Idera’s SQL compliance manager 2.0 Makes the Grade

Preparation

Idera recommends that a SQL compliance manager Collection Server (dedicated to running SQL compliance manager) have the following minimum hardware:

  • One 2MHz or faster CPU.
  • 2GB RAM.
  • 40GB available hard disk space.

The server will need to have Windows 2000 (SP4 or later) or Windows 2003 Server installed.

In addition to the OS, SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 2005 needs to be installed. If you are going to audit SQL Server 2005 instances, then SQL Server 2005 must be used on the SQL compliance manager Collection Server. SQL Server Reporting Services also needs to be installed (2000 or 2005, as appropriate).

Installation

Installation onto a single, dedicated SQL compliance manager Collection Server is a two-step process. First, you run the SQL compliance manager setup program, which installs most of the components (except reporting) and creates the databases. Next, you run the Reports setup program so that reports can be run. This entire process takes less than 15 minutes.

Once SQL compliance manager has been installed, these are the steps you follow to configure it to audit SQL Server instances.

Register SQL Servers

To audit any SQL Server instance, you register it. When it is registered, several things happen, including the automatic installation of the lightweight SQL compliance manager Collection Service on the SQL Server instances to be audited.

Enable Auditing on the SQL Server

Now that the SQL Server instance has been registered and the agent installed, this step tells SQL compliance manager that you want to begin auditing this instance.

Enable Auditing on a Database

Because you may not want to audit every database on a SQL Server instance, you must tell SQL compliance manager which database(s) you want to audit.

Configure Audit Events

By default, only certain activities are audited. If these default settings are not right for your organization, you must specify exactly what activities you want audited.

Once you have completed all of the above steps, auditing is now running and you can begin reviewing reports as needed.

Using the SQL compliance manager Management Console

The Management Console is your eye into SQL compliance manager. It not only allows you to administer the software, but also allows you to see what audit activities are occurring on a real-time basis.

Below is the main window, and as you can see, it is very logically set up.

From the “home” screen of the Management Console, you can access all of SQL compliance manager’s features, such as registering new SQL Server instances to audit, turning auditing on and off by instance or database, configuring audit events to collect, creating alerts, viewing audit activity, and viewing reports.

Keeping track of all the audited instances of SQL Server is easy from the Management Console. As you can see above, all registered SQL Server instances are displayed, along with audited databases, and their current status.

To see what is happening within SQL compliance manager itself, along with the audit activity being tracked, you can go to the Activities screen for the latest information.

To view more specific audit activity, you can do so on a server-by-server basis (see above) or on a database-by-database basis, if you desire.

I hope this brief introduction to the Management Console has given you an idea of how easy it is to use SQL compliance manager. Now, let’s take an in-depth look at the key features of SQL compliance manager.

Continues…

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