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Data collection the automated way in SQL Server 2008
This article is part of the November 2010, Vol. 4 issue of SQL Server Insider
The data collector is a new feature in SQL Server 2008 designed to collect performance-related data from multiple servers, store it in a central data warehouse and present the data through reports in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). The main purpose of the data collector is to provide an easy way to automate the collection of critical performance data such as performance counters, snapshots of data grabbed from dynamic management views (DMVs), and disk space details. Since the feature collects information from the latest DMVs, it only works on SQL Server 2008. Still, it's worth noting that unlike many other useful DBA features, the data collector is not limited to the Enterprise edition only. The data collector feature in SQL Server 2008 consists of several components: The msdb system database is used to store so-called data collection sets containing the data collection definitions and jobs for collecting data with their associated schedules. Along with collection auditing and historical details, the msdb database also ...
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SQL Server 2008's data collector feature automates the collection of critical performance data, which DBAs can then analyze using brand new SSMS reports.