sqlSentry Relieves Your SQL Server Job Headaches



The Conflicts Viewer

The Job Conflicts Viewer shows all the jobs on a server that have overlapping runtimes so you can easily determine which jobs are using the most resources. To help you resolve a conflict, double-clicking it automatically takes you to that job on the calendar, where you can then drag and drop it into a new time slot. Yes, it’s that easy!



Custom Event Views

If the information available from within this job management tool seems a little overwhelming, you can use Custom Event Views to configure a view to show just the items that they want or need to monitor using category filters, step text, or event name. For example, you can set up a Custom Event View that shows all the backup jobs from all servers that write to the SAN. Then you can check their status each morning by opening that one Custom Event View.



Alerts

For busy DBAs, alerts are an important feature. Many different alerts are available through sqlSentry’s comprehensive alerting mechanism: job start and finish, job success or failure, job runtime min/max, and job runtime conflict. sqlSentry also provides alerting for DTS packages, SQL Server Agent Log, and even systems that don’t natively support alerting, such as Windows Task Scheduler and Reporting Services. Alert information includes job step-level output, Maintenance plan output, error codes and descriptions, job and performance condition data, start and end times, duration, other active jobs list, blocking job processes, and SQL statements. The best thing about this alert system is that it does not have any dependencies on SQL Mail or MAPI. In addition to sending e-mails and pages, there are seven other responses you can configure for any event, including executing a process, executing a SQL statement or stored procedure, or even executing a job. To help you manage alerts efficiently, all of them can be configured from a central console. This is easily one of the strongest features in sqlSentry.



Advanced Scheduling

sqlSentry’s advanced job queuing and event chaining features make it easy to prevent job conflicts and resource contention. With same server queuing, you can set a job to queue or be queued for a specified time, limit the total number of jobs in the queue at any one time, and control a job’s behavior when it comes off the queue. With per instance event chaining, chained jobs or tasks can reside anywhere in the enterprise, and you can have unlimited levels per chain, as well as unlimited SQL Agent jobs or Windows Tasks per level.



Conclusion

The benefit of a powerful job-monitoring tool for SQL Server is enormous. If nothing else, it will reduce downtime. sqlSentry will also go a long toward helping you manage jobs with greater ease and flexibility. Although I have only scratched the surface of its feature-set, this is one tool that will provide a quick return on your investment. But don’t just take my word for it. First, use sqlSentry’s Interactive ROI tool on their Web site to calculate your ROI. My pay back period was an amazing 0.3 months. Then download sqlSentry and examine it for yourself free for 15 days. You won’t be disappointed.



* sqlSentry recently introduced 5- and 10-license Quick Start Packs, which include SQL Server instances and Windows Task Scheduler instances as well as one year of software maintenance — great values for organizations. See http://www.sqlsentry.net/ for more information.

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