||SQL Server Tips by Burleson
Meaning of Self-Managing
When the DBMS vendors say their database is self-managing, to what,
exactly, are they referring? From a global perspective, there appear
to be several major and minor focuses in the design of self-managing
databases, with many of the capabilities centered on performance
management and general administration.
The DBMS vendors know that today’s DBA spends a large amount of time
troubleshooting the performance of their database, so a lot of the
self-management direction is in the area of automatic problem
diagnosis, communication of diagnostic findings, and generated
recommendations on how to fix identified problems.
For example, with the release of DB2 UDB version 8, IBM began
offering new built-in features that help locate database
inefficiencies and notify the DBA of any performance abnormalities.
At the September 2003 OracleWorld, Oracle first showcased the new
Oracle10g self-management features, many of which deal with
performance-related issues. The 10g database diagnostic monitor
constantly polls a target database, collects critical performance
and SQL execution metrics, and then produces formatted reports on
any identified performance inefficiencies. 10g has also extended its
event handling capabilities to include proactive messages that warn
a DBA of impending trouble.
Microsoft SQL Server has had decent event handling embedded with its
database for a while, although it lacks the automatic performance
diagnostic abilities of IBM and Oracle. Microsoft has come out with
a Best Practices Analyzer utility, but it requires manual DBA
intervention and is not actually part of the database engine itself.
Other self-managing enhancements are directed at simplifying
database installation, configuration, and storage management. These
are other areas that can also eat away at a DBA’s time. For example,
Oracle10g has condensed many of its memory configuration parameters
into one that manages the auto-distribution of memory to the areas
that need it the most. SQL Server has had this feature for quite
Oracle also now has the ability to automatically stripe, balance,
and re-balance a target database over a set of server hard disks to
lessen the possibility of I/O hotspots. This is something SQL Server
The final list of self-managing enhancements includes things like
automatic object statistical updates, which is new in 10g but has
been present in SQL Server since version 7.0, and enhanced recovery
features that allow the DBA to do partial or near-complete database
recoveries without retrieving backup files from other locations.
The above book excerpt is from:
High-Performance SQL Server DBA
Tuning & Optimization Secrets