There is no such thing as a /monitoring startup switch for SQL Server, and there is no magic potion that cures all ills, either. The only trick is the monitoring system that you create for your environment. Monitoring represents the final piece of the puzzle. Up until this point, you have planned and designed for availability and put people, systems, and processes in place. Monitoring is the bow on the package that tells you after the solution is in place that it is healthy , available, and performing as expected. Your monitoring solutions can range from simple to complex, but without monitoring, you will never achieve high availability because your environment will lack the underlying base of information that all highly available systems require. Monitoring also facilitates capacity management by capturing trends over time. This information is useful in any planning stage where hardware needs to be purchased for a future solution. In the end, though, it all comes down to devising a monitoring scheme that works for your environment so you have the information to make decisions with confidence.