Let me introduce you to Al and Don, my two SQL Server DBA beach buddies.

Cruel Summer? Or Cool for the Summer?

     Photo Credit: Alex Liivet Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Al administers about 60 SQL Server databases in his company. He spends most of his life monitoring the performance of his SQL Server environment. Every year around mid-June he starts singing, “Summertime Blues,” “Cruel Summer” and “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt,” and he continues singing them well into September.

Al spends most of his summer at his desk: leaning over his keyboard, cobbling together root cause analysis, wondering why he couldn’t see database problems before they hit, and guessing at which layer (OS, SQL Server, virtual, Azure, application) they reside in.

Al’s never going to get a sun tan. He ends every summer as pale as he started it.

Then there’s Don. He’s SQL Server DBA for about 90 databases in his company. Like Al, he’s responsible for monitoring SQL Server performance, but unlike Al, he doesn’t spend most of his life at it. What’s on his playlist this time of year? “All Summer Long,” “Summer Girls” and “Cool for the Summer.

He has to deal with the same problems that fill Al’s day: running out of physical and virtual resources, poor session response time, high disk input/output, high CPU usage due to poorly written SQL statements and, most of all, users who are unhappy and unproductive because of those problems.

Yet Don finds plenty of time to work on his suntan.

So, what’s the difference between Al and Don? (Hint: They use the same sunscreen.)

Al uses a handful of different tools for his troubleshooting. He’s found some on the web, he uses utilities that come with SQL Server and he’s even put together a few tools on his own. But he has to put a lot of effort into bouncing from tool to tool when he’s trying to improve database performance and keep his users happy. If he plugs away at it long enough, he can fix what’s broken, but he never manages to prevent issues before they affect users and productivity.

And he doesn’t get much of a summer.

Don, on the other hand, got the memo a while ago and started using Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise. He gets end-to-end monitoring, diagnosis and SQL Server optimization all rolled into a single tool. Even before users have the chance to complain about database performance problems, Don can see many of those problems coming and he can see which levels in his SQL Server environment are affected by them. He finds what he needs to fix and where to fix it.

Then he gets back to working on his tan.

Better yet, he saw a webcast called SQL Server DBAs: Do You Have Mobility Tranquility? in which Dell Software’s Peter O’Connell walked through the Spotlight mobile app. Don can receive and address specific notifications on his mobile devices from all of the instances he monitors, anytime and anywhere (including from the beach).

“Dude, this summer’s gonna rock,” says Don. “I’ll have fun, fun, fun ‘til my manager takes my smartphone away.”

Get your Mobility Tranquility – On-demand Webcast

How do you want your tan to look by the end of the summer? Like Al’s or like Don’s?

More important, how do you want to handle your SQL Server performance monitoring? Hunched over your keyboard Alt-Tabbing from tool to tool, or using a single mobile app to monitor your SQL Server environment and run SQL Server diagnostics?

We’ve recorded an on-demand webcast called SQL Server DBAs: Do you have Mobility Tranquility? If you’re already monitoring your SQL Server performance with Spotlight, join Peter O’Connell as he reviews the desktop functions you can now access through the mobile app. And if you’re new to Spotlight, Peter will introduce you to the wide range of SQL Server metrics you can monitor, plus the convenience of doing it through your mobile devices.

Sunscreen not included.

Claudia Coleman

About Claudia Coleman

Claudia Coleman is a Senior Product Marketing Manager in the Dell Software Systems and Information Management Business Unit. With a focus on database monitoring and management technology, Claudia speaks to the issues important to the DBA and spends the majority of her time in the world of SQL Server.

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