Think you don’t need a SQL assessment of your environment? Well think again; most companies are in constant change and sometimes they tend to lose track of these changes in their SQL environment. A proper SQL assessment involves documenting the entire inventory of the SQL Server environment followed by recommendations using Microsoft best practices. This is not limited to gathering data for a number of servers, RAM’s, CPU’s, server’s configurations and instances in their environment, but also the security and performance of each database. There are free tools out there which you can use to pull out this information such as Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) which you can get for free from the Microsoft website and also SQL report scripts, which I prefer to use to capture specific data like server/database names, server/database configurations, CPU/RAM utilization, top waits on each server, i/o latency, job schedules, backup intervals and connections.
A proper SQL assessment will help identify issues which the client was not aware of. These issues could be related to server configurations or database designs that they didn’t see as problematic. With a proper SQL assessment, these issues will be address through recommendations following best practices. Disaster solutions and backup recovery are also some of the recommendations made after the assessment is taken. This is a big win situation for your business.
Environment knowledge is very important. There are corporations with no formal documentation of their entire SQL environment. This does not only affect current employees but also new employees who maybe finding it hard to get a good grasp of the environment. With proper documentation you will help bridge this gap.
Also, it’s time saving for clients, which means proper diagnosis of the client’s environment is done with quick and effective methods based on the findings from the assessment. The client saves money which could have been spent on long hours trying to resolve an issue which can be avoided if a proper assessment is done.
Lastly, data collected from the assessment can be use as baseline. It shows you what SQL Server looks like when it is at a normal state. When you don’t have data you can compare to, you risk many potential issues on your SQL servers. Baselines help identify when things are abnormal in the systems thereby showing a possibility of a potential threat.
In conclusion, a SQL assessment is very important. It’s the best way to keep your environment in order and to assist with troubleshooting performance issues. This should be done for every corporation small, medium or large.