When you have over 170 servers your team is responsible for monitoring, some having multiple instances with hundreds of databases you have to get organized quickly or the hundreds of emails daily will eat you up and spit you out real quick.
Before I started I asked about some of the monitoring tools we use. You know what the biggest tool I was advised to get to know was? Guesses? Outlook. That’s right. Outlook.
Every day (night actually) we have reports sent to us information about our servers. The information can be used to track changes on the server. If a user is added without our knowledge (like that would ever happen) we will know. That’s a lot of information to watch right? The good thing is I am the primary only on some the servers and the backup on others. I am still waiting on a definitive list of what is mine. Until then I have been spending all my downtime (ha, what’s that) creating rules in Outlook to filter out the 130+ daily emails from the critical issue emails.
I am getting organized by creating folders. The folders are by version of SQL Server (2000, 2005, and 2008). Yes we still have 2000 servers around. Some will live for a long, long time due to regulations but that is another post all together. Under the version folders I have the other DBAs on the team and under their folders I have the servers they are responsible for. I there are probably flaws in this process but I will worry about that when (if) the time comes. I have to start somewhere and this is working for now.
How does this help get organized you ask? Well, I really only need to look at my folder(s) and servers to review the daily issues. Oh, I forgot, I mentioned critical issues before. They have their own folders in the root. That way I can see Fatal Errors and Insufficient Resource email alerts separate from the daily monitoring being done.
This method may not (will not) work for all. But it is getting my inbox down to a more mangagable mess and that reduces my stress. So, if you are not organized and you don’t think this will work for you. I suggest you find something that does and reduce your stress level 10 fold.