Don’t Build a Monitoring System

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 395166

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Don’t Build a Monitoring System

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • SqlNightOwl

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2214

    Sounds like a good plan. Do a tool comparison but don’t select a “winner” because that’s a matter of preference. Then drill in with a how to on each one.

    --Paul Hunter

  • Steve Jones – SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 713739

    We’ve tried to figure out how to do this well here for years, but never came up with a good way. Plus we were bound by advertising contracts, which could have influenced us.

    I think part of the issue is that many people don’t want to push a particular product since people will assume they are being compensated somehow. Lots of MVPs fight this image, despite all the complaints they publicly make about Microsoft products.

  • giaks0wn

    Valued Member

    Points: 67

    Reminds me of a corporate finance class with the instructor determined to make sure you could recite the formulas. Sure, everyone knew which calculator button to push and in the order necessary to get the answer, but he was determined we should know the behind the keypad process in case we needed to calculate in a moment the return value or PI. Does the same theory apply here? If you work in consultancy, could you enter any company, without your favorite monitoring app, and tell them if “everythings OK”? Discuss the benefits of third party solutions, but ceasing to teach and reinforce the fundamentals would be a grave loss.

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75019

    If I am a fan of a tool then I have no qualms about pushing that tool regardless of who produces it.

    There will always be people who complain about a reviewer “selling out” or being partisan. They are noisy but in the minority.

    Most readers will simply use a review to supplement (but not replace) their own research.

    There will always an element of personal preference. I personally like the Quest tools but find their UI a bit fiddly and counter-intuitive, someone else may disagree on either or both points. If the reviewer sticks with the facts and keeps the emotives to the minimum then what is the problem?

    LinkedIn Profile
    www.simple-talk.com[/url]

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 395166

    giaks0wn (9/14/2009)


    Reminds me of a corporate finance class with the instructor determined to make sure you could recite the formulas. Sure, everyone knew which calculator button to push and in the order necessary to get the answer, but he was determined we should know the behind the keypad process in case we needed to calculate in a moment the return value or PI. Does the same theory apply here? If you work in consultancy, could you enter any company, without your favorite monitoring app, and tell them if "everythings OK"? Discuss the benefits of third party solutions, but ceasing to teach and reinforce the fundamentals would be a grave loss.

    That’s an excellent point. It really is important that people understand the fundamentals, whether they use a tool or not. But it’s especially important if they use a tool that understand what it’s doing, what it can do, why, what it can’t do, why, and where it derives the information it presents. This makes you into an adminstrator of the tool, not simply a user. Great point.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 395166

    David.Poole (9/14/2009)


    If I am a fan of a tool then I have no qualms about pushing that tool regardless of who produces it.

    There will always be people who complain about a reviewer "selling out" or being partisan. They are noisy but in the minority.

    Most readers will simply use a review to supplement (but not replace) their own research.

    There will always an element of personal preference. I personally like the Quest tools but find their UI a bit fiddly and counter-intuitive, someone else may disagree on either or both points. If the reviewer sticks with the facts and keeps the emotives to the minimum then what is the problem?

    I do agree, but see Steve’s point. I have my preferred tools, and anyone who has been around me for a presentation or a chat could figure them out PDQ. But, I don’t want to be associated with any one company because I recognize good in almost all the companies whose tools I’ve worked with or evaluated. It’s just way to easy to be associated with only one organization (although, I freely admit to being pretty much a shill for Microsoft, can’t help that one).

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • scott mcnitt

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 968

    I am not an official DBA but a database developer that wears the DBA hat a lot in what I do. In my production support role, I needed help in being more proactive in monitoring and addressing issues in our database applications. I also wanted some of the expertise that can sometimes come “built-in” to these monitoring tools. So I pushed to buy a tool.

    Regardless of if the tool is one that I purchase or build myself, don’t I still have some work to do and decisions to make in how to use the tool or what the data actually means? It would be great to have guidance and recommended best practices, without necessarily having to deal with how I am getting the data.

    Perhaps even something as simple as the pro / con of deploying the tool on the same server that it is monitoring.

  • Jack Corbett

    SSC Guru

    Points: 184296

    We had short debate about this in planning for SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando. One of the sponsors wanted to have some time to do a demo of one of their products, beyond a table at the event. IMO, there is nothing wrong with an event providing that time, provided it is made clear that this is a vendor sponsored session and will be a bit a of a sales pitch.

    I know I would appreciate articles/sessions on a specific product. Comparisons articles are great, but you can’t really be an expert on each of the products, so I’d just assume learn about why you chose the one you are using, how you are using it, and what are your favorite and least favorite features.

    I’d personally accept a session to an event that was something like, How [Insert Product Here] helped me do X, provided it was submitted by someone not employed by the vendor.


