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By Bert Carles,
As a follow up to my first article "Monitoring on a Budget", here's how we present the fact data to management using Microsoft Excel. This has little to do with SQL Server and much to do with Excel but is certainly useful in quickly creating graphs from SQL Server data (or any external data). There are many other ways to present this data. I'd welcome your ideas and/or examples.
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Obviously, we have so much data that the dates across the bottom are no longer readable. If you pass your cursor across a point on the graph, it will pop up with the date and the value for that date.
You'll notice drop down boxes so you can select a specific server and/or dates. You'll need to click the exclamation point (!) to refresh the data if the database has changed since your last viewing. After a period of time, refreshing the data will take longer.
As I stated in the beginning, there are many ways to present this data. This technique is relatively simple and inexpensive. It is easy to view, allows access by multiple users, and provides the ability to filter the data. Immediately, you will be able to observe spikes/dips and over time, trends in performance metrics.
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