The Data Collector is the single most obscure SQL Server concept that I know of. I have never even seen it mentioned in a professional or educational context, never mind used. I don't even think that it has a tag on this website, although I have made my best guesses. Yet, its support in dbatools is a strong sign that it must have some value.

I have read the documentation for the Data Collector with an open mind, but I simply cannot fathom a use case for it. What are some typical use cases in supported (i.e. 2012+) versions of SQL Server?

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It is very handy if there are no third party monitoring tools available/installed to monitor SQL instance performance. It collects and generates reports of data collected. It has some pre-defined data collection sets and can have customized sets to collect the needed. Below are some usecases,

Performance Monitoring and Tuning: Collect performance data such as CPU, Disk I/O, Memory Usage, etc. Use this data to identify and troubleshoot performance issues, optimize query performance, balance SQL Server loads, and for capacity planning.

Disk Space Usage Monitoring: Monitor database and log file size growth, manage space effectively and plan for future disk space requirements.

Monitoring Server Activity: Collect data about user activity, SQL Server instance resources usage, and server operating conditions.

Collecting Query Statistics: Identify costly queries, long-running queries, and tune them for better performance.

Baseline Collection: Collect data over time to establish a baseline for the SQL Server instance for comparison with future performance.

Security Auditing: Keep track of changes in server activity and query statistics for auditing and compliance reasons.

This has good read of it, but based on 2008 version though.

  • 2
    That link was so much more useful than the official docs that it's downright shocking. Lucky for me, my servers are on AWS so it looks like I've already got all that the Data Collector offers.
    – J. Mini
    Feb 10 at 13:22

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