There’s no doubt the cloud is having a big impact on the nature and make-up of SQL Server estates. The 2021 State of Database DevOps report from Redgate, for example, showed that 58% of organizations now use the cloud either wholly or in combination with on-premises servers, compared to 46% in the same report a year earlier.
While this presents an opportunity for organizations to explore and make the most of the advantages cloud platforms provide, it also means managing and monitoring server estates becomes more complex and difficult. Different use cases and requirements make the use of a single cloud offering rare and many server estates now feature a combination of on-premises servers and VMs alongside platforms like Amazon and Azure.
To support these business needs and keep up with the evolution of hybrid server estates, it’s critical for DBAs to be able to monitor every type of server and instance with the same monitoring tool, using a consistent approach to minimize the time and effort involved. This ensures the availability, security and performance of all these databases across all these different hosts can be managed far more easily and effectively.
The latest release of SQL Monitor provides a solution to the issue by adding support for Azure SQL Managed Instances to existing support for Amazon EC2 and RDS, and Azure SQL Database. Azure SQL Managed Instances can now be added directly to the list of monitored entities, either manually through SQL Monitor’s user interface, or automatically through its PowerShell API.
Once the Azure Managed Instance has been added, SQL Monitor will automatically collect a built-in set of metrics and a configurable set of built-in alerts, display the related data in graphs, and provide alerts on abnormal values or performance. They can then be seen at a glance on its new global dashboard which summarizes the status of all servers and instances, regardless of the platform hosting them:
Further, all the features of SQL Monitor, such as organizing monitored servers into groups as well as alert management and notifications across groups, remain as similar as possible across platforms, with only small divergences where there are technical differences between the on-premises and cloud offerings.
Monitoring Azure SQL Managed Instances
When working on support for Azure SQL Managed Instances, the development team’s goal was to provide the same experience that SQL Monitor offers for on-premises servers and platforms like Amazon RDS.
In the Server/Host metrics section, SQL Monitor collects execution statistics and query plans from the dynamic management objects for any significant queries running on Azure-hosted databases. This means DBAs can focus tuning efforts on the longest running queries, or those queries that are the highest consumers of limited compute resources. SQL Monitor also collects wait statistics so that DBAs can see which resources queries are commonly waiting to acquire access to.
It also provides metrics for blocking processes and SQL user processes, so users can diagnose problematic processes that cause frequent delays in response times, and see which users and applications are running them. SQL Monitor also collects a detailed set of tempdb metrics for troubleshooting contention issues on this shared resource.
In the same way that SQL Monitor helps with the management of on-premises servers, it now gives DBAs access to all of the monitoring information they need, including detailed database level metrics for every database hosted on an Azure Managed Instance.
One tool, one seamless experience
By keeping the user-experience consistent, wherever servers and instances are hosted, SQL Monitor allow DBAs to focus on responsiveness, improving performances and supporting business-critical areas, rather than trying to understand the complexity and differences across database platforms.
DBAs can now easily use SQL Monitor for migration from and to the cloud, and to monitor hybrid estates comprised of servers located either in the cloud or on-premises. They’ll have the benefit of monitoring Azure Managed Instances in exactly the same way as instances like Amazon and on-premises, bringing consistency and familiarity to their team’s work and avoiding the learning curve, cost and time involved in using different monitoring tools for different database flavors.
If you’d like to see how Redgate’s SQL Monitor can help you monitor large, hybrid estates more effectively, you can download a fully-functional 14-day free trial, or try our live online demo environment.
If you’d like to know more about how to optimize the performance and ensure the availability of your databases and servers, visit our monitoring resources page.
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