Minion Enterprise (or just, “ME”) by MinionWare, LLC is an enterprise management solution for SQL Server. ME gives a database administrator an unprecedented amount of power over the enterprise, through extensive data collection, smart alerting, and the means to easily configure important settings across multiple instances. The DBA stands at the center of a wealth of information, with the levers to configuration close at hand.
Once installed and configured with a server list, ME begins to collect data about each server right away, and begins alerting as needed. Changes in settings, database lists, stopped and started services, and more are automatically pulled into the Collector tables.
Furthermore, Minion Enterprise allows you to configure settings on the local repository, and then it automatically pushes those changes out to the appropriate instances. Run a single UPDATE statement to set file growth rates for a single instance – or across the enterprise – or to enable the sp_configure option ‘optimize for ad hoc workloads’.
For a full feature list, see the Minion Enterprise Features List document!
Twenty of the very best features of Minion Enterprise are, in brief:
- Fast, simple setup and configuration – We have designed Minion Enterprise to set up as quickly as possible. You’re up and running in less than ten minutes: collecting data, alerting, and scripting out schemas automatically.
- Central Server List – Keep a central list of SQL Server servers, and which applications they belong to. This central list is beneficial for tracking your enterprise, auditing, and onboarding new staff.
- Central Configuration – Centrally configure and manage SQL Server within Minion Enterprise. Make your changes inside Minion, and it then pushes your changes to all of the managed servers. ME even provides you the option of enforcing server-level (sp_configure) configuration values. If someone makes a change to the servers, ME will change it back to conform to policy.
- Windows Group Expansion – See exactly who has what permissions via all Windows groups, even when users are nested several levels deep in Active Directory. ME makes it easy to display AD users and permission inheritance across one or more servers; and to research SQL Server access for just one user, across multiple servers.
- Service Down Alerting – Alert on SQL Server services that have stopped, across the whole enterprise.
- Disk Space Tracking and Alerting – Report on the disk space usage across your enterprise, and define space alert thresholds for specific disks.
- Routine Database Object Scripting – Script out all database objects regularly in order to retrieve schema changes. For example, if someone makes a change to a stored procedure on the wrong server, you have a record of the script before the change.
- Consolidated Alerts – Centralized, consolidated alerts for all servers. This prevents “alert storming” support personnel, so your alerts are truly meaningful again.
- Replication Tracking – Track replication latency, and alert when it passes your custom threshold.
- Track Table Sizes – Query for data space used, index space used, and rowcounts for every table, in every database, in every managed instance.
- Central Index Research – ME collects index information from all managed servers. So, it’s easy to see which databases have, for example, the most clustered GUIDs, the most impactful missing indexes, and so on.
- Search Error Logs – Set up ongoing search terms for SQL Server and SQL Agent error logs, across the entire enterprise.
- Low Footprint – Minion Enterprise is a management system with central configuration, data collection, reporting, and alerting. It is not a traditional monitoring solution, and has very light resource overhead. Even better: ME drops absolutely zero objects on managed servers!
- Logical Server Grouping – Group servers by applications, and by service level (for example, Gold, Silver, and Bronze). This allows you to perform actions against only one application’s servers, against only that application’s production servers, against only Gold level servers, and so on.
- Backups Alerting – Minion Enterprise alerts on missed backups, even when a backup job didn’t run. For example, if SQL Server Agent is down on a managed instance, ME will still alert on missed backups.
- Alert on Database Changes – Query and alert on any database property change.
- Database Create/Drop History – Retain history of database creation and deletion.
- Centralized SID Server – Keep a central list of SQL Server logins, and their assigned ID number (“SID”). Standardizing login SIDs across your enterprise prevents the common orphaned users issue.
- Integrates with free modules – Minion Enterprise integrates very easily with the free MinionWare modules: Minion Backup, Minion Reindex, and Minion CheckDB (coming early 2016).
- Data Archiving – Minion Enterprise includes a process to archive out collector data, and any other data that grows over time.
For more information on these topics, see the section titled “Modules”.