Case Study: SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server

IDERA Helps the California Department of Health Keep SQL Servers Running Strong

HOW CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH USES SQL SERVER

Mitch Bottel, DBA at the California Department of Health and his team are faced with the challenge of maintaining the health of 35+ SQL Servers, that serve as the backend to several healthcare applications. At any given time, these healthcare applications and data are needed by hospitals, state officials, congressmen and more around the state – for information ranging from healthcare to State Legislative bills,” said Mitch. “A huge amount of healthcare data is generated through these applications. My team and I are the keepers of this data. We must ensure that it is available, accessible, and most importantly, secure.”

 

CHALLENGES:

“Before we found IDERA, my team was simply unable to solve SQL Server issues quickly or efficiently. We had some tools to help us manage SQL Server, but they just weren’t getting the job done. We were not receiving timely alerts or received too many alerts to filter through effectively. Then, because we didn’t have enough performance data available to us, it would often take hours just to diagnose a problem. Once it was diagnosed, we’d often have to do a lot of tedious and time-consuming work on the backend to actually solve the issue. In fact, many times, we weren’t able to determine what had gone wrong. So while my team was wasting a lot of time just diagnosing SQL Server issues, our end users were experiencing unnecessary slowdowns when trying to access data. It was getting really frustrating for everyone.”

 

SOLUTION:

“IDERA's tools have greatly improved the way we manage our SQL Servers – and have even provided some unexpected benefits. With IDERA’s SQL Diagnostic Manager, we are able to diagnose and resolve SQL Server problems in a fraction of the time – we are alerted in real time to issues and we can find out what is causing the performance issue on any SQL Server in our environment with just a few clicks. Not only does it give us very detailed information about the performance and health of our SQL Servers, it also keeps an incredible base of historical information, so that we can easily research issues that occurred in the past. Now with SQL Diagnostic Manager – if a job fails, or a server goes down – we are alerted right away and can very quickly determine what has gone wrong and even take a few simple steps to fix it.”

“We are especially pleased with the customized alerting that SQL Diagnostic Manager provides. Now we receive very specific, immediate alerts – with the expected or less important issues filtered out. We’ve also set alert limits on critical servers, so that if a certain threshold is reached, SQL Diagnostic Manager will email us.”

“The other feature in SQL Diagnostic Manager that we use most frequently is the ’worst performing procedures’ tab. We have issues with servers that have a lot of logs. With SQL Diagnostic Manager, we can quickly determine what statements or stored procedures are causing those.”

 

UNEXPECTED BENEFITS

“When we initially found IDERA, we were looking for a performance monitoring solution that would help us find and fix SQL Server issues more effectively. Then we realized that IDERA also offered a wide range of SQL Server management tools – including backup and compliance management. We realized that IDERA offered a solution for a lot of the pressing issues we were having in our SQL Server environment. That’s when we decided to purchase the suite of SQL Server management tools that IDERA offers.”

“Although we weren’t looking for a high-speed backup and compression product when we first found IDERA, when we found out about IDERA SQL Safe Backup we realized it was something that we desperately needed. We have fairly large databases in our environment – at least 65 GB or more. After backup, they require at least 130 GB of storage – that’s a lot! Now that we have SQL Safe Backup, we are able to compress the data by about 80%, saving us a lot of storage space. It also works incredibly fast, saving a lot of time. And finally, SQL Safe Backup encrypts the data, which is always a good idea with healthcare information.”

“SQL Compliance Manager is great for tracking who did what when. We also use it to go back and troubleshoot. In fact, recently someone installed Microsoft Excel on one of our test servers and we weren’t sure why or how. Using SQL Compliance Manager we were able to go back and quickly determine who did it.”

“We’ve found most SQL Server management and administration tools a nightmare to set up – especially one of the auditing tools we use. However, all of IDERA's tools have been very easy to set up and configure. Furthermore, we’ve found IDERA's 24x7 phone and email support to be very helpful. I am always able to get a quick response if I have questions or issues."

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