In the post Christmas rush to get fit the well off will have personal trainers assigned to them to help get back into shape. Similarly in the world of SQL there is an abundance of experts to help ensure that SQL server is as lean and mean as possible, however not everyone can afford that expertise, or to have it applied to every instance /database they have. So there are also tools to also provide this sort of advice, but these often need their own infrastructure and expertise is still needed to interpret the findings. This could be mitigated by moving to SQL Azure but that doesn’t work for every one or every scenario so on uncared for SQL Server databases will be a fact of life for some time, so in attempt to address this Microsoft have launched project Atlanta.
What is it?
Take the cloud and deploy the backend of System Center Operations Manager complete with the management packs and all the expertise Microsoft has on SQL Server. Next create a Silverlight front end for this it so it can be accessed form anywhere with a live ID. The secret sauce is to have page on this site where you can download an installation package and a certificate to deploy on your SQL Server so that this portal can now monitor the health if your databases and instances.
However not many IT Professionals want to have their databases directly accessible from the internet so the other clever bit about Project Atlanta is that you only need to have one windows server (which may well not have SQL Server on it) connected to the internet for this all to work (called the gateway) . The servers running SQL Server then have agents on which can then talk to the Atlanta service via your gateway as per this diagram I lifted from the Atlanta documentation..
So if you have heard of Intune for desktop management this is exactly the same thing for SQL Server. The beta is open to try now and is free. What I don’t have any information at the moment is on when it will go live and what if any the charging mechanism will be for it