Key Insights from the 2020 State of SQL Server Monitoring Report

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This marks the third year that Redgate have launched a survey to better understand how organisations monitor their databases. This year, 971 database professionals from around the world responded.

Here are some of the key insights from the survey:

Estates are growing more than ever

Companies who reported over 1,000 SQL Server instances grew 9% year-on-year while those reporting fewer than 100 instances have dropped for a second year. This trend is no surprise as organisations store more data digitally and find more ways to utilise that data. DBA teams are responsible for more servers than ever, and a using monitoring solution is the only way to manage so many servers since manually checking each one on a regular basis would be impossible. 

Cloud adoption is increasing rapidly

The respondents of the survey reported increased adoption of the cloud, especially Azure and Oracle DB Cloud service. As these services mature and become more affordable, this trend will likely continue. Database monitoring tools that monitor both servers on-premises and databases like Azure SQL Database in one view can save DBAs time.

Performance, migrations, and recruitment are all challenges this year

Database administrators often spend time resolving performance issues, and this year it was reported as the most significant overall challenge. Performance one of the most critical areas that database monitoring will be of assistance. With monitoring, DBAs can watch trends and correct small problems before they become big issues. With a monitoring tool in place, new members of the team can be productive more quickly.

Humans cause problems

Human error and ad-hoc user access were cited as the cause of problems by almost half of the respondents. This is another area where monitoring can help. With monitoring, DBAs can find bad queries that cause tempdb to grow or be notified when a new login is added to sysadmins, for example.

Monitoring is key to Database DevOps success

The respondents of the survey reported a 28% reduction in Mean Time To Detection (MTTD) of deployment issues and a 22% reduction in Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR) when they use a third-party monitoring tool. With monitoring in place, it’s easy to see changes in performance after a deployment and figure out what went wrong.

Once again, the respondents reported that having a monitoring tool in place allows DBAs to spend less time looking at server health daily. This allows them to spend more time on activities like project work and automation, therefore, bringing more value to the organisation and their customers.

If you would like to take a look at the report, you can download it here, and we encourage you to participate next year.

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About the author

Kathi Kellenberger

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Kathi Kellenberger is a Customer Success Engineer at Redgate and a former Microsoft Data Platform MVP. She has worked with SQL Server for over 20 years and has authored, co-authored, or tech edited more than 20 technical books. Kathi is a volunteer at LaunchCode, the St. Louis based organization providing free training and paid apprenticeships in technology. When Kathi isn’t working she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cycling, singing, and climbing the stairs of tall buildings. Be sure to check out her courses on Pluralsight.

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