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Oracle OS watcher (OSWatcher) tips

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

The new Oracle OS watcher (OSWatcher) reports CPU, RAM and Network stress, and is a new alternative for monitoring Oracle servers.  OS Watcher complements the Ion tool for proactive Oracle monitoring.

Also see my Oracle file watcher tips.

Oracle does not run in a vacuum, and itís important to monitor stress on your server, disk, RAM and network.  Oracle provides several tools for monitoring the external environment, including:

For those who do not have a license to access the AWR dba_hist tables (Oracle performance pack), Oracle OS watcher is a free solution for UNIX/Linux RAC shops:

MOSC note 301137.1 has the users guide for Oracle OS Watcher (OSW), a collection of UNIX C shell scripts that help diagnose server and network bottlenecks.  The Oracle OS watcher is nicknamed OSWatcher, and it is user-configurable, collecting one hour worth of OS data at one minute intervals, and then writing the hourís data to an archive flat file...

Actually the sample interval is configurable down to 1 second as opposed to one minute. Default value is 30 seconds.

Oracle OS watcher is especially useful for Linux/UNIX-based RAC systems where monitoring the OS is important for identifying CPU, RAM or network stress.  Oracle OS Watcher may invoke these popular UNIX/Linux utilities, depending on the platform (Solaris, HP/UX, Linux and Tru64):

  • vmstat
  • iostat
  • top
  • netstat
  • traceroute

 Starting Oracle OS Watcher (OSWatcher)

You can start Oracle OS Watcher with this command, specifying the data collection interval (in seconds) and the max number of hours to keep archive files. In this example we submit the collector as a background job to collect every 5 minutes and keep 24 hours of archive files, writing all messages to oswatcher.log:

nohup /u01/app/oracle/scripts/ 300 24 & > /u01/app/oracle/scripts//oswatcher.log

Downloading OSWatcher

You can download Oracle OSWatcher here:

Using Oracle OS Watcher requires knowledge of UNIX and Linux C shell commends syntax, but it removes much of the tedium from OS  monitoring for those who are not licensed to use AWR automatic OS statistics collection.

You can write your own vmstat collection scripts very easily:

# run vmstat and direct the output into the Oracle table . . .
cat /tmp/msg$$|sed 1,3d | awk  '{ printf("%s %s %s %s %s %s\n", $1, $8, $9,
14, $15, $16) }' | while read RUNQUE PAGE_IN PAGE_OUT USER_CPU SYSTEM_CPU

      $ORACLE_HOME/bin/sqlplus -s perfstat/perfstat@testsys1<<EOF
      insert into perfstat.stats\$vmstat
                           values (

I have exhaustively documented the OS monitoring on Oracle 10g OEM and AWR in our new book "Oracle Tuning, the Definitive Reference", highly recommended. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30% off at the link, and download a comprehensive code depot of AWR scripts.




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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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