Policy-Based Management was introduced in SQL Server 2008.

I'm looking for software/tool I can use to enforce configuration standards across a SQL Server 2012 /2014 database environment. Instances are in the hundreds & globally distributed.

Is PBM the right tool to use? It has great out of box functionality, but i fear it will not scale & will not be future-proof.

Other end of the spectrum is Powershell DSC. Which is the more 'roll your own' approach. Admittedly there are 'experimental' scripting resource kits.

Are there other tools which provide a good middle ground?

3 Answers 3


I liked it and have not seen it being removed anywhere so far. I used PowerShell DSC since the beta and it's great but it is no replacement for PBM. DSC is great for enforcing system states and some SQL states. I can use it to roll out automated testing environments and ensure all the domain membership, firewalls, users, restored databases, masked data, shares, etc. are all done.

Then PBM would be used to help out in areas that I want a report to meet compliance requirements, actually enforcing state on the fly. DCS has a check in time where it scans, and it requires you to write custom scripts to test and apply changes if the test fails, it also requires a central server.

I like both but for very different purposes and PBM can be very helpful if deployed as part of a greater effort.


If you just want to have central reporting, take a look at https://epmframework.codeplex.com With this you can check your servers centrally against one policy store.

  • This doesn't enforce policy like PBM does though. Jan 19, 2016 at 22:46

I don't consider it dead. You can easily roll it out across large numbers of servers and have those policies enforced on each instance. I don't think it's about to disappear, but I can't comment for Microsoft.

  • do you consider MDW alive too? Mar 13, 2015 at 4:20
  • I consider PBM to be more alive than MDW, but I don't consider that MDW is dead either. I don't see it disappearing any time soon, and it's a useful system for people who don't have third party alternatives.
    – Rob Farley
    Mar 13, 2015 at 4:22

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