    Jack Corbett Consultant Straight Path Solutions Dont let the good be the enemy of the best. -- Paul FlemingAt best you can say that one job may be more secure than another, but total job security is an illusion. -- Rod at workCheck out these links on how to get faster and more accurate answers: Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best helpNeed an Answer? Actually, No ... You Need a QuestionHow to Post Performance Problems[/url]Crosstabs and Pivots or How to turn rows into columns Part 1[/url][url url=http://www.sqlservercent

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 395166

    Jack Corbett (9/14/2009)


    We had short debate about this in planning for SQLSaturday #21 - Orlando. One of the sponsors wanted to have some time to do a demo of one of their products, beyond a table at the event. IMO, there is nothing wrong with an event providing that time, provided it is made clear that this is a vendor sponsored session and will be a bit a of a sales pitch.

    I know I would appreciate articles/sessions on a specific product. Comparisons articles are great, but you can't really be an expert on each of the products, so I'd just assume learn about why you chose the one you are using, how you are using it, and what are your favorite and least favorite features.

    I'd personally accept a session to an event that was something like, How [Insert Product Here] helped me do X, provided it was submitted by someone not employed by the vendor.

    You would, and I would, but the big conferences and most of the smaller conferences, won’t. And I think that’s a pity. I can go to a session on how Tom LaRock uses Microsoft Operations Manager within his enterprise. But I can’t go to one where MVP X uses Product Y within his enterprise, as a part of the show. It’s only going to be at the booth or in a side program at lunch or something. I just don’t like it.

    On the other hand, I don’t want the conferences to turn into an extended sales pitch in every single session, and they could.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • chrisn-585491

    SSCoach

    Points: 15695

    Working for a development house, we understand that our clients may not have all the tools of our choice, and that we need to be able to understand what is going on with SQL Server given the native utilities. If you don’t understand the anatomy, it’s hard to prescribe the cure.

  • James Horsley

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3196

    A comparison of a number of products could be very useful – but would also be pretty difficult to produce as by their nature these products really need to be installed and used in an enterprise environment to see their real potential (and weaknesses).

    Maybe more realistic would be an article about what features to look for in such tools – and have this a a fluid document for a bit so that it can be enhanced with other requirements etc from comments in these forums – the various vendors could then be encouraged to provide their response to how their tools match the collaboratively acquired list of features – and as their responses would be “branded” there is no problem with the content looking like a masquerading advert

  • Marcus Hopfinger

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 48

    I can’t speak for all those at are looking at building rather than buying a system but here are the two main reasons that we are currently building a system after using a purchased product for 3 or 4 years.

    The cost per server for a purchased solution is a tough sell to managment, especially recently, however a backburner project is very low cost and can be used for all our current production, test and development servers plus any new server that are brought online without having to plea for funds for additional licenses. Not to mention with a home grown solution you don’t have yearly “maintenance” fees.

    Some of the tools are a bit of a chore to configure and updating to a new version will start the configuration process all over again. With a home grown solution we can focus on the metrics that we are most concerned with and store the data in a repository that fits our corporate standards so we can more easily generate performance reports for the business units to show what we are doing to enhance their server performance or to justify repacing or updating hardware.

    Since all these comercial systems use SMO and WMI and the like to build there systems it isn’t too much of a chore to tap into the same components to get the data we need. I have liked the system I have been using for several years but it isn’t always everything I had hoped for and the licensing and fees are getting to be a tougher sell to managment every year.

  • Rudy Panigas

    SSChampion

    Points: 10672

    Build or Buy, good question. I believe that building is a great way to really learn a lot about SQL server and is great for small companies that are money tight. Even after saying that a 3rd party tool is the way to go. There are so many to pick from cheap to very expensive.

    What if members here post a document and/or video as how each of this products work or pick a specific task that the product does really well. Who cares which is the best, as long it helps you get to where you need to do/go/fix/troubleshoot/etc. After all isn’t that what we are trying to do?

    Cheers,

    Rudy

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 395166

    Rudy Panigas (9/14/2009)


    Build or Buy, good question. I believe that building is a great way to really learn a lot about SQL server and is great for small companies that are money tight. Even after saying that a 3rd party tool is the way to go. There are so many to pick from cheap to very expensive.

    What if members here post a document and/or video as how each of this products work or pick a specific task that the product does really well. Who cares which is the best, as long it helps you get to where you need to do/go/fix/troubleshoot/etc. After all isn't that what we are trying to do?

    Cheers,

    Rudy

    I agree. I’m not interested in which one is “best” because, fact is, best for you is not going to be best for me or best for the next person. Not to mention you’re only going to be able to say “best for price x” because I might sacrifice a bit of functionality to save tens of thousands of dollars.

    As you say, it’s not which product is best, but if you’re using Product Z, what’s the best way to implement it? Are there gotchas to watch for, ways around them, etc. Those would make great presentations if there was a way to give them in an agnostic fashion.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 39 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply