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The Importance of Monitoring Tools

Louis Davidson talks turkey about tooling:

When I was a DBA involved with the management of a large number of database servers, I didn’t have many third-party tools to help me do my job. For the most part, I relied on scripts that I found or wrote. I enjoyed writing scripts to manage the servers, as it taught me a lot about the internals of SQL Server. Many of these scripts were eventually automated using SQL Server’s agent to run and save data on the different servers so we could review the results, looking for issues.

Some of these tools written over 20 years ago still run to this day. We captured tons of data about everything we wanted to know about the server in case there were issues. Loads and loads of data. We had some processes that would scan that data and send emails when obvious errors occurred, but it was hard to keep synchronized over many different servers.

Click through for Louis’s thoughts. I believe good tools can make a DBA’s life a lot easier, though mediocre tools might make it worse: you become the proverbial drunk looking for his keys under a streetlamp because that’s where the light is.