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16 Feb 2018
Tune Your Queries with SQL Optimizer (Pt 1)
One of the many ways to improve database performance is to tune SQL queries running in your environment. Two primary reasons for tuning are: Minimize Response Time – End users who are interacting with data want that data as quickly as possible. It may be mission-critical data ( e.g. medical, financial). Often, the speed with which the data is returned shapes the level of customer satisfaction. No one likes to...
13 Feb 2018
Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise Tip: Reduce Noise Using Planned Outages
Naturally, it's VERY important to know when things are going wrong with our monitored instances. What's not helpful is the dreaded "False Positive." You know the scenario I'm about to describe. It's 03:00 and you're sleeping soundly and dreaming of the yacht you'll be sailing during your retirement. Suddenly, you're awakened by an alert that your instances are unavailable! During...
12 Feb 2018
“License and Registration, please…” Spotlight
So, you’ve downloaded and installed an evaluation of Spotlight Enterprise. Good news…it comes with a 30-day evaluation license key! Spotlight is fully functional (not limited trial functionality). It simply expires after the 30 days. There are a couple of situations where you will need to apply a Spotlight license. Perhaps the Sales Rep you’re working with has provided an extended license to allow you...
8 Feb 2018
Foglight for Virtualization - A Year in Review
Wow! What a year and what a way to wrap it up. Foglight for Virtualization 8.7.5 is out and with it brings a brand new SaaS offering from Quest that enables connectivity from any Foglight for Virtualization installation in the world to the cloud. Try...
5 Feb 2018
Measuring the Impact of Meltdown and Spectre Patching on your Databases
The new year kicked off with some big news on January 3rd, 2018 with the news of the Meltdown and Spectre chipset vulnerabilities. There are a lot of resources available to understand the details and potential impact. This one from cnet.com is pretty good. As the patches from the operating system vendors are being rolled out, a question often comes up - "How will this impact me?" Specifically, it's the...
2 Feb 2018
Evaluating Foglight vs Oracle Enterprise Manager
As part of most any database monitoring software evaluation, it includes comparing that software to similar solutions. Logically, it often means doing head-to-head comparisons to database tools that come bundled with that particular DBMS. Regularly, I see evaluators take note of similarities and differences of architecture, usability and navigation, and product features that present specific information to help address...
29 Jan 2018
Monitoring the Status of your TempDB using Foglight for SQL Server
In every SQL Server instance the TempDB database is the common global resource for all the operations taking place and DBA's are particularly cautious about the use of it. Given the nature of applications and ad-hoc queries by users, one must keep track of the usage of the TempDB by various applications and process and take appropriate actions when the size falls below a certain limit. To ensure optimal health of...
15 Jan 2018
Foglight.. Start Your Engine!
This post is short but hopefully useful. When you start the Foglight server and navigate to the home page URL (http://foglight_server:8080 or https://foglight_server:8443 ), you may see a startup splash page (below). If you see a login page, then the Foglight server has started and is ready to use. You may wonder what the startup process is doing. Or not. If you're in the former group, you can click the lower...
12 Jan 2018
Required Ports For Spotlight
Spotlight Diagnostic Server must be able to maintain bi-directional communication with every monitored host. Additionally, it must be capable of sending and receiving data from every Spotlight Client application in addition to sending data to any properly configured Spotlight Cloud. Spotlight utilizes designated ports for such communication protocol which facilitates the monitoring. These ports also allows for provisioning...
4 Jan 2018
Top 5 challenges of managing cross-platform databases
If you’re like many DBAs, your life is probably getting more complicated by the week. Are you under pressure to manage larger and larger numbers of database instances? Or to adopt new database technologies like open source or NoSQL? With those changes, are you still required to ensure the best performance and stability for your entire environment? A survey by Unisphere Research 1 showed: 72 percent of DBAs...
4 Jan 2018
Toad Cross Country Vacation
Woohoo! Just got word that my boss approved my January vacation and now I’ll get the opportunity to check several items off my bucket list as I hop across country to the Quest Database Fed Forum in DC on February 20th . On my First stop I will meet up with SharePlex System Consultant Susan Wong @lasgav for a swim in the Pacific Ocean on New Year’s Day (she tells me; “it’s a thing”)! I am...
27 Dec 2017
How to use GDPR compliance as your competitive edge
It’s all too apparent that most organisations facing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are seeing it as a costly, time consuming hurdle that they need to reluctantly resolve with as little financial investment or business interruption as possible. However, we really need to be looking at why GDPR came into existence in the first place, and how it is an excellent opportunity for organisations to gain...
22 Dec 2017
Can multiple emails be used to access one Spotlight Cloud account?
Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise users would like to share the instances that are being monitored by Spotlight to their bosses and other employees without installing the Spotlight client on their desktop. The question is, how can this be done? Does the Spotlight Cloud ( www.spotlightessentials.com ) have this feature available? Can multiple emails be used to access one Spotlight Cloud account? Yes, multiple emails...
