As organizations grow, their data processing and storage needs often grow too. It can be easy to lose track of your inventory when you’re in charge of multiple databases and responsible for managing a large number of SQL servers. Using tools such as Idera’s SQL Inventory Manager can help you oversee your inventory more efficiently.
Common issues with SQL inventory management
Growing organizations often face challenges with shadow IT, where individual departments may deploy solutions without documenting them or informing the IT department. In the short term, this can be an effective way to keep things moving. However, it can lead to issues with security if the person who deployed the database loses interest in their side project and forgets to maintain it. There’s also the risk of a company breaching licensing requirements for their SQL server solutions if they exceed their permitted seats. Poorly documented database deployments could also cause issues with GDPR or similar data protection laws.
However, there are many other challenges, including the tracking of database users. If a user doesn’t have an SQL Server login, for instance, they could become an orphaned user of a database. This can happen quite easily if a database user is mapped to a login SID that hasn’t been created on the master instance or if a database is restored or attached to a new SQL Server that lacks that login.
This issue can be difficult to fix because it’s not enough to just recreate the login. The new user will have a different SID, so the database user will still be orphaned. It’s possible to fix orphaned database users, but doing so wastes admin time that could be better allocated elsewhere.
Poor SQL inventory management can also cause issues for sysadmins and developers. As your infrastructure expands over time, it’s easy for additions or changes to be omitted from your internal documentation. It’s already difficult for developers to build future-proof schema and code, and when you’re trying to upgrade or expand a production server, the temptation to use some hacks and short-term fixes can be all too great. This gradually leads to technical debt and poor SQL server performance.
SQL inventory management is important for protecting yourself in the event of a vendor audit, too. The fines and penalties a company might face if it breaches its licensing requirements can be significant. Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition is an expensive product, and even small breaches in the terms of a license could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Larger organizations could be looking at much greater penalties, depending on the number of cores they have active. By monitoring your SQL Server installations properly, you’ll be well aware of your usage and able to rectify any breaches before an audit occurs.
SQL Inventory Manager as a solution
Idera SQL Inventory Manager simplifies the process of managing your SQL server inventory. It offers several features that can save IT teams money when it comes to monitoring and managing database servers, including:
- Automated discovery of SQL server instances
- Centralized inventory management
- Improved visibility and reporting
- Server health checks and real-time status updates
- Easily track all SQL licenses, instances, and databases
- Integration with other Idera tools and third-party products
SQL inventory management made easy
Idera SQL Inventory Manager serves as a central location for inventory management. It offers automated discovery tools and can scan your network for SQL instances using domains or IP address ranges. Managers can feed in lists of existing servers via Excel or CSV files. The system’s discovery collection criteria include SQL Server Resolution Service, TCP Probe, WMI, Service Control Manager, and the Windows Registry. This makes it similar to that of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit.
Known servers will be monitored and reported on. The software offers a predefined set of server inventory reports that are clearly grouped and sorted to give you the information you need at a glance. View information such as the OS patch version, usage, and uptime. Use your own tags and custom fields to make searching and reporting easier. Create custom reports on licensing, inventory, charge-backs, or other metrics. Export, print, or annotate reports as required. View real-time data in the dashboard.
Ensure compliance with license tracking tools:
- View a list of SQL servers, including their build, version, and edition.
- See how many instances each server hosts and how many CPUs and cores they have.
- Export this data as a list or create a detailed report.
Use this information to help you consolidate servers or pass it on to your internal licensing team to request upgrades or change license terms. If you decommission a server, simply mark it as decommissioned in the app to prevent erroneous downtime alerts and ensure it’s tracked properly. Any data about the server will be preserved in case you bring it back online later.
Ideal for a growing infrastructure
SQL Server is rarely used in isolation. That’s why Idera’s SQL Inventory Manager is designed to offer easy integration with IDERA Dashboard and other Idera tools, as well as any third-party monitoring or management apps your team might use. Your IT team can take advantage of alerting, health checks and tips, automated scans, and an intuitive dashboard interface that helps them manage their growing infrastructure more efficiently.
Streamline your server management
Idera SQL Inventory Manager offers a simple and efficient system for managing your SQL Server Inventory. It can help with license compliance and health monitoring, saving your team time and money.
If you think your business could benefit from SQL Inventory Manager, or you’d like to know more about how it would fit into your existing IT systems, contact us today to request a demo.