Using an iPad to Manage SQL Server

Recently there was a contest by RedGate in which they gave out iPads and a license to SQL Monitor to 30 lucky winners. They did this by tasking three well-known individuals in the SQL community with giving away 10 each by whatever means they saw fit to use. I’ve met them all at SQL PASS and they deliver a lot to the community. Each came up with his own question for comment and picked the winners from the list of entries. I read through a lot of the entries and realized I was picking up new ideas for ways to use an iPad (I don’t actually have one) or other portable devices. The contest was a way to show the usefulness of SQL Monitor in particular on the iPad. I thought I would compile my observations of how people might use these portable products.

Grant Fritchey blog

He is the Scary DBA. I’ve met him and he’s not all that scary. Actually, he’s a nice guy. I had a chat with him when he happened to be standing next to me when I picked up a book he co-authored. He gave me some good ideas for source control and confirmed some things we were already doing at my company. Grant posed the question, “What do you think the most common cause of server outages is, why, and how would being able to monitor your systems remotely help solve this issue, thereby improving the quality of your life?” His goal was to see how people could achieve a life/work balance. Here’s what I found.


  • All those inforeseen, festering issues that monitoring software could find
  • Poor application code
  • Disk space (or lack thereof) and other hardware failures
  • Undertraining of developers and DBAs
  • The DBA did it, in the server room, with the $200 gaming mouse
  • Poor planning
  • Bad Communications
  • Not following best practices

How life is better with your iPad/Monitoring solution

  • Know the problem exists
  • Get to the solution faster
  • Work remotely instead of dragging your body everwhere
  • Monitor databases, watch tv, and play Angry Birds…all at the same time.
  • Increased communications
  • Less shoveling – pick your substance
  • Getting alerts before the problems get too big
  • Time to write haiku

Steve Jones blog

He is the editor of SQL Server Central. I’ve met him a couple of time at SQL PASS. He also has a ranch. For some reason it seems a lot of DBAs are have a farm or ranch. Interesting. Anyway, Steve wanted to know how you could could do your job better, quicker, or in a new way to enhance your work and bring value to your employer. These are a few of the many responses.

  • Consume administrative DBA reports with the ability to send repair requests to Jr. DBAs.
  • Watch training videos
  • Develop a gestures SQL writer
  • Read blogs
  • Deliver presentations
  • Run an IT Career and a farm at the same time
  • Write funny limericks
  • Update information while making rounds in a hospital
  • Have a lighter weight option for quick remote troubleshooting
  • Track casino players on the floor
  • Lots of quick troubleshooting alerted by SQL Monitor

Brent Ozar blog

It seems like he does a lot. It looks like he currently does consulting and helps with He is one of a very few Microsoft Certified Masters of SQL Server. I shook his hand once at SQL PASS. Brent wanted to know where you would go if you didn’t have to worry about what your servers were doing.

  • Cruise
  • Germany
  • Disneyland/Disneyworld
  • Various Hawaiian and Caribbean Islands
  • The Kitchen
  • The Bathroom
  • Home
  • Fantasy lands with unicorns and leprechauns OR Margaritaville
  • North, South, East, or West
  • Bed (not sure whether alone or not)

The lists are certainly not all from the 300+ comments across the three blogs, but it gives an idea of what people are thinking.

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