2006 USENIX Annual Technical Conference Abstract
Pp. 213228 of the Proceedings
Understanding and Validating Database System Administration
Fábio Oliveira, Kiran Nagaraja, Rekha Bachwani, Ricardo Bianchini, Richard P. Martin, and Thu D. Nguyen, Rutgers University
A large number of enterprises need their commodity database systems to
remain available at all times. Although administrator mistakes are a
significant source of unavailability and cost in these systems, no
study to date has sought to quantify the frequency of mistakes in the
field, understand the context in which they occur, or develop system
support to deal with them explicitly. In this paper, we first
characterize the typical administrator tasks, testing environments,
and mistakes using results from an extensive survey we have conducted
of 51 experienced administrators. Given the results of this survey,
we next propose system support to validate administrator actions
before they are made visible to users. Our prototype implementation
creates a validation environment that is an extension of a replicated
database system, where administrator actions can be validated using
real workloads. The prototype implements three forms of validation,
including a novel form in which the behavior of a database replica can
be validated even without an example of correct behavior for
comparison. Our results show that the prototype can detect the major
classes of administrator mistakes.
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