indexes.
Repository growth due to missing indexes on tables storing the plans

Issue: DPA cleanup jobs might not run properly on tables storing the historical plans, causing the repository to grow. On new DPA installations, indexes to avoid this issue are created in the DPA repository. But for DPA upgrades, these indexes must be created manually.

Resolution/Work-around:

  1. From the DPA menu, click Options.
  2. Under Support > Utilities, click Review DPA Repo Schema.

    If your DPA is missing some indexes you are provided with a SQL script to manually create them.

  3. Follow the instructions on the page to create the missing indexes.

End of life

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Version EoL Announcement EoE Effective Date EoL Effective Date
DPA 2019.4

August 26, 2021 End-of-Life (EoL) announcement - Customers on DPA version 2019.4 or earlier should begin transitioning to the latest version of DPA.

November 24, 2021 End-of-Engineering (EoE) - Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for DPA version 2019.4 or earlier will no longer actively be supported by SolarWinds. November 24, 2022 End-of-Life (EoL) - SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for DPA version 2019.4 or earlier.
DPA 12.1

August 26, 2021 End-of-Life (EoL) announcement - Customers on DPA version 12.1 or earlier should begin transitioning to the latest version of DPA.

November 24, 2021 End-of-Engineering (EoE) - Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for DPA version 12.1 or earlier will no longer actively be supported by SolarWinds. November 24, 2022 End-of-Life (EoL) - SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for DPA version 12.1 or earlier.
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.

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
Monitored database types Support for monitoring Db2 9.7 database instances is removed in DPA 2021.3.

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, and avoid using deprecated features. 

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 2021.3, 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 2021.3 release, but support will be removed in an upcoming release.
DPA server OS Support for installing DPA on a server with a Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system is still supported in DPA 2021.3, but support will be removed in an upcoming release.

Legal notices

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