CSS SQL Server Engineers

This is the official team Web Log for Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) SQL Support. Posts are provided by the CSS SQL Escalation Services

System Center Advisor is now free

System Center Advisor is now free

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It has been well over a year when I wrote a series of blog posts about a product called System Center Advisor. You can read these posts at this link


When Advisor was first released, this cloud service was free for a 60 day trial period but required a Software Assurance contract to use past that.

Well we have decided that this should be free for everyone. Read more about this announcement at this link:


For SQL Server, we now have over 100+ rules baked into this service representing the collective knowledge of CSS SQL Engineers worldwide on common customer issues. Have you ever wanted to know what the CSS teams knows based on common issues reported by customers? That is what SCA is all about. Providing you that knowledge in the form of a cloud-based service.

Give this a try on your SQL Server and look at the advice that is presented. We specifically baked in rules (called alerts) with the intention of helping you prevent problems before they happen.

Take a look through my previous blog posts above on this topic for some examples. What is incredibly powerful about this service is:

  • Once you install, it just “runs”
  • You view your alerts through a web portal so can do this anywhere
  • As part of the service we capture configuration change history (i.e. a problem started but what changed?)
  • We keep the rules “fresh” by updating the service each month but you don’t have to do anything. The service automatically pulls in these new rules for you.

I look forward to any comments you post to this blog regarding your experiences with it.


Bob Ward

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  • cool maybe you should put an actual link to sca in the article..

  • The link for SCA is there if you following this link. blogs.technet.com/.../system-center-advisor.aspx . I wanted folks to review this first before installing.

  • Hi Bob.  I really like the concept, and would like to implement for the production servers at our medical software company.  But considering HIPAA, I need to verify that System Center Advisor would never collect any information that could contain user data, such as query plans with a patient name or medical record numbers from the query predicates.  Seems that it should only be looking at configuration information, so I'm thinking this should not be a problem.

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