For those of you who have read my posts then you will know I am very big on Utility Databases. I like them because there is a plethora of information that can be gathered that you can trend, baseline, troubleshoot, etc.
In browsing some forums and whatnot I came across a good article regarding the data collector within SQL. I decided in some late night reading to study up on it; I found it to be something that in our line of business pretty beneficial. This component of SQL 2008 collects different data sets. I like it for many reasons; one perk that stood out to me was configuring the different types of monitors on a scheduled bases. You may ask what is the difference between this and the Utility Databases I always speak of. I am glad you asked; my Utility Databases are custom fitting to me to meet my exact needs; this data collector component comes out of the box you just have to configure it.
I’ve started utilizing both; configuring the data collector takes a matter of minutes and you can set schedules and retention periods of how long you want to keep your data. I basically set up an empty database shell; then the configuration takes care of creating the necessary stored procedures and schema to support it. Another feature that I liked are the 3 reports that come with it out of the box – disk usage, query stats history, and server stats history. Granted all these can be gathered via scripts but why not take advantage of something already built for you.
This link by Brad McGehee provides information on how to set up and configure the Data Collector.
This link on the MSDN site will provide a basic understanding of what the Data Collector does.
After research I found that this resides best on a CMS Server if you have one. If you are unfamiliar with the CMS Server check out John Sterret’s blog. I sat on one of his sessions at PASS and really enjoyed it.
If you aren’t collecting data your missing out; if you are collecting data and aren’t using the two methodologies take some time and review them; it might just meet your needs.
Thank you for including me as a resource in your post.
Anytime man; I’m pumped….SQL Saturday is coming July 21st.