If you are responsible for running an SQL Server setup but your operating environment is based on Linux, then you might be worried about how easy it is to monitor the database and troubleshoot issues.
Thankfully there are a few ways to achieve this efficiently, so let’s look at what options make the most sense for the average admin.
Choose Monitoring Tools That Support Linux
The first piece of good news is that there are a number of third-party monitoring tools that are built to monitor SQL Server on Linux, providing comprehensive compatibility as well as all the same features as you’d get if you were instead running Windows as your OS of choice.
Whether you want to track wait stats and root out problematic queries and processes, identify bottlenecks relating to I/O or other hardware elements, or see the current state of index fragmentation and take appropriate action to restore performance to optimal levels, all this and more can be done with modern SQL Server monitoring platforms.
There are of course different feature sets to weigh up, different interfaces and reporting abilities to analyze, and different costs to consider. As such, you should try to compare the competing monitoring tools as thoroughly as possible so you can pick the one that best matches your needs and budget.
Prioritize Preventive Maintenance
A mistake that DBAs often make is to only deal with SQL Server issues reactively. This can cause sudden flurries of activity as you try to fix serious performance dilemmas or outright outages, while in a bit of a panic.
A better approach is to monitor SQL Server in a Linux environment using the aforementioned third-party tools, with a view to harnessing the insights you gain to carry out preventive maintenance on a regular basis.
In this way, you can see what issues are affecting your database and step in to fix them at the earliest moment, rather than leaving them to fester and grow.
This is not just sensible from a general maintenance perspective, but also when it comes to plotting out the way your capacity requirements might change and grow. This means that storage and CPU bottlenecks can be planned for and avoided, for example.
Another important factor to consider when monitoring SQL Server, whether in Linux, Windows, or any other environment, is how automation of key tasks can help you save time and effort.
Monitoring tools will let you create custom alerts and flags that will pinpoint potentially concerning aspects of the database’s operations from moment to moment. The best solutions will even let you automate elements of the troubleshooting, so you don’t have to adopt a hands-on, manual approach to rolling out remedies whenever intervention is required.
Use Linux Commands for Quick Access To Real-Time Info
The last point to make when discussing how to handle SQL Server as a Linux user is that there are a number of commands which can instantly call up handy data on performance, hardware resource use, and other aspects that can help your decision-making.
With iostat, for example, disk use can be analyzed on the fly, although you’ll have to install this command to get it up and running.
Just because something is possible to achieve using the basic toolkit that SQL Server provides, that doesn’t mean it is the way you should do things indefinitely.
By investigating the tools and solutions that are out there to help DBAs, you will find that there are better paths forward, and lots of efficiency improvements to make.