One of the issues we are encountering on a daily basis in the development process for SQL Response 2 is the question of how you think about your monitored servers. SQL Response 2, like version 1, will monitor both SQL Server issues (deadlocks, job failures, blocked processes, long running queries, database status changes and so on) as well as disk and memory performance issues from the physical computer itself (CPU utilization, disk usage, read/write latency etc).
SQL Response will have an overview page for each physical server and also for each individual SQL Server instance; these pages will display different types of data. So it’s up to you what you look at. However, for the global overview, the ‘front page’ that is intended to alert you to parts of your network where there may be an issue to investigate, we want you to quickly identify where there is an issue affecting a machine (the box itself) or where there is a specifically SQL Server problem.
One instance per physical server?
If all your servers run just one SQL Server instance, then most of the time maybe you don’t really need to differentiate between a computer issue and a SQL Server problem. After all, a problem on that computer is likely to be a problem that affects the running of SQL Server. In this case, rather than view two lines of information (computer status and SQL Server status) for each instance, maybe you’d rather have a flat list of just SQL Server instances.
Several instances per physical server?
If your servers run several SQL Server instances, then it is clearly useful to see clearly machine-triggered issues and issues that affect one of the SQL Servers that run on that machine. In this case, maybe you’d like to sort by computer name, and see computer issues, as well as any SQL Server problems, and always be able to distinguish the two in the overview.
So, how important is it to know that there is an issue affecting the computer rather than identify all issues as relating to a SQL Server – even if they are disk or CPU issues. And what terminology do you prefer – physical server, computer, server, machine, box – when identifying the source of a problem?