If you run an SQL database, then it could be one of the most important yet potentially underappreciated assets in your organization’s locker.
Part of the reason that this resource can get taken for granted is that if it is working well, you should barely notice that it is there at all.
Of course the only way to ensure that your database functions as intended is to be vigilant for issues that could compromise its integrity. To convince you that this is a sensible strategy, here is a look at a few of the main reasons that monitoring any SQL server is beneficial to your business.
Modern tools make monitoring straightforward
While in the past it may have been trickier to keep tabs on your database, the latest and greatest SQL monitoring tools have made this infinitely more accessible, while also allowing database administrators to do their jobs without having to rely on intuition or guesswork nearly as much.
Monitoring software streamlines the process of operating a database by giving you advance warning of flaws and faults, allowing you to act to fix issues before they gain momentum and evolve into anything worse.
Furthermore the top tools around can automate many commonplace monitoring tasks, and provide you with alerts as necessary. This lessens the burden of persistent monitoring significantly, and means you can make the most of your staffing resources without compromising in this area.
Monitoring your database lets you plan for the future
Studying the ebb and flow of information in an SQL database is not just about being on the lookout for complications which could cause it to come screeching to a halt today, but also about giving you the information you need to spot problems that might loom large a lot further down the line.
Take storage as the best example of this; if the amount of space available to your database is adequate for the time being, but will eventually be a restricting aspect of its functionality, you want to be able to analyze usage patterns and extrapolate from this projections about how your needs will change over time.
The purpose of this is to help you schedule any hardware upgrades or platform migrations that will be inevitable in months or years to come, and thus ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum.
Performance improvements equal productivity improvements
Going back to the idea that the importance of SQL databases can be overlooked, it is worth examining the ways in which performance and productivity levels are tied to one another.
The simplest way to think about it is this; if the mission-critical apps and services that employees rely on to fulfill their roles from day to day are performing sub-optimally or even outright slowly, then they will be incapable of realizing their true potential in terms of productivity. Sluggish database performance is therefore clearly a concern from this perspective, and monitoring is the only way to avoid it.
Conversely if you do monitor your server from moment to moment and plan to deal with performance inconsistencies and other hiccups that occur over time, your maintenance efforts will be rewarded with productivity improvements.
This is clearly important from a cost perspective, since while there are expenses associated with monitoring and maintaining your database, these will certainly be eclipsed by any savings you make by avoiding downtime and through the productivity gains that lead to revenue growth as a result.
Security risks can be minimized
The vulnerabilities of your SQL database should also be at the forefront of your mind if you are responsible for maintaining or managing it in any capacity.
Data breaches are increasingly common and one of the biggest conundrums is not the prevention of the breach in the first place, but rather the ability to detect and respond to it when it does occur. Horror stories of hackers being able to access a backdoor to data repositories for months or years on end are all too real, and it is definitely important for organizations to take onboard the lessons learned from these disasters.
Modern monitoring tools are tuned towards providing security and to allow for threat detection, as well as all sorts of other issues and errors which can come about when working within a potentially complex infrastructure such as an SQL database. Incorrect permissions settings or misplaced admin accounts can all come back to haunt you, so being made aware of potential loopholes rather than allowing them to linger will clearly put your entire company on a more secure, stable path.
Ideally you will have absorbed enough information about the benefits of SQL database monitoring to see this as a crucial part of the IT strategy going forward.
As businesses become more reliant on data to thrive, the need to make sure the resources that store and manipulate information are up to scratch will only grow.