Case Study: SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server

VCE Selects IDERA Over Quest for SQL Server Monitoring and Administration

Overview

VCE is a growing company formed by Cisco and EMC with investment from VMWare and Intel. They are the leaders in enabling companies to completely virtualize their data centers through their Vblock Systems. Vblock delivers optimized information technology systems that accelerate the adoption of converged infrastructure and cloud-based computing models. Bottom line says VCE Database Administrator Chris Shea, “If you want to virtualize your data center you come to us.”

Challenge

As the market leader, Chris and his team of SQL DBAs play a mission critical role for VCE and their customers around the world. “We support our three major applications that predominantly run on SQL Servers. Our role is ensuring that the databases stay up, are available, and that they are as tweaked for the best performance possible to allow for speed.”

A key part of Chris’ role is monitoring the overall health of his servers. However, this was taking up a large part of his day. “We have a number of monitoring systems inside of our environment, one of which monitors down-time so we can monitor databases by pinging them. But I was never able to view it without having to go to the database running my own queries, running my own profiles, etc. I had to spend probably two or three hours every morning remoting into each of my servers, running my query, and looking for bombs. And at that time, I didn’t have a history, so I didn’t know if anything happened overnight or spilled over. It was costing me several hours in a day and I knew I needed something that could automate it all,” said Shea.

After searching for several months Chris came across Quest Foglight. At the same time, he asked his colleagues at EMC what solutions they were leveraging in their environment. The EMC team introduced him to IDERA’s SQL Diagnostic Manager. Wanting to have the best product, Chris decided to run a two-month trial of both IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager and Quest Foglight. “I was looking for something that gave me an overall picture of all the databases that I’m really currently interested in,” he stated.

First, Shea installed Foglight. “It was clunky but it was basically giving me what I was looking for.” Then, he installed IDERA’s SQL Diagnostic Manager. “I started playing around with IDERA. I really liked it. I liked being able to monitor, right there on the screen, everything with just a click. It gave me everything I needed immediately.”

Running both applications at the same time Chris was able to see the differences. “I was able to compare Quest and IDERA side-by-side. Going through Foglight was just so much more painful. With Foglight you have to go ten levels down into the administration level and pass through multiple screens that say ‘don’t touch anything beyond this screen’ in order to configure alerts. With IDERA I can simply set up an email to notify me if anything happens."

IDERA’s SQL Diagnostic Manager is designed to take the hassle out of a DBA’s day by delivering pre-configured notifications that can diagnose and deliver alerts on any impending problems as soon as you install. As soon as Shea installed SQL Diagnostic Manager it began its work. “When I started with IDERA, I hadn’t turned on any of the emails or notifications, but had the Foglight notifications running. Eventually I turned SQL Diagnostic Manager notifications on and it immediately told me I had literally two days before we had a major outage. Then IDERA started triggering and telling me there is something going on and giving me information that Foglight never gave me. Foglight was just silent. IDERA identified the issue so we knew exactly what was going on. I don’t know how long it would have taken us with Foglight. But with SQL Diagnostic Manager we were able to very quickly ascertain the issues, get those issues fixed and be able to move on with life.”

Shea and his team also leverage IDERA’s SQL Admin Toolset. “I do use the administrative tools constantly. As a matter of fact, I actually used the user clone tool yesterday because I had to clone a user across a bunch of systems.”

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