Yesterday I gave two presentations to the attendees at TechEd Europe here in Barcelona, Spain. The first was on “A Day in the Life of the DBA”, which I’ve blogged about previously. The second presentation was on an overview of Policy Based Management. In the product teams, we work on a feature for the three years it takes to bring it to market. We talk about the concepts, argue over the scenarios it covers, and explain it to other teams over and over. We work with the documentation and User Experience teams and write all about the features. When the product releases, we give presentations on the features to user groups, over the web, and at events like TechEd.
In fact, we talk so much about the features, we sometimes forget that not everyone “lives and breathes” the same information we do. After all, you have “real” jobs that don’t always include reading and listening to everything we say!
So I wanted to cover some of the basics of Policy Based Management. Policy Based Management allows you to specify what settings you would like to see on SQL Server objects such as Instances, databases, tables, users, stored procedures and more. In some cases, you can actually prevent an action from taking place based on your preferences. In other cases, you will get a report (on the screen and in a set of tables) that you can review. You can evaluate a “Policy” manually or by using a schedule.
That’s the broad view – but there is a lot of detail there. Before I explain those details, it’s important to note that Policy Based Management (or PBM as we call it), is more a case of declaring your intent on a system as opposed to just checking some values. I’ll develop this idea in my next few posts. Right now it’s 3:00 in the morning and I have a presentation to do in a few hours.