SQL Monitoring On The Cheap

Monitoring tools are costly, a pain to get running (especially within an enterprise) and they frequently don’t provide me with what I want or how I want it. I’m not always looking for real-time troubleshooting and critical notification, sometimes I just want to be able to perform some simple tasks to keep an eye on my SQL Server Instances. Little things like regular checks on physical nodes, disk space, database space, etc… I want to be able to manage this simply and get a regular report that will show me anything out of the ordinary and keep some historical data so that I can go back and look for trends and such.

Born from this wish was, as my good friend and colleague Shawn coined, our SQL Server Dashboard *fanfare*

Is ourSSD (cool name huh) really a dashboard? Showing you would spoil the surprise and take away all of my fun so sorry, no screencaps just yet. I can tell you that ourSSD is fairly straightforward, easily adaptable, scalable and modular. In fact you can throw something new into it or rip something out of it any time that you want. You can set your own thresholds for this that and the other thing…blah blah blah…oh, and it didn’t cost anything other than time. ourSSD provides me (and Shawn bless him) great little snapshots of the information that I am interested on a daily basis.

Just as a warning though, ourSSD has no pretty little gauges or flashing lights, there isn’t a super exotic code base or anything. Heck! You are not even going to find a nicely formatted SSRS report (although there easily could be). What you will find are a couple of packages, some scripts and a plain boring html email sent out a few times a day that contains everything you want to know and are afraid to ask.

I’ll be putting a series of posts out with the things I’ve got hooked into ourSSD already, how they work, what they use and why I use them. Suggestions for other items would be greatly appreciated, and if you can tell me how to do them, even better .

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