Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Policy Management Tool / Framework for SQL Server

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In today's world, where regulations are increasing day by day like SOX, HIPPA, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc and are becoming a key factor to execute projects, compliance is becoming a big consideration. In terms of SQL Server, Microsoft has already placed reasonable efforts in the direction of compliance. More about compliance can be checked on the Compliance Portal.

Codeplex is a treasure house, and the more you explore it the more you become richer. One more framework in the direction of compliance is Enterprise Policy Management Framework. Though I have not had a chance to evaluate this framework, but this is one my evaluation list now followed by DTLoggedExec tool. If the tool / framework really lives upto what is claims (as mentioned in the below which is excerpt of the documentation of this framework), it has a potential similar what was .NET Framework 1.0 when it got released. Regulation specific customized wrappers can be built upon this policy-based management tool which can be used as templates for respective regulatory environments.

The Enterprise Policy Management Framework is a reporting solution on the state of the enterprise against a desired state defined in a policy. Extend Policy-Based Management to all SQL Server instances in the enterprise. Centralize and report on the policy evaluation results.

The Enterprise Policy Management Framework (EPM) is a solution to extend SQL Server 2008 Policy-Based Management to all versions of SQL Server in an enterprise, including SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005. The EPM Framework will report the state of specified SQL Server instances against policies that define the defined intent, desired configuration, and deployment standards.

When the Enterprise Policy Management Framework (EPM) is implemented, policies will be evaluated against specified instances of SQL Server through PowerShell. This solution will require at least one instance of SQL Server 2008. The PowerShell script will run from this instance through a SQL Server Agent job or manually through the PowerShell interface. The PowerShell script will capture the policy evaluation output and insert the output to a SQL Server table. SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services reports will deliver information from the centralized table.

This solution requires the following components are configured in your environment. All SQL Server 2008 requirements listed below may be executed from and managed on the same instance:

• SQL Server 2008 instance to store policies
• SQL Server 2008 instance to act as the Central Management Server
• SQL Server 2008 instance to execute the PowerShell script
• SQL Server management database and policy history table to archive policy evaluation results
• SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services to render and deliver policy history reports

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