SQL Monitor has grown from a basic alerting system to an amazing product over the years. From it’s early days as SQL Response, where Brad and I weren’t sure this was a good idea to the current version that has two teams and releases change almost every week. In fact, new features often come out before we bundle them into a major release.
Not that the other teams aren’t doing well at Redgate Software, but across the last 3-4 years the SQL Monitor group has been the best development team in the company. First under Daniel and now under Ben, they’ve done amazing work and it’s hard to put into words how proud and impressed I am with their results. Lots of kudos to Adam as well, who helps with UX. I enjoy our monthly chats about the progress they’ve made and future directions they’re considering.
This post covers one of those areas.
The SQL Estate
There’s a new tab that’s appeared at monitor.red-gate.com:Estate. Awhile ago we started talking about the idea of scale and how do fewer DBA resources manage all their instances easily. With pressure to be more efficient and still provide rapid responses when there are issues, there has been quite a bit of work over time to help users keep track of all their database resources.
The Estate tab is one of those areas, which has grown to 4 areas: Installed Versions, Disk Usage, Backups, and SQL Agent Jobs. Some of these are in preview, with more work planned in the future.
If you have ideas or requests for features, let us know. Our goal is to find ways to better ensure you get alerted to issues, can solve problems, and keep track of work that needs to be done on all your databases, no matter where they are located.
One of the tasks I’ve often had as a DBA or sysadmin is patching systems. It’s a hassle to keep track of versions and current patches, even with resources like the SQLServerCentral Build Lists. I’ve heard similar challenges from other DBAs.
I made a suggestion to the SQL Monitor team and they came up with the Installed Versions on the Estate tab. This let’s you easily see which versions you have installed in your monitored environment. At a quick view, you can see which SQL Server versions are installed and are up to date.
You can play with filters to get a quick look at your estate, which is helpful when planning your patching resources.
If you look below here, you’ll see more details on the instances, broken out into the groups you’ve configured. What’s nice here is that you see each database, as well as the version and an icon to let you know if you are behind in patching.
Perhaps even more helpful, there’s a link to the download for the latest patch. Makes it easy for you to find the files you need to update an instance. Perhaps even nicer, you can easily see when support ends, and use that to make plans for upgrades if you need to do so.
This is one of the simpler, but amazingly handy features to have in a monitoring system. I’ve built scripts and tools to do this in the past, and while it’s not hard, it’s also not something that is necessarily a good use of my time. This is a task that’s tedious with limited value add for my salary. Much better to have a tool that gathers and manages this for me.
If you haven’t tried SQL Monitor, run over to monitor.red-gate.com and give it a run, or even better, download an eval and try it in your environment.