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Professional Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Administration by Steven Wort, Ross LoForte, Wayne Snyder, Ketan Patel, Brian Knight

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10.2. Policy-Based Management

After a few publicly held companies collapsed dramatically in 2002, the U.S. government enacted a law called Sarbanes-Oxley, which demanded, among other things, specific IT accountability practices. One of the major requirements of the law was that companies have a good change management process and that they know who installed a schema change into production and when the installation occurred. Compliance with this statute required companies nationwide to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on new software to monitor changes and ensure good IT practices. Of course, they had the best motivation to be in compliance — if they weren't, they would be in violation of the law.

Part of those millions of dollars spent was on monitoring software for SQL Server to watch for unauthorized changes. In this section, you'll learn how to use Policy-Based Management, SQL Server 2008's own built-in suite of auditing tools, to detect and in some cases prevent unauthorized changes to your SQL Server infrastructure. Policy-Based Management is the first tool a DBA has to detect or prevent unauthorized or unexpected changes to a system. You use PowerShell to resolve such issues in a scalable and predictable way.

10.2.1. Policy-Based Management Overview

The first questions most DBAs ask when the SQL development team rolls out a new feature are "What does it do?" and "Why should we care?" Policy-Based Management enables a DBA to declare her intent regarding how a specific ...

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