SQL Server Solution Brief

How to Ensure Data Reliability, Accessibility, and Protection with SQL Server Monitoring Tools

Data security and compliance requirements are becoming increasingly strict, requiring database administrators to spend more time maintaining and optimizing their databases. They must also monitor and audit database activities more closely, including logins, data access, updates and configuration changes. Database administrators who are already using SQL Diagnostic Manager to monitor these actions may also benefit from SQL Compliance Manager to monitor, audit, and report on database activities related to security and compliance.

Use These 2 SQL Tools to

Reduce Time on Routine Monitoring Tasks

Database administrators often augment their performance monitoring capabilities with compliance auditing. SQL Diagnostic Manager is primarily a monitoring tool that leading database administrators use to see how well SQL Server is performing. They often use it to determine when SQL Server is running out of space or if queries are slowing down. SQL Diagnostic Manager also generates reports that database administrators use for capacity planning and trend analysis. SQL Compliance Manager is an auditing tool that tracks who did what in SQL Server, how they did it, and when they did it. DBAs typically use SQL Compliance Manager to answer specific questions, such as:
  • Who created that database?
  • Who changed that schema?
  • Who updated that record?
  • Who changed those permissions
SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQL Compliance Manager are similar in the sense that they both monitor and collect data on SQL Server activity, but they perform these tasks differently. The two tools work in harmony to reduce time spent on routine monitoring tasks.


SQL Diagnostic Manager provides significant information on queries that are running. This monitoring tool balances offering real-time and historical data, while maintaining excellent performance in a production environment. SQL Diagnostic Manager takes samples of the behavior of SQL Server and stores it in a database. It then provides the users with multiple ways of visualizing that data.


SQL Compliance Manager provides remarkable details of user activity. Some customers use SQL Compliance Manager to track every change in SQL Server. Customers typically use SQL Compliance Manager to meet the requirements of regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Organizations have a powerful incentive to comply with these regulations, as violations can cause heavy fines and other penalties. They also have their own internal regulations they must adhere to. Another common use of SQL Compliance Manager is monitoring the actions of database administrators and developers, noting who made changes and when they made them. A tamper- proof auditing trail that prevents powerful inside users from covering their tracks is a key feature of SQL Compliance Manager.


When you install SQL Compliance Manager, you still have a central server to collect data, so it does most of the heavy lifting for managing audit data. SQL Compliance Manager provides flexibility regarding the type of data you can collect by offering three levels of collection. SQL Diagnostic Manager and SQL Compliance Manager both enforce data retention policies, although the retention period is a major difference. With SQL Diagnostic Manager, users usually start deleting data from the repository of SQL Diagnostic Manager after a specific retention period, typically only one year. Forecast data comprises data base table and disk growth rates, and it is one exception to this general rule. SQL Diagnostic Manager keeps forecast data for three years. However, some audits for regulatory compliance legally require organizations to keep data for seven to ten years. SQL Compliance Manager supports this requirement by automatically deleting records older than a specified data in a process commonly known as grooming. It can also archive data by moving data sets into smaller databases that are easier to manage.


SQL Diagnostic Manager provides a broad holistic view of SQL Server activity that is primarily oriented towards performance monitoring. In contrast, SQL Compliance Manager provides a much sharper focus on specific database actions, most often to show regulatory compliance. The combination of these capabilities is essential for organizations, especially those in tightly regulated sectors like finance and healthcare.


Download a free, fully functional, 14-day trial and request a personalized demonstration of SQL Compliance Manager.
  • Monitor, alert, and log access to databases and servers
  • Scan your databases to identify personal data and other sensitive data
  • Create trustworthy audit records and reports of security events
  • Validate that the audit trail repository has not been tampered with