I love auditing! I know – I hear it all the time – I am very strange:-) Since I first started working with SQL Server 2008 in the early CTP process, Auditing was near or at the top of my favorite features in the new version. Below are some of my top resources to help you understand auditing – and build some great solutions to centralize auditing data from multiple sources.
A new whitepaper was recently published as a comprehensive description of the new feature, followed by comparisons of capability and performance with other methods to collect and store audit data. This whitepaper is a great resource for anyone who is researching methods to implement an auditing capability.
In addition to the excellent whitepaper just mentioned above, the SQL Server 2008 Compliance Guide is another great resource for understanding how to implement and manage your SQL Server 2008 Audit feature and data. Please be sure to download the complementary SDK which includes some helpful solutions to jump start your audit initiative. I am particularly impressed with the materials in the SDK co-developed by Denny Lee (Microsoft SQL CAT) which centralize audit data from multiple sources to a single audit warehouse – complete with reports! When you download the SDK, you will find the various solution files (SQL scripts, SSIS and SSRS projects) in the SQL Audit folder. This is a great solution to get you started on compliance reporting across a number of instances.
I will be releasing some additional audit materials in the next couple of weeks. These will include enhancements to the reporting available in the SDK (let’s pull audit and Policy history data together!), and standardized master audit scripts to generate consistent audits across all instances and databases. If you are in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area, please consider attending the upcoming TechFuse conference on March 17 to see these materials in action. Can you think of a better way to spend St. Patrick’s Day? :-)