Redgate Software, the leading Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor, has taken another step forward in its quest to make database DevOps easier to adopt. Its proactive monitoring tool, SQL Monitor, now fully integrates with the deployment tools in Redgate’s portfolio, to provide an at-a-glance view of exactly what change was deployed and when.
Alongside significant improvements in the way the tool manages large environments, and the performance diagnostics it delivers, it makes the tool an extremely powerful monitoring solution for any SQL Server estate of any size.
The new deployment capability is important because the increased frequency of releases that DevOps enables means companies and organizations are shifting from occasional big deployments to constant smaller ones. A notable user of Redgate’s database DevOps tools, Skyscanner, moved to releasing database changes 95 times a day rather than once every six weeks, for example.
This in turn makes monitoring those deployments essential because if a breaking change hits production, the cause has to be pinpointed quickly and precisely. By highlighting which tool was used for a specific deployment, when it occurred and to which database, SQL Monitor lets users instantly drill down to the context and details they need to resolve any problems that do occur.
The integration with the different database deployment tools also allows users to choose the method which best suits their workflow, as Jamie Wallis, Redgate Product Marketing Manager, explains.
“Some of our users like the way Redgate ReadyRoll integrates with Visual Studio and generates numerically ordered migration scripts,” he explains. “Others prefer SQL Compare, which is the industry standard tool for comparing and deploying SQL Server databases, or DLM Automation which plugs into the same build and deployment tools they use for their applications. We want to give them the freedom to stay with the tool they prefer, as well as reassure them that if there is an issue, SQL Monitor will help them track down the reason in seconds.”
While the deployment integration is a leading feature of SQL Monitor v8, the new performance diagnostics and the ability to proactively manage large environments will also appeal to every user.
An entire estate of isolated networks and different data centre locations can now be monitored from a single web interface without compromising bandwidth or security, for example, and a new inbox which groups common alerts makes them easier to understand. A file growth alert and visualization feature also allows users to plan ahead and, when new servers are required, they can be imported in bulk.
In terms of performance, the deadlock capability of SQL Monitor has been extended with graphs that show when deadlocks occur and includes historical data so that users can interpret what happened instantly. Similarly, blocking processes are now visualized on the overview page and the full details and knock-on effects can be accessed instantly. A new Query History Graph also shows how queries have performed over time and displays patterns so that trends can be identified.
This, according to Jamie Wallis, is why SQL Monitor v8 is so important. “The latest release meets the demands of those users who want to move to database DevOps, as well as those who want to be able to monitor more, more effectively.”
The development team behind SQL Monitor are now looking into improvements to configuring and filtering alerts, so that over time users can train SQL Monitor about which things are and aren’t important to them.