Centralised Monitoring

  • Angus Lilburn-274633

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 153

    Hi,

    I want to rationalise SQL monitoring to parallel (functionally) the monitoring of our non-SQl databases. Using that approach, all jobs of a specific category are checked from a central server, and an email is sent in which the Subject indicates whether the email contains error details (so needs to be read) or whether the monitoring was successful and the email can be filed.

    The existing SQL Server monitoring is very "out of the box", so emails get sent when jobs fail. We have twenty something servers and two hundred (?) databases and many more jobs, so success notification is not something we can reliably check. The approach also fails to cater for email ceasing to work, Agents not being started, jobs being disabled and not re-enabled, and more I am sure.

    I have considered several options and favour using linked servers from a central server to perform monitoring. The monitoring jobs would use local tables to target queries at a number of remote servers, at the end of which an email would be sent to indicate alarm or success. This would allow us to expect one email per day (or reporting period) per category, categories to include "backups", "space monitoring", "standby status" and perhaps one or two more generic.

    I have spoken to various product vendors and Microsoft consultants and the impression is that we will not find an out the box product but with some hard work, there are suitable vehicles out there (e. g. MOM) through which we can implement our design.

    Before I embark on this approach I'd like to ask the more experienced SQL Server community whether there is a suitable alternative, or whether they have experience of an out the box product which does this for the DBA.

    I would very much appreciate any feedback.

    Many Thanks,

    Angus

  • Michael Hessler

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 282

    I had success with using some of the tools from Quest, Idrea & MOM at a previous client location. I liked Quest Performance Anaylsis the best. It allowed me to see what back in time what was running and how long it took to run.  I am currently in the market to purchase a monitoring tool for a client. Last time I used trial versions to compare what would work best. I have been contact the vendors and posting in forums looking for peer advice. I just posted my own thread in this forum and then noticed yours, my mistake. You need to get a handle on your budget for this effort as the vendors have plenty to sell. Be clearful not to buy something and then find out you could have done better. I was at a client that did that and I was stuck with the wrong tool for my needs.

  • Angus Lilburn-274633

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 153

    I talked with Quest but they mentioned Spotlight and Foglight, but neither looked suitable to me on initial inspection. I will have a look at Quest Performance Analysis.

    I have discussed MON a Microsoft consultant, and we agreed it was a suitable vehicle but will require a great deal of work to deliver the specific functionality.

    Don't know idrea, will investigate.

    Many thanks for this feedback. If I find a silver bullet I'll post it here.

  • Michael Hessler

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 282

    I have used Spotlight but it's only good for looking into the problem while it exists and use the wrong tool for see what happened.  I was able to use Spotlight to indentify a deniel of service attack as it was happening, but who has the time to monitor each SQL box. Spotlight is like a rifle scope  or spotting scope  that you need to control and monitor verses Performance Analysis being like a recording from a bank of security cameras that you can go back to and study the details and see the trends.

    The Quest performance analysis sales guy said "As far as pricing, the cost per server is $2,400 and the maintenance for the first year is included. Maintenance for the years after is 20% of the original license fee." I asked for more info and can share that with you when it comes.

    I agree that MOM requires "a great deal of work to deliver the specific functionality".  It's meanly a web reporting summary for any details you want to pull together.  I used it but didn't like it.

    http://www.idera.com   Not idrea. I will be speaking with them today also.  Month ago when I last spoke with them they said they had something in the works that would be better the Quest Performance Analysis.  I'll know more later today.

    Let's hope someone else with more exerperince jumps in soon before we spend any money. Let's also both keep hammering on this one, including post install prasies or regrets.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Rudyx - the Doctor

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 43696

    We use a MOM 2005 for the enterprise and SQL Servers. In addition to this we use the MSX/TSX functionality of SQL Server coupled with an SMTP mail stored procedure.

    RegardsRudy KomacsarSenior Database Administrator"Ave Caesar! - Morituri te salutamus."

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