A good DBA is monitoring their system, looking for problems on a regular basis. The best DBAs are pro-actively heading off future issues by tuning or adding resources to their systems before a problem surfaces. It seems, however, that it's the rare DBA that is really on top of their environment all the time, examining performance metrics to look for indications of any abnormality. I guess the best DBAs have routines that look for deviations from baselines, alerting them of potential issues.
SQL Server has grown over the years to add new features that make the administrator's job easier. The addition of SQL Agent and its alerting capabilities have helped for a long time, and in recent versions we've gotten eventing as well as the development of tools like the Policy Based Management (PBM) framework to allow the instance to do work for the administrator.
More recently we've seen Project Atlanta at Microsoft became the System Center Advisor. This is service that uploads metrics from your instances for evaluation by specialists, and presumably some expert systems, at Microsoft. I don't know how well it works or how effective people feel it is, but it's an interesting idea. Ignoring the effectiveness of the service for now, I'm wondering about something related this Friday.
Do you feel your performance metrics need to be secured?
I'm wondering how you would classify the data from System Monitor, from alerts, events, PBM, and more. Does it require a high level of security for your organization? Are you concerned about contracting with someone to analyze the data and report back to you about things that might improve performance? Many people contract with consultants like SQLskills for Health Checks, but that's at an individual level.
Let me know this Friday how you feel.
The Voice of the DBA Podcasts
We publish three versions of the podcast each day for you to enjoy.
The podcast feeds are available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com. You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:
Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com. They have a great version of Message in a Bottle if you want to check it out.
I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.