Company on a Quest to ease database management

A mish-mash of database management tools doth not a cost-efficient enterprise make – so says application management company Quest Software Inc. The Irvine, Calif.-based firm recently unveiled Quest Central for Oracle, a tool that takes an integrated-console approach to helping network and database administrators (DBAs) manage the data environment.

Quest Central for Oracle improves application performance and availability by ensuring the database is managed from one central console, as opposed to multiple point products, Quest said. The solution combines several database management tools into a single product, better helping database administrators manage daily tasks, the company said, adding that productivity is increased when all database management tasks are centralized.

“The database is typically the heart, or the most critical part of an application,” said Deb Jenson, director of product marketing for Quest Software. The challenges for DBAs in managing a multi-tool database environment can result in possible performance issues including application outages and slow response time, Jensen added.

“The reason we created Quest Central is due to a direct demand we were getting from our customers, which is they really want to stay with one tool throughout the day,” Jenson said. “What this gives them is a reduced learning curve, but more importantly, they’re able to react to problems much quicker – they’ll actually be able to become proactive versus reactive.”

Jenson added the solution is well-suited to a Canadian market that is experiencing heavy application growth, particularly in the CRM market.

What appealed to Graham Haughton, data architect for Lafarge North America in Montreal, was the fact that the tool allows him to monitor all data from a central location. The construction materials company, which currently manages up to 100 production databases at one time, needed a management solution that could monitor and map all databases at a glance.

“Basically we needed some sort of big map…and some of the other products on the market do provide that, but they’re very slow in display and in the way they operate,” Haughton said. “(Quest) also put in some nice features to help with daily tasks – it’s good for both junior and senior DBAs, you don’t need to be a DBA with 15 years experience to use the tool.”

Jon Rubin, senior research analyst at Gartner in San Jose, noted an integrated solution such as Quest Central for Oracle allows administrators to avoid performance problems that may arise using a patchwork of point products to manage the database environment. Vendors are realizing that users want to be able to manage daily tasks from a single integrated solution, Rubin added.

Quest Central for Oracle is available now. Pricing starts at US$11,000. Quest Software Inc. can be found at