Exception based reporting

09 July,2013 by Jack Vamvas

What is exception based reporting?

In basic terms , exception reporting  is a form of data analysis comparing one set of data against a desired base set of data and highlighting items which don’t match. I think of it as a form of exception handling  for deviations from the “normal” order of things, requiring some sort of processing.

Most aspects of database server management are relevant. Think of security audit reporting , backups, SQL Server error logs.   All these areas are relevant to exception based reporting.

Most  DBAs are  overloaded by reporting data. Establish the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) . Once the KPI are established , the DBA can create useful reports , displaying effective information for managing  the database servers, as opposed to a report admired but never used.

Continuous data collection is a costly exercise. The cost may not be attributed to running the system , but nevertheless is a cost. Therefore using KPIs ensures the cost accrued by collecting and analysing the data contributes to the decision making process.

“Out of the box” solutions can be seductive to DBAs. The DBA installs and immediately gathers data, therefore seeming productive. How much of that data is used? I’ve worked in an organisation collection terabytes of SQL Server performance data – for purposes of trend analysis and capacity planning. They spent months installing and processing predetermined collection points.  The data was collected but barely referenced in any meaningful way.

 Think about “why” you are collecting the data . Focus on establishing a list of “Whys”. Why do we want to collect CPU usage data every 5 minutes? Why should we collect data only on CPU and not disk usage? Why should we use a 30 days and not 365 days?  Etc etc . Once you’ve established the “why” – the “what” becomes easy. Time management is critical

Read More on Monitoring SQL Server

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Database server : Monitoring versus reporting - SQL Server DBA

Author: Jack Vamvas (http://www.sqlserver-dba.com)


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