Policy-Based Management, How Sweet It Is

Angela-Henry, 2012-10-24

I have just recently changed employers and in doing so, I’ve changed my role from Data Architect to DBA/BI Developer.  I had been doing heads down development work for the last 4 plus years and not a lot of admin work.  Given that, I missed out on something that I think is just fantastic.  Policy-Based Management (BPM), it was a new feature with SQL Server 2008.  I spent a lot of time when I was a DBA figuring out how to monitor my servers.  I used to use a combination of home grown scripts and the SQLH2 utility.  But PBM makes a DBA’s life so much easier, especially when your shop can’t afford all the cool monitoring tools that are available today.

Basically PBM allows a DBA to manage multiple instances of SQL Server on a consistent basis.  You can use one server to create all your policies on and then export/import them on other servers.  While this is still better than the hodgepodge of scripts you had before, it’s still a bit cumbersome.  Enter Enterprise Policy Management Framework (EPM) from Codeplex.  It allows you to extend the PBM via your Central Management Server and provide some very cool SSRS reports.  Because EPM is driven by PowerShell, it can be used on SQL Server versions from 2000 to 2012.

I am so excited to be going back to a dual role of DBA/developer, and Policy-Based Management and Enterprise Policy Management Framework make it that much sweeter.

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