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Table SPT_Monitor

Posted on 2004-08-16
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a question about table spt_monitor.  I'm a network guy working on my CCNA so I really don't know too much about SQL, anyway our company is running Microsoft SQL 2000 and our "DBA" looks at a table called SPT_Monitor in the Master database in it there is a field pack_errors, and every so often they accumulate and he insists that its a problem with our network and that we're losing packets all over the place, but I check my routers and all seem fine we are located in Dallas TX we have offices located in Las Vegas, San Antonio and a couple others, all of our office use this SQL server and depend on it, I can ping all of our offices and get back all my responses in less than 70 ms across our VPN tunnels none of my routers show anything weird, and I can access every location using PCAnywhere & remote desktop with out a problem.  The thing is that I don't know what this table is logging and our "DBA" shows management this table and most of them now believe there is something seriously wrong with our network configuration.  I’ve shown them the ping times, the router interfaces but SQL still continues to log errors in this table.  Can someone give me some more info on this table what exactly is it logging?  And if it is a network error can it be pin pointed?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:vbeltran
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Expert Comment

by:arbert
ID: 11812469
Does your DBA know that he shouldn't be accessing the system tables directly?? :)

This is fairly normal--most of our servers have errors in them--just the nature of the beast.  Doesn't mean there is a network problem, just means that SQL Server had a problem with the packet for some reason (for all you know, someone connected on your default SQL Server port with a non-sql server request--could show up as a packet error as well).

How how are the counters??


Brett
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Author Comment

by:vbeltran
ID: 11812689
I'm not too sure about our "DBA"...

Do you mean Memory and CPU on SQL??

Memory is at about 1/3 (out of 3 gigabytes)
CPU between 1-5% varies
Diskspace is at about 2/3 right now out of 200g


Incase you mean Router here it is.

  Last input 00:00:00, output 00:00:00, output hang never
  Last clearing of "show interface" counters 5d08h
  Input queue: 0/75/9/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 620
  Queueing strategy: fifo
  Output queue :0/40 (size/max)
  5 minute input rate 190000 bits/sec, 27 packets/sec
  5 minute output rate 44000 bits/sec, 28 packets/sec
     8275316 packets input, 3614534346 bytes, 0 no buffer
     Received 0 broadcasts, 0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles
     0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored, 0 abort
     8427169 packets output, 1945635898 bytes, 0 underruns
     0 output errors, 0 collisions, 0 interface resets
     0 output buffer failures, 0 output buffers swapped out
     0 carrier transitions
     DCD=up  DSR=up  DTR=up  RTS=up  CTS=up

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by:arbert
ID: 11812735
No, what's the actual figure the "DBA" is seeing in the pack_errors column?
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Author Comment

by:vbeltran
ID: 11813123
Right now its at 0 but only because we rebooted the server really early this morning but in a few days it'll be up to 20 or more, he states that these packet errors are caused because of poor network performance and that the if the errors accumulate to 60 packet errors or more it'll cause an outage, we've had outages before caused by poor code development and queries for large amounts of data and when that happens the packet errors increase, and that’s when all the finger pointing starts.  I don't know much about SQL but my network is being accused of running poorly when in fact all is well.  Is there anything like an article or something that'll tell me more about this table and what its purpose is?  Or how can I cause a packet error purposely? (without bringing down our system)  Just so I can show what causes them
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arbert earned 300 total points
ID: 11813517
I don't agree with that at all....We have 562 errors on a private server right now that has a VLAN across fibre to another server.  Our server has never exhibited problems.

I think your "DBA" needs to put some profiler traces on the SQL box and run Windows Perfmon to see what's really causing the problem.  "Share " the job with him (at least make him think you care and it could possibly be part of your problem) and tell him you will run the network traces at the same time he runs his Profiler/Perfmon.  When you see the errors increase or the server "dies" correlate the times and compare the logs.
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Author Comment

by:vbeltran
ID: 11813529
I'll try it out and let you know what happens.

Thanks for you help.
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Expert Comment

by:arbert
ID: 11813733
hmm, kind of weird to bash a DBA for a change lol....Actually, I see his point too, but you've backed up your position very well.  The current environment I work in, the network guys are ALWAYS suspect--they never backup anything and just always say "that's the way it is"..Definitive information is a good thing :)
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