In SQL Server 2000 and 2005 there is a really useful utility called the Best Practice Analyzer which you can download here. Essentially it looks at your database configuration and matches this against a set of rules to inform you you of what improvements to make, based on experience gained by Microsoft Consultants and Premier Field Engineers.
However this tool is not going to exist as such in SQL Server 2008. Instead there will be a set of policies that you can import and use in Policy Management (btw this feature was previously known as the Declarative Management Framework -DMF).
Policies comprise three things:
You can export and import policies as xml files and then apply them to all of your servers to maintain consistency among them, but that is a needlessly manual exercise and there is a better way, by using a configuration server to run commands against a group of SQL Server instances (which I will cover in a later post).
If you have installed CTP6 of SQL Server 2008 you will have access to a whole bunch of policies which you can import and use. They’re in:
Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Policies
It is these polices which replace the Best Practices Analyzer. Policies also partly replace the Surface Area Configuration introduced in SQL Server 2005, the ability to turn the CLR off and on being a good example of this.
This policy based approach is very similar to how systems administrators work on the windows servers that SQL Server runs on and thus provides a consistent way of working wether you have to do both roles in a smaller organisation or collaborate with a systems administrator in a larger one.
Finally to answer one FAQ, You can only use Policy Management on SQL Server 2008 i.e. NOT SQL Server 2000 or 2005
<p>SQL Server 2008 ではPolicy Management が Best Practices Analyzerを置き換える(Upgrade Advisorは2000から対象)</p>
<p>On 64-bit installations of SQL 2008 the Policies folder is located under C:\Program Files (x86)\...</p>