Database DevOps, it’s now ‘a thing’

There’s DevOps and there’s DevSecOps — heck, come to think of it there’s even DevLoBDOps (Developer Line of Business Database Operations).

Of all the DevOps subsets, Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor Redgate Software is firmly in the Database DevOps camp — can we call that DataDevOps?

Either way, what would database-centric developer-&-operations tools actually do?

This is proactive monitoring technology to examine a database (in this case, a SQL Server estate) to provide performance diagnostics.

Of some news value then, Redgate’s SQL Monitor now integrates with the deployment tools in the company’s wider portfolio.

Why is this important?

Because the increased frequency of releases that DevOps enables typically means that development shops are shifting from occasional big deployments to constant smaller ones.

Redgate’s Database DevOps tools customer Skyscanner says that it moved to releasing database changes 95 times a day, rather than once every six weeks. That’s a fast releasing database… hence, the rise of Database DevOps.

The tough part of course is monitoring all those deployments.

If a ‘breaking change’ (a change that causes a system break) hits production, the cause has to be pinpointed quickly and precisely.

According to Redgate, “By highlighting which tool was used for a specific deployment, when it occurred and to which database, SQL Monitor lets users instantly drill down to the context and details they need to resolve any problems that do occur.”

The integration with the different database deployment tools also allows users to choose the method which best suits their workflow, as Jamie Wallis, Redgate product marketing manager explains.

“Some of our users like the way Redgate ReadyRoll integrates with Visual Studio and generates numerically ordered migration scripts,” said Wallis. “Others prefer SQL Compare, which is the industry standard tool for comparing and deploying SQL Server databases, or DLM Automation which plugs into the same build and deployment tools they use for their applications. We want to give them the freedom to stay with the tool they prefer, as well as reassure them that if there is an issue, SQL Monitor will help them track down the reason in seconds.”

In terms of performance, the deadlock capability of SQL Monitor has been extended with graphs that show when deadlocks occur and includes historical data so that users can interpret what happened.

The development team behind SQL Monitor are now looking into improvements to configuring and filtering alerts, so that over time users can train SQL Monitor about which things are and aren’t important to them.

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