How to Manage SQL Server Jobs in Complex Hybrid Environments

by Jun 23, 2021

Hybrid environments are a common hurdle for today’s SQL Server database administrator (DBA). They often face supporting systems spread across a complex and diverse infrastructure. It’s steadily becoming less likely that all of the systems a DBA is responsible for are located in a single location. This complicates the DBA’s role in keeping their systems available and performing up to specs.

Hybrid environments are becoming increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes. The combination of on-premises and multiple cloud providers offers an organization limitless possibilities for configuring the environment to meet its specific needs. An enterprise can choose to keep sensitive data resources on-premises while taking advantage of cloud offerings to streamline other parts of the business. 

This approach can help satisfy business requirements but adds layers of complexity to the management and maintenance of the environment. A good deal of this complexity falls to the SQL Server DBA team and their ability to manage the jobs running on their systems. 

Using the SQL Server Job Agent

DBAs need to regularly perform many tasks to maintain their SQL Server databases. As the number of SQL Servers and the diversity of environments increases, it quickly becomes impossible to manually keep on top of these responsibilities. The potential for mistakes that jeopardize the business is often a result of putting too much reliance on manual processes. 

Microsoft provides DBAs with a flexible method of performing tasks on their SQL Server databases. The SQL Server Job Agent enables teams to automate redundant activities and reduce the possibility of a human error or oversight. DBAs can create jobs to do things like backing up a database, deleting extraneous log files, rebuilding table indexes, and processing data. Once set up and scheduled, there’s no chance of missing a critical maintenance task.

The SQL Server Agent runs as a Windows service. It’s made up of several components that work together to automate SQL Server administration. 

  • Jobs – A job is a program that defines rules to be followed related to the execution of  SQL Server scripts or other utilities. Multiple jobs can be created for each SQL Server instance.
  • Steps – Each job can contain multiple steps, each of which executes specific instructions. Steps can be triggered or bypassed based on the outcome of previous steps in the job.
  • Schedules – Jobs can be scheduled to run in specific time slots. Schedules can be defined to run hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or on a specific date.
  • Alerts – Alerts are generated by SQL Server events captured by the Microsoft Windows Application log. 
  • Notifications – Email notifications can be configured to report on the job’s results. They are most commonly used to notify DBAs of job failure. 

SQL Server jobs offer DBAs a powerful tool with which to automate their systems and eliminate repetitive manual processes. In small environments, the alerts and notifications generated by the jobs may be all the team needs to stay on top of things. But as the environment grows, it can quickly become unwieldy to manually check job status, and the possibility of important activities being missed begins to creep in again.

In large complex environments, there can be thousands of jobs running on any given day. These jobs may be running on multiple cloud platforms and terrestrial data centers. Even the most dedicated and organized DBA cannot be expected to effectively manage that number of jobs. It would take a full-time employee just to manually check job status.

Fortunately, there is a third-party tool available that is designed to assist database teams in using and managing SQL Server jobs efficiently across the entire infrastructure. 

Manage All of Your SQL Server Jobs

SQL Enterprise Job Manager helps DBAs manage and keep track of all their SQL Server jobs even if they are located in widely diverse environments. The tool features a familiar calendar interface that makes it easy to view status, manage details, and review history for any job or instance in your environment. Jobs can be configured and managed to run over multiple instances, allowing more fine-grained control over a diverse infrastructure.

SQL Enterprise Job Manager enables teams to create complex automated workflows by chaining jobs together and configuring alerts so they are notified of failed jobs or potential problems. Jobs are created, modified, and managed from a single console with a few clicks. The tool’s performance timeline identifies jobs that may impact database performance and the job overlap view helps keep jobs from conflicting with each other.

Cloud instances such as those on Azure Virtual Machine (VM) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) are fully supported by SQL Enterprise Job Manager. Teams can study trends to identify jobs that constantly fail or take too long to complete. Based on this information, jobs can be rescheduled or modified to resolve the issues.

Complex SQL Server environments that use SQL Server jobs will benefit from the addition of SQL Enterprise Job Manager. See what this valuable tool can do for your DBAs.

Try SQL Enterprise Job Manager for free!