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Back to Basics: Capturing Baselines on Production SQL Servers


Back to Basics: Capturing Baselines on Production SQL Servers

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Erin Stellato
Erin Stellato
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Back to Basics: Capturing Baselines on Production SQL Servers
Divine Flame
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Thanks a lot Erin for writing such a nice article :-). It provides much more than we could have asked!


Sujeet Singh
Erin Stellato
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Divine Flame (11/27/2012)
Thanks a lot Erin for writing such a nice article :-). It provides much more than we could have asked!


I'm very glad it was helpful for you!
Del Lee
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I've seen or heard a number of times about the importance of collecting baseline information, but this is the first time I've seen some specific suggestions as to where to start. Thank you, Erin, for putting forth the effort to do this.



Del Lee
Bennett Scharf
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Hey Erin,

This is great - especially the idea of baselining your configuration data!

On a related note, I log and analyze my performance counters through Performance Monitor, mainly because it's quick and easy to use it's built-in graphical tool. I'd be interested to know how you and others *quickly* graph stuff like performance counters when the data is stored in a SQL table.

Thanks again,
Bennett
Erin Stellato
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Del Lee (11/27/2012)
I've seen or heard a number of times about the importance of collecting baseline information, but this is the first time I've seen some specific suggestions as to where to start. Thank you, Erin, for putting forth the effort to do this.


Thank you for reading Del! I hope you have success in your implementation Smile
Erin Stellato
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Bennett Scharf (11/27/2012)
Hey Erin,

This is great - especially the idea of baselining your configuration data!

On a related note, I log and analyze my performance counters through Performance Monitor, mainly because it's quick and easy to use it's built-in graphical tool. I'd be interested to know how you and others *quickly* graph stuff like performance counters when the data is stored in a SQL table.

Thanks again,
Bennett


Bennett-

First, thanks for reading! Second, that's a great question. I don't usually (ever?) graph those counters by pulling the data from the database. I like having the data in the database so I can quickly do averages and comparisons across multiple time frames. If I want to graph the data, I would run it through PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) which is a free tool available on CodePlex: http://pal.codeplex.com/

Now, I would guess (completely a guess) that you could graph that data via Report Services. But I have never tried...would love to hear if anyone else has done that.

Erin
heb1014
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Thanks, this is helpful!

I started working today to add the collection and reporting of configuration data. I created a query that will report all changes within the last week. One nice thing is that I can run it without needing to supply parameters.

with ranked 
as
(
select * , rank() over (partition by configurationid order by capturedate) as rank
from config.ConfigData
)

select
a.CaptureDate as BeforeCaptureDate
, a.ConfigurationID
, a.Name
, a.Value as BeforeValue
, a.ValueInUse as BeforeValueInUse
, b.CaptureDate as AfterCaptureDate
, b.Value as AfterValue
, b.ValueInUse as AfterValueInUse
from
ranked a
inner join ranked b on a.ConfigurationID = b.ConfigurationID and a.rank = b.rank - 1
where
a.CaptureDate >= dateadd(week, -1, getdate()) -- Look for changes in the last week
and ((a.Value <> b.Value) or (b.ValueInUse <> b.ValueInUse)) -- A change is where one of the values doesn't match for consecutive captures
order by
a.ConfigurationID, a.CaptureDate


Erin Stellato
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heb1014 (11/28/2012)
Thanks, this is helpful!

I started working today to add the collection and reporting of configuration data. I created a query that will report all changes within the last week. One nice thing is that I can run it without needing to supply parameters.

with ranked 
as
(
select * , rank() over (partition by configurationid order by capturedate) as rank
from config.ConfigData
)

select
a.CaptureDate as BeforeCaptureDate
, a.ConfigurationID
, a.Name
, a.Value as BeforeValue
, a.ValueInUse as BeforeValueInUse
, b.CaptureDate as AfterCaptureDate
, b.Value as AfterValue
, b.ValueInUse as AfterValueInUse
from
ranked a
inner join ranked b on a.ConfigurationID = b.ConfigurationID and a.rank = b.rank - 1
where
a.CaptureDate >= dateadd(week, -1, getdate()) -- Look for changes in the last week
and ((a.Value <> b.Value) or (b.ValueInUse <> b.ValueInUse)) -- A change is where one of the values doesn't match for consecutive captures
order by
a.ConfigurationID, a.CaptureDate



This is fantastic! And a classic example of what I love about the SQL Server Community - taking something and making it better, then sharing with everyone else. Thank you for posting!
jimbobmcgee
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Bennett Scharf (11/27/2012)
Hey Erin,

This is great - especially the idea of baselining your configuration data!

On a related note, I log and analyze my performance counters through Performance Monitor, mainly because it's quick and easy to use it's built-in graphical tool. I'd be interested to know how you and others *quickly* graph stuff like performance counters when the data is stored in a SQL table.

Thanks again,
Bennett


If you just want to look at it yourself from time to time, maybe Excel will be enough. You can use the wizard (Data >> Get External Data >> From Other Sources >> From SQL Server) to query and import data into the sheet and use its graphing tools to present it nicely enough.

If you need a few others to see it too, you can host the data on a central database and the Excel file on a network share. You will need to make sure that the connection details in the Excel file absolutely reference the SQL Server (e.g. SERVERNAME\INSTANCENAME not .\INSTANCENAME).

If you need lots of other people to see it, regularly, Reporting Services might be your friend -- it is designed, after all, to present data, although it obviously more server-centric. But, if you need something a bit more custom, you might need to look at a bespoke app, in ASP.NET (or any other SQL Server/OLEDB/ODBC-capable language).

(Of course, the name/value storage database structure might not lend itself too well to graphing -- expect to have to create complex pivoting queries and/or views)
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