SQL Server Discovery, Inventory and Resource Planning

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Having almost 100% accurate of SQL Server inventory (license and installed instances) is very difficult to get, but not impossible. every IT team in organizations need to keep track of such information, SQL Server licenses are not inexpensive that you can effort to forget them or misuse the licenses.

Problem comes into the picture, once management need to reduce the cost of software and hardware capital expenditures, it happens in many organizations that each department purchase their own hardware and software licenses without getting confirmation from IT team, even sometimes they get confirmation but due to lack of SQL Server inventory list, they purchase extra licenses.

Scenario will be like this, Finance department requests for purchasing an application software license, and needs to purchase SQL Server license as well. Finance department purchases Thirty-Six (36) licenses of SQL Server EE but deploys Twenty-Eight (28) licenses only, means the extra Eight (8) licenses are over purchased. in the other hand, HR department also requests for Twenty-Two (22) SQL Server SE licenses and deploys only Eighteen (18) licenses. therefore at the end each department purchase software licenses without knowing of extra licenses existence. THIS MEANS EXTRA COST!

Beside licensing cost and confusion, the hardware resources also comes into the picture, Finance department purchases a quit big box hardware for SQL Server EE but resource utilization is less than 50%, HR department also do the same. By keep tracking SQL Server license inventory and resource utilization, management level can have broad view of license and hardware utilization, from there can make a correct decision to cut down organization cost.

Solution is to keep track of inventory and resource utilization, base on our experience the inventory and resource utilization report needs to contains the following data:-

  • Machine Name
  • Machine Type
  • Up Time Since
  • IP Address
  • Windows Version
  • Instance Name
  • Collation
  • SQL Server Version
  • SQL Server Edition
  • SQL Server Features
  • Total Cores
  • Hyper thread Ratio
  • Logical Processors
  • Physical Memory (GB)
  • Total DBs
  • Database Memory Usage (MB)
  • SQL Server Physical Memory in Use (MB)
  • Plan Cache Size (MB)
  • SQL Server Total Memory Usage (MB)
  • SQL Server PLE
  • SQL Server Page Faults
  • Data Storage (MB)
  • Log Storage (MB)

By knowing your SQL Server environment, you can plan to reduce the operational expenditure significantly by performing SQL Server consolidation. 

High Level overview of resource utilization and patch levels in SQL Server environment helps IT Directors to decide with high confidence on IT investment and maintenance cost.

Conclusion is that giant organizations such as financial institutions are required to perform SQL Server Discovery, Inventory and Resource Utilizations every year to keep track of their SQL Server environment.



Hamid J. Fard

I am SQL Server Data Platform Expert with more than 9 years’ of professional experience, I am currently Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master: Charter-Data Platform, Microsoft Data Platform MVP and CIW Database Design Specialist. I also do Pig, Hive and Sqoop development regarding Hadoop Big Data platform. After a few years of being a production database administrator I jumped into the role of Data Platform Expert. Being a consultant allows me to work directly with customers to help solve questions regarding database issues for SQL Server.

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