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T-SQL Tuesday #66 - Monitoring for a healthy SQL environment

T-SQLTuesday66

Just heard that today was T-SQL Tuesday #66!  Well, I knew it was Tuesday, and T-SQL comes into play once a month, but then I heard the topic was monitoring.  I am so pleased that Cathrine Wilhelmsen (@cathrinew) is hosting this month’s blog party, and I guess, well, I’m fashionably late. Here is her original invitation, which I forgot to RSVP.  I also think that this topic she chose for us to blog about is a fantastic choice, and one of the most important aspects of managing a SQL Server environment, large and small. 

If you are a DBA, a managing multiple SQL Server database instances, then you should consider setting up centralized monitoring and alerting.  You definitely want to install and implement some form of automated monitoring, because, well, you want to be a PROACTIVE and not a REACTIVE DBA. By now, the topic of monitoring has been worn in well for this fine Tuesday, but I wanted to jump in and offer my two-cents.

I know something about monitoring!  Not only have I reviewed, used and installed various SQL Server monitoring solutions, I wrote the award-winning SQLCentric monitoring and alert system!  You can take a look at what it has to offer by clicking on the highlighted link, or a simple Google search for SQLCentric.  SQLCentric is just one automated monitoring software out of many fine 3rd party offerings, so you’ll just have to go ahead and test them out and see which solution is right for you.

Monitoring is a very broad topic, as you can see from the stream of excellent t-sql Tuesday articles. Monitoring is definitely an essential part of a healthy SQL Server environment. You can dedicate an entire chapter on monitoring.  In fact, that’s what I did in my upcoming and imminent release of my book, HealthySQL. Chapter 8 Monitoring & Reporting, talks all about monitoring, native monitoring features out of the box, and what factors you should consider in acquiring a 3rd party monitoring solution.

 It’s a common scenario called "build vs. buy". Value does exist when considering the potentially billable man-hours, vs. the cost of purchasing monitoring software - time is money, you know.

You should be aware, that not all monitoring systems are alike, and I would make a few suggestions when considering purchase. Don't listen to the sales/marketing hype - as I mentioned, their job is to SELL, SELL, SELL. There are a lot of objective reviews out there from SQL experts, and software users on their real-life experiences with the product. You should not settle on one product straight away.  In addition, you should clearly implement a monitoring solution that has the lowest overhead and performance impact on the SQL Servers that you seek to monitor. I'll also talk more about monitoring in my Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference coming up THIS WEEK, Thursday to Friday - March 14-15, 2015. I also blogged about the MVP v-conf here

I’m keeping it short today, but you can learn more from all those excellent participating T-SQL Tuesday #66 posts by our friends and family in the SQLCommunity.  

Thank you again, Catherine for the excellent topic! I need to more closely “monitor” T-SQL Tuesday, so next time, I’ll be alerted, and proactive!

Here are the rules of participation, from the host herself:

  1. Write a blog post about Monitoring
  2. Include the T-SQL Tuesday logo and link it back to this invitation blog post
  3. Publish your blog post on Tuesday, May 12th between 00:00 and 23:59 GMT
  4. Leave a reply below with the URL to your blog post (if you don’t see a pingback to it)
  5. Tweet about your blog post using the #tsql2sday hashtag

 

 


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