Idera’s SQL compliance manager 2.0 Makes the Grade
Protection of the integrity of audited data
In order to protect the chain of evidence in an audit, it must not be possible for a DBA to go into audited data and change it undetected. SQL compliance manager has the ability to check the integrity of the data in its databases. For example, I went in the audited data and changed one of the user’s names from the actual name to another name, and then when I ran the integrity audit, I got caught, with a report showing that the change had been made.
Are there ways to hack this? With enough time and effort any database is hackable. So although SQL compliance manager provides a strong method for preserving the integrity of the audit data, it will be important to ensure that this Repository is included in your overall security plan and that your corporate security policies are applied.
Essentially, this means that SQL compliance manager audits its own activity, such as when the administrator changes permissions. This provides a necessary audit trail and helps to protect any chain of evidence.
Robust and easy-to-use
Robust is a claim that is relatively straightforward to understand, while easy-to-use is more abstract. In regard to robustness, in all my testing, I only ran into a single problem, and then I wasn’t able to reproduce it. Other than this single aberration, SQL compliance manager worked well, and as described.
In regard to ease of use, I did not find any usability issues that the average DBA would complain about. In fact, the product can be installed, configured, and used without even reading the manual, although I would recommend you at least skim over the manual so you know where information is in case you need it, such as when configuring large installations. I found the hardest part (least intuitive) to be the installation process, although even that was not too bad compared to a lot of other software I have installed.
This is the end of the discussion of the features of SQL compliance manager.
Is it Easy to Install, Use, and Administer by the Average SQL Server DBA?
As has already been described, SQL compliance manager is relatively easy to use. Virtually any DBA, from novice to experienced, will be able to install, configure, and administer the software.
Does It Put an Unbearable Performance Drag on SQL Server Production Databases?
Simply put, no. Yes, there is a performance hit, but this is inevitable and the hit more than acceptable in regard to the benefits the product offers. Are there any instances where the performance hit might be too much to accept? Sure. If your SQL Server is already suffering from performance issues, then adding SQL compliance manager may make performance worse. If you have a situation where you need to audit an overburdened SQL Server, then you should resolve the performance issues before installing the monitoring agent. What to keep in mind here is that the performance problem is not with the monitoring agent, but with the SQL Server.
Does It Fill a Practical Need of the Average DBA?
If your organization is subject to the many new government regulations regarding data accountability, then yes. This is a very useful and practical tool for auditing any SQL Server database. If you are not subject to government regulation, then you probably won’t have a need for the software.
SQL compliance manager, which fully meets all its stated objectives, is highly recommended by SQL-Server-Performance.Com as an effective SQL Server auditing tool. To prove to you what we have discovered for ourselves, we recommend you go to Idera’s Web site (http://www.idera.com/) and download a trial copy to try yourself.