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I have been placed in charged of overseeing our DB and web servers (SQL Server 2005/2008.) Not being a technical person, what reports should I request on a weekly/monthly basis to asses the health of our database?

I am thinking resource useage (ram/cpu/io). Database size and growth rate.

Error log?

Anything else I should be looking for to be proactive?

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migrated from Dec 21 '11 at 19:09

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Your question essentially reduces to "How should I, a non-technical beginner, become a DBA?" This is far too broad a scope to be a good question. As it says in the FAQ, "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." I know you're new to this, and thus you may not realize that you just asked a book-sized question, but you did young grasshopper. :) There's a reason people make a career out of being a DBA. It's a complex subject. – Jonathan Van Matre Dec 21 '11 at 19:53
I disagree with Johnathan. The OP is asking for the specific trackables that a non-DBA can use to gauge health of the database. Those figures would include average query times (if RAM/CPU usage is also being tracked), RAM and CPU usage on average (as well as the system loads), disk space for the data and indexes, and disk usage for those. With those values, a non-DBA can guesstimate the average health of a DBA. – jcolebrand Dec 21 '11 at 20:19
@jcolebrand I'm judging the breadth of the question, not the ability of the person. I am sure Alex is capable & smart & will make a great DBA. But I wouldn't regard a simple list of trackables as an upvote-worthy answer. There's no report that spits out a "Your database is healthy" message. If I say "Monitor the Disk Queue Length" to someone new to the field, I'm going to be saying it as a lead-in to a larger discussion of benchmarking and profiling and understanding what that datum means. "Health" is not just about having an EKG machine, it's about reading what it is telling you. – Jonathan Van Matre Dec 21 '11 at 20:36
@JonathanVM he specifically isn't trying to be a dba, so what reason would he have for trying to become a great dba? He's trying to learn from our expertise what are the tattletales that he's soon to have problems. He doesn't need to understand the intricacies of what does it mean for SqlServer:BufferManager.FreePages to have a value of 320 (means you're running desperately low on free memory vs memory in use) but what are the canary values. – jcolebrand Dec 21 '11 at 21:59
up vote 3 down vote accepted

SQL Server 2005 Microsoft put out a Dashboard report that is very useful for getting a good overview of what resource usage is, you can download that here. This is a quick post about using it with SQL Server 2008. That I know of this is reports that you run on the fly, I don't know if you can schedule them but I'm sure someone has.

I also believe with SQL Server 2005 if you are at SP2 or higher there are some canned reports that will show up in SSMS for you. Then with SQL Server 2008 the activity monitor is pretty good place to start, there are some good improvements in it compared to SQL 2005.

You can do a search on the web for checklist and such, or "how to monitor __" that will get you started. Some things are going to require you to capture the info from system views in some manner over time so you can pick up the trend (example: database size growth). It is just a matter of finding what you find the easiest to implement and gives you what you want without effecting performance on your systems.

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