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Under the Imagine Virtually Anything alliance, Cisco, NetApp and VMWare have teamed up to deliver a shared virtualized server/network/storage infrastructure that can securely host multiple “tenants.”  This seems like A Good Thing, for all the usual reasons virtualization is good (lower costs, improved energy/space efficiency, faster deployments, etc). Yet they seem to have forgotten Read more »

Preventative SQL Server Monitoring

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No matter the kind of database – Oracle, SQL server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc – there are distinct kinds of monitoring for the DBA.  There is the monitoring done to make sure everything is healthy and performing well, that allows you to plan for growth, allocate resources, and be assured things are working as they should.

Then there is the kind of in depth activity that DBA’s undertake when they are investigating an issue.  This takes far more time, and uses a different set of tools – the query analyzer, profilers, etc – but can have a large impact, and is where a good SQL jockey can really make a difference.  But given the amount of time that can be required to analyze and improve a query, when is it worth it? Read more »


One of the difficulties in IT environments is that redundancy can sometimes make outages worse.  The problem being that redundancy can often give people (mostly justified) confidence in the availability of their systems, so they design architectures on the assumption that their core switch (or database, or load balancing cluster, or what have you) will not go down.

And they even have monitoring.

But they don’t monitor the state of the redundant server or component. So then the redundant server or component fails, or is unplugged, or synchronization fails, or what have you, and stays that way for weeks with no one noticing. Then the active server or component fails, the other one is already out of commission – and boom – Bad Things happen.

So if you run redundant supervisor modules in your core switches to get high availability, make sure your cisco switch monitoring is capable of monitoring them. Same for redundant power supplies.

Same for active-standby Netscalers, or F5 Big IPs, or NetApp clusters, and or anything that you want to make sure works when needed.

If it’s not monitored, chances are it won’t be there when you need it.


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