Dave B Awesome
15 Dec 2017
Want faster backup and recovery? Attend our webcast on LiteSpeed for SQL Server
From my posts about LiteSpeed for SQL Server and juggling cross-platform databases with Foglight® , you guys know how much I dig being a DBA, right? I mean, it’s not like I make much of a secret of it. I was even born with the right initials to be a DBA. It’s the kind of work my parents raised me to do. Who wouldn’t like that? You wanna know one thing I don’t like? Going slow. I like...
7 Dec 2017
Customer Conversation: Diagnose SQL Server Instances in an Availability Group
I recently spoke to a user of Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise who wanted to be able to drill into the individual SQL Server instances that are participating in an Availability Group. The customer had successfully created a connection to the Availability Group listener, but he couldn't figure out how to further diagnose problems that were occurring on a specific member of that group. I love it when customers provide...
4 Dec 2017
Foglight for SQL Server: Back to Basics - Diagnosing Blocking
I've done a number of posts recently that touch on Foglight administration, customization, or some of the more advanced capabilities of the product. I felt it was a good time to circle back on some of the more basic use cases that Foglight can help DBA's with. In this series of posts, we'll take a look at some of the more common challenges that DBA's face, and show you how Foglight for SQL Server can help...
4 Dec 2017
Integrate Foglight by Sending SNMP Traps
Many customers ask how they might integrate Foglight Alarms into other 3rd party monitoring tools. One way to accomplish this is to send SNMP traps in response to a Foglight alarm. To configure Foglight for this capability, you need to first download the MIB file. ‘MIB’ stands for Management Information Base. The file is a collection of definitions that define the managed object properties. (Note: Port...
30 Nov 2017
Toad and Foglight in harmony – The PL/SQL Profiler
My favourite feature in Toad has always been the PL/SQL Profiler. I love the way it can profile your code executions is integrated with the editor. It is such an easy and visual feature to use. So if you have Foglight for Oracle Performance Investiga...
29 Nov 2017
You're Fired! Wait, What has Fired?
Foglight has many out of the box rules to evaluate performance and availability conditions for your databases, virtual and physical infrastructure, web pages, network devices, etc. Once it has been running for some time, it's a good idea to evaluate which rules are enabled, and which ones are triggering the most alarms. The first step to see what rules apply to a "device" is to check the Agent Status page...
27 Nov 2017
Monitor Unix/Linux Servers in Spotlight
Use Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise to monitor performance health of Unix/Linux servers that host your SQL Server databases. Spotlight offers: Spotlight can monitor the following operating systems: Red Hat Enterprise 7.3 Ubuntu® 16.04 and 16.10 The required connection parameters are: Server Address, User, Password and Port Number. Our Release Notes document outlines the required user permissions in...
27 Nov 2017
Don’t let Cyber Monday turn into Cyber Doomsday for your business
Online sales on Cyber Monday have exceeded 3 billion dollars in the past couple of years. This trend is not likely to reverse course. More of us are shopping online more regularly. We purchase items online, in part, because it is often more convenient. So naturally, when we see a message displayed similar to this one above, we’re annoyed. But consider the company perspective. Every minute the company’s website...
22 Nov 2017
Checking When DBCC CheckDB Last Checked Your DB
I had a customer ask how they could use Foglight to find out when "dbcc checkdb" last ran against their SQL Server databases. This is a great use case for User-Defined Collections! As a refresher, my colleague Trent Mera wrote a great blog on this topic called User-Defined Collections (UDC). I did a post on creating a rule on the result of a user-defined collection. The difficult part is typically researching...
21 Nov 2017
SQL Server Performance Investigator – Let Me Put This Into Context!
If you are a developer or DBA using stored procedures in SQL Server one task you might experience is trying to work out how changes to stored procedures have impacted performance. Or you might have been tasked with improving a procedure and need to know if your efforts have been successful. So in Foglight Performance Investigator you have a feature that allows you to compare one or more stored procedure’s performance...
14 Nov 2017
What are the security risks involved when uploading data to the Spotlight Cloud?
In the Information Technology world, we often ask ourselves, "What are the security risks involved uploading data to the Cloud?" With the Spotlight Cloud services, you can now monitor all your SQL Server Connections on your mobile device or from a browser at https://www.spotlightessentials.com . Monitoring features include a Heatmap, an Alarms List, Alarm Details and the ability to Snooze, or Acknowledge alarms...
Dave B Awesome
7 Nov 2017
The Juggling Act of Modern DBAs
Database performance monitoring can be a real circus! And with an ever-growing amount of technology platforms to manage, we’ve become the ultimate jugglers. Didn’t sign up to be a clown? Hey, I know. I didn’t, either. But, listen, sometimes we’ve gotta adapt to the new roles in which we find ourselves as database administrators. It’s been a progression. Many of us who’ve been around...
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