There are various reasons to take SQL server monitoring seriously, but unless you familiarize yourself with the benefits that it has to offer, you might overlook this aspect of running a server, or fail to prioritize it.
To remedy this, here is a quick look at why making a concerted effort to monitor SQL servers is so worthwhile.
Unless you actively track SQL server performance counters, you will not know whether there are any areas in which improvements to performance could be achieved. This could lead you to believe that your server is already performing optimally, when in actual fact there is a glaring issue that is creating a bottleneck and limiting its effectiveness as a result.
For example, by checking up on how much of the CPU’s resources are being monopolized at a given moment, you can see whether or not your server has sufficient headroom to handle the activity that is required of it by users, or whether it might be close to maxing out its hardware resources and thus behaving in a sluggish manner.
A similar issue can arise if the onboard memory is saturated. Unless you know what processes are taking up the system’s resources, you will not be able to manage this and find a suitable workaround. With the right monitoring tools, you will be in-the-know and empowered to take action for the purposes of optimization.
Making long term decisions
While the minute to minute benefits of SQL server monitoring can allow for performance improvements to be made on the fly, there are also benefits to glean if you look at the wider trajectory of how your hardware handles workloads.
For example, there are some problems that are only possible to pinpoint if you analyze trends over greater periods. This is especially useful if you want to map out any upgrades that might be necessary further down the line, by plotting the growing demands that face your server and being ready to respond to them in the future, rather than allowing such issues to sneak up on you.
Server maintenance takes time and costs companies quite a lot of cash, and of course downtime and unplanned outages are expensive in their own right.
The advantage of using SQL server monitoring is that you can nip issues in the bud sooner rather than later and also automate a lot of the process so that you do not need to manually comb through reams of data to find the one relevant point that shows where a suboptimal setting or hobbled hardware component lies.
While IT budgets may be growing, it makes sense to ensure that this money is spent on things which really matter, so if SQL server monitoring is able to lower costs in one area then it will mean that cash is freed up to be invested elsewhere.
While for day to day use, SQL server monitoring tools can give you insights into the small but collectively significant problems which may be present, they are also vital to giving you the skills and understanding to take action in the event of a more serious issue raising its head.
If all CPU resources are suddenly consumed for no obvious reason, if I/O speeds slow to a crawl unexpectedly or if network performance dips dramatically out of nowhere, you will need to know where to look to start the troubleshooting process.
By monitoring your server and carrying out regular maintenance, you will be endowed with the ability to do all of this, making you a valuable asset to your organization.