Published on January 25, 2023 by Jennifer Leider
What is database health:
Database health entails how smoothly your database is running. While database health is not the same as database performance, performance does play a key role in a healthy, functioning system. Database health can be checked inside the following:
- Database and operating system configuration
- Query performance
- Data safety
- Index efficiency
- Data maintenance
What does database health look like:
It would take ages to explain how not to treat and maintain your databases for optimal health. Best practices change, but generally, a healthy database:
- Is fully updated (to an appropriate level – scaling beyond your company’s means can be financially detrimental)
- Is properly tuned.
- Regularly runs critical administrative utilities
- Has normalized or denormalized schemas
- Contains properly created indexes
- Has disaster recovery documented and tested
- Has all systems backed up
- Has sufficient resources
- Is run by a competent team with an appropriate skill level
Unhealthy databases come with a slew of problems: error messages, slow speeds, long-running queries, etc. With these issues you are not just taking valuable time away from your work. You may be costing your company money and potentially even losing or messing up your data.
When you should check your database health:
Trying to heal your database while you’re in trouble mode is a painful process. Check your data health while you and your company are in growth mode, or:
- When there’s poor data or systems performance
- When you’re buying new software
- When you’ve had an outage
- As a proactive precaution, rather than a reactive response to trouble
- If applications are slow
Why you should check your database health:
What you don’t know CAN hurt you. Outdated databases are vulnerable and it’s in your best interest to know what’s causing performance, stability, security, and/or data safety issues. Here’s why checking your database health is important – there's always potential for:
- Security issues
- Money loss
- Data loss
- Unwanted downtime
- Operational slowdown
- Something not working after an upgrade
- Poor performance
- Data analytics that aren’t functioning properly
Ways to check your database health in...
For full details, head to: Microsoft.
Starting from the top-view is generally best and then drill into problem area(s),
Step 1. Overall System Health
Microsoft provides Event Viewer, a built-in operating system tool, that gives an overall system view, a breakdown of major areas, and then the ability to get into further detail.
To start Event Viewer, click on your Windows Icon on your taskbar. Then begin typing Event Viewer. Once the Application Icon appears, click on it.
From the Event Viewer Navigation Bar, click on Windows Log and then System Logs. Scroll through the system message history looking for errors in major subsystems such as:
- Server Hardware
- Server operating system
- Storage subsystem
- Network subsystem
Errors are classified by informational, warning, etc.
Step 2. SQL Server Health
You may observe SQL Server messages in the System Log. The most serious and high-level messages are here. However you may do an even deeper drill by looking at the SQL Server errorlog. (These can also be accessed from inside SQL Server Management Studio)
These error log files are usually found here:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<instance_name>\MSSQL\Log
- For information on how to check different reports and queries, head to: Oracle Database Health Check and Monitoring Scripts - orahow
- For RMAN backup and recovery, read: RMAN backup and recovery: Protecting Oracle databases (solvaria.com)
To perform an in-place upgrade:
- Transact-SQL Syntax to ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP. The DB_FAILOVER parameter accepts values ON or OFF.
- Upgrade NSX
- Upgrade vCenter server
- Add licenses for vCenter and vSAN
- Upgrade vSphere cluster
- Upgrade vSAN
- Upgrade VDS
- Migrate N-VDS to VDS
- Update VMware tools and virtual hardware of all workload VMs
Best practices for a healthy database:
What are some ways you can keep your database healthy, either through a CIO, outsourced DBA, or as an in-house team?
- Keep specialized approaches to your work – not all data health problems will allow for the same solution
- Top-down approach – make sure leadership has the best strategies for maintaining a healthy database
- Use automation in ways that benefit your company
- Monitor relevant performance metrics
- Set up alerts for performance issues
- Implement strategies for future growth – be proactive and stick to a routine or plan
Is database health the same as database performance:
We see “database health” and “database performance” as frequent phrases in our field. But they’re not interchangeable. Database health includes data points, and database performance adds in time as a metric that needs to be factored in to analyzing health.
Is database health the same as data quality:
Here we see another set of phrases that are similar but not identical. Data quality deals with the type of data that is entered into the database. You can have clean, error-free data inputs in malfunctioning database systems. You can also load messy, erroneous, “bad data” into a quality, healthy database. A healthy database will have a strong “immune system” that catches and flags errors and can filter through the dirty data.
What kinds of business can benefit from healthy, smooth-running databases:
All businesses can benefit from healthy databases! Just look through any of our case studies, or watch how we helped Eliminate the Single Point of Failure for a Software Company.
What Solvaria can do if your database isn’t healthy:
We conduct a customized full-scale audit on your database instances based on the manufacturer’s best practices. Using a non-intrusive approach to determine the current health of your database environment, we can perform the assessment with no downtime or impact on the end user.
Our comprehensive report will give you a detailed analysis of the configuration, health, and performance of your database servers to establish a baseline for addressing any potential performance issues. This report also provides a prioritized remediation tasks list to bring your databases server into the latest patch (or version) and best practices.
Solvaria provides a detailed analysis of the health and performance of your servers to establish a baseline for addressing any potential performance issues. This customized process delivers a detailed picture of outstanding issues, pointing the database administration team toward solutions that will address those problems. Areas covered by this assessment include:
- Server Performance
- Database Configuration
- TempDB/Workspace Configuration
- Disc Configuration
- Consistency Checks
- Monitoring & Alerting
- Scheduled Tasks\Job Failures
- Scheduled Tasks\Job Owners
- Database Instance Alerts
- Database success\failure Operators
- Service Pack
- Databases\Instance Patches
- Security Patches
- Error & Issues
- Error Log
Looking for more help? Come talk to us!