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Don't Build a Monitoring System Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, September 12, 2009 3:30 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Don't Build a Monitoring System

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Post #786917
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 3:37 PM
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Sounds like a good plan. Do a tool comparison but don't select a "winner" because that's a matter of preference. Then drill in with a how to on each one.

--Paul Hunter
Post #787068
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 4:01 PM


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We've tried to figure out how to do this well here for years, but never came up with a good way. Plus we were bound by advertising contracts, which could have influenced us.

I think part of the issue is that many people don't want to push a particular product since people will assume they are being compensated somehow. Lots of MVPs fight this image, despite all the complaints they publicly make about Microsoft products.







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Post #787074
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 3:58 AM
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Reminds me of a corporate finance class with the instructor determined to make sure you could recite the formulas. Sure, everyone knew which calculator button to push and in the order necessary to get the answer, but he was determined we should know the behind the keypad process in case we needed to calculate in a moment the return value or PI. Does the same theory apply here? If you work in consultancy, could you enter any company, without your favorite monitoring app, and tell them if "everythings OK"? Discuss the benefits of third party solutions, but ceasing to teach and reinforce the fundamentals would be a grave loss.
Post #787283
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 4:01 AM
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If I am a fan of a tool then I have no qualms about pushing that tool regardless of who produces it.

There will always be people who complain about a reviewer "selling out" or being partisan. They are noisy but in the minority.

Most readers will simply use a review to supplement (but not replace) their own research.

There will always an element of personal preference. I personally like the Quest tools but find their UI a bit fiddly and counter-intuitive, someone else may disagree on either or both points. If the reviewer sticks with the facts and keeps the emotives to the minimum then what is the problem?


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Post #787285
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 5:38 AM


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giaks0wn (9/14/2009)
Reminds me of a corporate finance class with the instructor determined to make sure you could recite the formulas. Sure, everyone knew which calculator button to push and in the order necessary to get the answer, but he was determined we should know the behind the keypad process in case we needed to calculate in a moment the return value or PI. Does the same theory apply here? If you work in consultancy, could you enter any company, without your favorite monitoring app, and tell them if "everythings OK"? Discuss the benefits of third party solutions, but ceasing to teach and reinforce the fundamentals would be a grave loss.


That's an excellent point. It really is important that people understand the fundamentals, whether they use a tool or not. But it's especially important if they use a tool that understand what it's doing, what it can do, why, what it can't do, why, and where it derives the information it presents. This makes you into an adminstrator of the tool, not simply a user. Great point.


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Post #787347
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 5:40 AM


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David.Poole (9/14/2009)
If I am a fan of a tool then I have no qualms about pushing that tool regardless of who produces it.

There will always be people who complain about a reviewer "selling out" or being partisan. They are noisy but in the minority.

Most readers will simply use a review to supplement (but not replace) their own research.

There will always an element of personal preference. I personally like the Quest tools but find their UI a bit fiddly and counter-intuitive, someone else may disagree on either or both points. If the reviewer sticks with the facts and keeps the emotives to the minimum then what is the problem?


I do agree, but see Steve's point. I have my preferred tools, and anyone who has been around me for a presentation or a chat could figure them out PDQ. But, I don't want to be associated with any one company because I recognize good in almost all the companies whose tools I've worked with or evaluated. It's just way to easy to be associated with only one organization (although, I freely admit to being pretty much a shill for Microsoft, can't help that one).


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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
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Post #787351
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 6:50 AM
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I am not an official DBA but a database developer that wears the DBA hat a lot in what I do. In my production support role, I needed help in being more proactive in monitoring and addressing issues in our database applications. I also wanted some of the expertise that can sometimes come “built-in” to these monitoring tools. So I pushed to buy a tool.

Regardless of if the tool is one that I purchase or build myself, don’t I still have some work to do and decisions to make in how to use the tool or what the data actually means? It would be great to have guidance and recommended best practices, without necessarily having to deal with how I am getting the data.

Perhaps even something as simple as the pro / con of deploying the tool on the same server that it is monitoring.
Post #787404
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 6:50 AM


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We had short debate about this in planning for SQLSaturday #21 - Orlando. One of the sponsors wanted to have some time to do a demo of one of their products, beyond a table at the event. IMO, there is nothing wrong with an event providing that time, provided it is made clear that this is a vendor sponsored session and will be a bit a of a sales pitch.

I know I would appreciate articles/sessions on a specific product. Comparisons articles are great, but you can't really be an expert on each of the products, so I'd just assume learn about why you chose the one you are using, how you are using it, and what are your favorite and least favorite features.

I'd personally accept a session to an event that was something like, How [Insert Product Here] helped me do X, provided it was submitted by someone not employed by the vendor.




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Post #787405
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 7:05 AM


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Jack Corbett (9/14/2009)
We had short debate about this in planning for SQLSaturday #21 - Orlando. One of the sponsors wanted to have some time to do a demo of one of their products, beyond a table at the event. IMO, there is nothing wrong with an event providing that time, provided it is made clear that this is a vendor sponsored session and will be a bit a of a sales pitch.

I know I would appreciate articles/sessions on a specific product. Comparisons articles are great, but you can't really be an expert on each of the products, so I'd just assume learn about why you chose the one you are using, how you are using it, and what are your favorite and least favorite features.

I'd personally accept a session to an event that was something like, How [Insert Product Here] helped me do X, provided it was submitted by someone not employed by the vendor.


You would, and I would, but the big conferences and most of the smaller conferences, won't. And I think that's a pity. I can go to a session on how Tom LaRock uses Microsoft Operations Manager within his enterprise. But I can't go to one where MVP X uses Product Y within his enterprise, as a part of the show. It's only going to be at the booth or in a side program at lunch or something. I just don't like it.

On the other hand, I don't want the conferences to turn into an extended sales pitch in every single session, and they could.


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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #787415
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