If you have a critical database in your environment then you owe it to yourself to perform, at the very least, the basic monitoring of the health of the database.
There are a few Performance Counters that I generally reference when I want to passively monitor the DB health. One of these counters is Log Flushes in the SQLServer:Databases category.
Your SQL server will flush a log (I know, I know, it sounds appealing) whenever it completes a transaction that involves inserting (or updating). Acceptable flushes per second will vary depending on the muscle of your hardware (RAM, CPU, High Performance HDD, etc).
In the example below, you will see a monitor that looks at the Log Flushes per Second counter. Every 30 seconds the number of flushes will be sampled and if the number of flushes is greater than 800 for three (3) consecutive samples then our defined Actions will be executed.
We have two defined actions. The first will fire off an email to an administrator displaying the reasons for the event.
In future posts we will show additional performance counters.