Case Study: SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server

Money Management International relies on IDERA to keep SQL Server running in top form

SQLSchedule is now SQL Enterprise Job Manager.

MMI leverages IDERA’s SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQLSchedule to cut SQL Server administrative time by over 30%

Money Management International (MMI), the largest non-profit credit counseling and debt management organization in the US, has gained control of their SQL Server infrastructure enterprisewide using SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQLSchedule, Idera’s performance monitoring and job management solutions.

SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQLSchedule enable MMI’s Senior Technology Director, Don McGee, and staff to more effectively manage their SQL Server databases enterprisewide. Because MMI has several key applications that run on SQL Server, including their website that is accessed by thousands of customers daily, it is critical to MMI that SQL Server operates efficiently at all times. SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQLSchedule help MMI ensure that SQL Server is always running in top form and that jobs are performed on time and without errors.

TAKING CONTROL OF A GROWING SQL SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE

“MMI has experienced a huge amount of growth in the last four years and it has been a challenge from an IT perspective,” said Don. “Many of our critical business applications are based on SQL Server and were not designed to scale the way we needed them to. Our IT staff has spent a lot of time managing transactions on servers, managing throughput of the servers, and making sure that everything is running as optimally as possible.”

“When I started at MMI about a year ago,” continued Don, “My first job was to get the big picture of all of our databases. Job management and performance monitoring were especially painful. We just didn’t have enough tools or manpower to get the job done well and on time. Considering the importance of SQL Server at MMI, we couldn’t afford to have badly performing servers or failing jobs.. So, I began the search for some tools to help us manage our SQL Servers more effectively. That’s when I found Idera.”

“Our first requirement was for a web-based, remote administration tool that would allow our DBAs to manage SQL remotely, giving them freedom to go home every now and then. That’s when I found Idera’s SQLTool. As I found out more about Idera’s other SQL Server management and administration tools, I realized that SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQLSchedule would also solve our job scheduling and performance monitoring issues.”

“We have been using SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQLSchedule for over a year now and they play a critical role in the day to day operations at MMI. We have two DBAs that rely on them all the time.

GETTING SQL SERVER JOB MANAGEMENT UNDER CONTROL WITH SQLSCHEDULE

“At MMI, we run a very complicated job stream that executes continuously from about midnight to 8 AM everyday. Most of the jobs are interdependent and must run in a defined sequence. Before we got SQLSchedule, we spent many hours writing complicated scripts to get the jobs to run the way we wanted them to. It was very cumbersome to manage and if there was even a minor glitch, the whole system would get out of whack. If one job took too long, all of the jobs would be off schedule, if one failed there would be a domino effect. This often seriously affected our service to east coast customers. The tools that Microsoft makes available with SQL Server to support job management and alerting were just not sufficient enough to meet our needs.”

“We implemented SQLSchedule about a year ago and it has made life considerably easier. Now we use SQLSchedule to monitor and manage our SQL Server jobs. Not only do we get a full historical view of actual run times, we also get a projected view of anticipated run times. This helps greatly with planning our job workload. Also, to solve the complex job dependency issues, we coordinate all jobs through SQLSchedule using automatic chaining. Now Job 2 does not kick off until Job 1 is complete. It is so much cleaner, easier, and more reliable! Even better, SQLSchedule has excellent alerting capabilities and notifies us immediately if there is a problem.”

“I have been really impressed with SQLSchedule’s ability to record performance counters. I did not expect to get this functionality from a job scheduling tool. Now we can easily and quickly measure what the CPU and I/O utilization will be or were for a particular job. This is a huge benefit to us for planning purposes.”

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