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5 Reasons You Must Start Capturing Baseline Data


5 Reasons You Must Start Capturing Baseline Data

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Erin Stellato
Erin Stellato
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item 5 Reasons You Must Start Capturing Baseline Data
Divine Flame
Divine Flame
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Very nice article Erin. Glad to see an article on such an important topic. Hope this will be a great series.


Sujeet Singh
e-ghetto
e-ghetto
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Great Topic!

We're already collecting data such as:

-Backup Health
-Service Status
-Fixed Drives Space
-File Space Usage (Data, Index, Unlocated, ...)
-Files Events (Grows, Shrinks, ...)
-Failed Jobs
-Unusual Log Entries
-Schema Change Events
-Server Configuration Changes

Wait Stats collection is a goog idea...

Looking forward to your next articles!
Rob Sonders
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Excellent topic!
Looking forward to reading more.
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Great introduction to what's going to be a great series of articles! Thanks for taking the time to do this, Erin!

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
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timclaason
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Great advice. I used to use log4net in my database applications (now I just use my own custom logger). I have debug statements scattered throughout my code, and when I turn debug level "on," I collect performance information about my application.

From time to time, I turn debug level of my logger on, and re-collect my baseline. Then, if a problem arises related to performance, I can gather the current performance metrics, and compare to my baseline. Without it, you're shooting blind.
Erin Stellato
Erin Stellato
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Thanks for the comments all! There are more articles to come, and I'm looking forward to seeing how other admins and devs capture this data. Thanks for reading!
SQLdba-473999
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Great article Erin!

Do you have any recommendations on good 3rd party tools for baselining?
Mike Dougherty-384281
Mike Dougherty-384281
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I am looking forward to the rest of this series. You write well, so large paragraphs are not a problem at all - but if you'd like to put some icing on the cake, include some code samples or some pictures of the kind of report/analysis you use to make sense of the audit data.

Here's an anecdote about baselines: I had an app that was gathering branch office data dump files over our WAN. For the sake of logging I figured it made sense to capture transfer time and file size and was reporting bytes per second so it was readable at a glance. Overnight processing ran without incident for months and I stopped watching the logs. When the file transfers failed to complete by morning, I was immediately able to see that throughput had dropped to less than 10% of normal. Thinking through possible causes, we discovered the network was saturated overnight but returned to normal before anyone arrived at work each morning. We discovered 2 machines in our branch locations had become zombies in a botnet and were busy in DDOS attacks all night long. Clever zombie master might never have been noticed if not for the using the baseline delta as a detector that something was going on.
VPombeiro
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Excellent article Erin,

I've already watch your course about baseline on pluralsight and now I'm waiting for the rest of this series of articles. Smile

Will you write about SSIS baseline?

I work with SSIS and I record some information about those process so that I can see if the process is taking more time to finish according to the number of records being processed, and other factors.
This are some measures that I usually record:
- Start time, end time and number of records of the extract process by SQL Server instance. This way I can see if the problem is with one particular SQL Server instance.
- Start time, end time and number of records of the load process by SQL Server instance. For the same reason as above. This works also when generating files on network locations.
- If I have all the above I know how much time the transformation time was spent end time of the extract and the start time of the load.

At the moment those are the measures that I'm recording, I was thinking of recording other performance counters related to CPU and memory so that I could check if there was any relationship about a performance drop and those counters. What do you think?
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