The DBA Private Eye, Part Two: Six Pillars to Solve SQL Server Mysteries

A magnifying glass and a microscope? Being skilled in the art of deduction just doesn’t cut it anymore, Sherlock.

Database administrators are the sleuthing private investigators of IT and their tools have to be just as clever. In my last blog post, I highlighted the changing role of the DBA, the increasing complexity of environments and how DBAs need to be better equipped than Sherlock Holmes to manage database infrastructure and resources. In this post, I’ll discuss the key capabilities you need in your database monitoring solution to solve SQL Server workload mysteries before they become bigger problems.

With the right solution in your toolbox, you would be spending less time investigating database issues because you’d be able to proactively quell potential problems before they significantly impact performance. To do this, you need a SQL Server monitoring solution that can deliver.

The Six Pillars of Database Monitoring

  1. Centralized architecture: You should have a single point of view to access data for your entire environment and related domains. That way, you and fellow DBAs have access to the whole picture and can investigate problems from every angle.
  2. Remote collection: Access to key performance data – regardless of resource location – greatly simplifies management and deployment of your monitored environment.
  3. Adaptive-baseline alerting: You can operate more efficiently and limit false database alarms with a smart monitoring solution that recognizes which hours, days and weeks of the month require different performance profiles.
  4. Service-level monitoring: You may have many components to manage – databases, servers, storage, applications. Service-level monitoring helps you prioritize activities by monitoring which databases are most in need and deserving your attention first.
  5. Cross-platform interface: With a consistent view of all database types and configurations, DBAs can quickly answer questions and experience a shorter learning curve when taking on new or additional resources.
  6. Cross-domain monitoring: Get to the root cause of issues faster with clear, consistent visibility across all domains – those under your responsibility and adjacent technologies – so that you and your fellow IT team members can solve problems quickly.

With these six pillars integrated into your database monitoring scheme, you get both a high-level view of your infrastructure performance as well as the ability to focus on the smallest element. You can keep the whole enterprise supporting your organization’s strategy as well as delve deep into tactical components to create and maintain a healthy, optimally-performing database environment.

For more tips on investigating workload mysteries and unlocking peak performance, check out our SQL Server performance webcast. It’s loaded with pointers to help you monitor and troubleshoot performance crimes like a SQL Server sleuth.

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