SQL Data File Activity Test

By periodically monitoring the I/O activity on each datafile on the Microsoft SQL server and observing the growth in size of the datafile, this test sheds light on the following:

  • Datafiles that are experiencing I/O bottlenecks;
  • Datafiles that are consuming too much disk space

Target of the test : A Microsoft SQL server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each database on the Microsoft SQL server instance being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. TEST PERIOD - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host – The IP address of the Microsoft SQL server.
  3. Port - The port number through which the Microsoft SQL server communicates. The default port is 1433.
  4. ssl – If the Microsoft SQL server being monitored is an SSL-enabled server, then set the ssl flag to Yes. If not, then set the ssl flag to No.
  5. instance - In this text box, enter the name of a specific Microsoft SQL instance that is to be monitored. The default value of this parameter is “default”. To monitor an Microsoft SQL instance named “CFS”, enter this as the value of the INSTANCE parameter.
  6. USER – If a Microsoft SQL Server 7.0/2000 is monitored, then provide the name of a SQL user with the Sysadmin role in this text box. While monitoring a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or above, provide the name of a SQL user with all of the privileges outlined in User Privileges Required for Monitoring Microsoft SQL server.

  7. password - The password of the specified user
  8. confirm password - Confirm the password by retyping it.
  9. domain - By default, none is displayed in the DOMAIN text box. If the ‘SQL server and Windows’ authentication has been enabled for the server being monitored, then the DOMAIN can continue to be none. On the other hand, if ‘Windows only’ authentication has been enabled, then, in the DOMAIN text box, specify the Windows domain in which the managed Microsoft SQL server exists. Also, in such a case, the USER name and PASSWORD that you provide should be that of a user authorized to access the monitored SQL server.
  10. isntlmv2 - In some Windows networks, NTLM (NT LAN Manager) may be enabled. NTLM is a suite of Microsoft security protocols that provides authentication, integrity, and confidentiality to users. NTLM version 2 (“NTLMv2”) was concocted to address the security issues present in NTLM. By default, the isntlmv2 flag is set to No, indicating that NTLMv2 is not enabled by default on the target Microsoft SQL host. Set this flag to Yes if NTLMv2 is enabled on the target host.
  11. exclude info - By default, this is set to none, indicating that the test will monitor all the databases on the Microsoft SQL server by default. To exclude specific databases from the monitoring scope of this test, provide a comma-separated list of databases in the EXCLUDE INFO text box.
  12. show datafile path- This test reports a set of results for each datafile on the target Oracle database server. This means that every datafile is a descriptor of this test. By default, while displaying the descriptors of this test, the eG monitoring console does not prefix the datafile names with the full path to the datafiles. This is why, the show datafile path flag is set to No by default. If you want the data file names to be prefixed by the full path to the data files, then, set the show datafile path flag to Yes.
  13. ISPASSIVE – If the value chosen is yes, then the Microsoft SQL server under consideration is a passive server in a SQL cluster. No alerts will be generated if the server is not running. Measures will be reported as “Not applicable" by the agent if the server is not up.
  14. DETAILED DIAGNOSIS – To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

    The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

    • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
    • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Write rate:

Indicates the rate at which writes occurred on this datafile.

Writes/Sec

 

Data write rate:

Indicates the rate at which data was written to this datafile.

KB/Sec

 

I/O stall writes:

Indicates the total time taken to write to this datafile.

Milliseconds/write

A high value for this measure could indicate a bottleneck while writing to the datafile. By comparing the value of this measure across datafiles, you can identify the data file to which write operations are taking too long to complete.

Read rate:

Indicates the rate of reads from this datafile.

Reads/Sec

 

Data read rate:

Indicates the rate at which data was read from this datafile.

KB/Sec

 

I/O stall reads:

Indicates the total time taken to read from this datafile.

 

Milliseconds/read

A high value for this measure could indicate a bottleneck while reading from the datafile.

By comparing the value of this measure across datafiles, you can identify the datafile to which read operations are taking too long to complete.

I/O stall:

Indicates the total time taken for I/O to complete on this datafile.

Milliseconds/IO

A high value for this measure could indicate an I/O bottleneck on this datafile.

Size on disk:

Indicates the total size on disk of each datafile.

MB

This measure is used to determine the growth of the datafile.

A low value is desired for this measure. A very high value, or a consistent increase in this value may adversely impact I/O operations.

You may want to consider maintaining multiple datafiles of smaller sizes to improve I/O efficiency, and to speed up backup/restore operations.