What’s Up in the SentryOne Cloud

Mike Wood

Published On: March 14, 2017

Categories: Performance, Cloud, SQL Server, SentryOne 0

When the SentryOne cloud shipped it was meant to provide you a way to share your performance data without having to open up the Desktop Client. You could open up the browser on your phone and get a view of the health of your environment in a performance overview.

While that was nice, all the data wasn’t easily absorbed at a glance, so we introduced our unique Server Health Screen views which brought in a way for you to quickly glance to see the health of your servers. Customers synced their performance data to the cloud to use the Server Health Screens as a Network Operations Center (NOC) view, or to share their performance data with partners and consultants who could help them improve their environment. Cloud.SentryOne became a way to quickly see how things were going without having to crack open the desktop client, especially on the go.

It’s been quiet in the Cloud.SentryOne world for a while, but that’s because we’ve been working on something awesome!

Bring on the Detail!

Previously the cloud sync was set to push data from the on-premises repositories at a 10 minute aggregation level. We’ve had several requests for increasing the level of detail in the cloud, so we are happy to announce that we are now pushing up performance data at a 2 minute aggregation level. This was quietly turned on for all customers shortly after Christmas. This level of detail will help you catch spikes or dips you may not have noticed in cloud before, but would have been very evident in the desktop client.

A New Performance Dashboard Experience

In addition to bringing up more detail on your performance data we also introduced a new view of that data in the cloud: Performance Dashboards! When you drill into a target or instance from the Server Health Screens by clicking on the circular health widgets you’ll load up the new Performance Dashboard View. For those familiar with the desktop client you’ll recognize the familiar performance dashboard as how we visualize the performance data SentryOne is collecting for you. This dashboard view is available for your SQL Server and Windows Server targets currently. This view is also only currently available when using a full desktop browser.

Cloud Performance Dashboard screenshotFull Screen shot of the Cloud Performance Dashboard

You'll find the vast majority of the same information from the desktop client dashboard here. While it looks like the desktop dashboard there is a small difference in how you navigate the data. In the upper right corner you'll find the navigation chart.

A close up on the Navigation Chart

The windowed section shown on the navigation chart is what the rest of the dashboard is showing you. You can make that window bigger or slide it around to drill in and focus on areas of interest. The total disk latency and CPU utilization in the navigation chart can help you get a gauge on things you may want to zoom in on.

You can also jump to preselected time ranges by choosing one of the pre-selectors on the left of the navigation chart. For ultimate control the range start and end controls let you provide custom time ranges to work with on the navigation chart. This is a new way of navigating our data, so we'd love to get feedback on what you think.

Just like on the desktop client as you zoom in you'll get more detailed data (down to 2 minute resolution), and if you zoom out it will show you the aggregated roll up data. You can always see the resolution of data shown by checking out the lower left corner in the footer. Over in the right side of the footer you'll see the last time the data was refreshed. No need to hit F5, when new data is synced to the cloud the dashboard will refresh automatically if you are in Live mode (i.e., not looking at historical data).

If you don’t have a cloud account yet, you can give the dashboards a try by visiting cloud.sentryone.com and taking our Demo environment for a spin. Log in and then choose “Server Health Screen.” Select one of the instances you see, then click on the circular health indicator to drill down to the dashboard for that instance.

Performance Improvements

We hope you also notice a boost in not only showing you performance data, but how quickly that data is being displayed! We have made some changes that have drastically reduced the load time on most environments for the Server Health Screen, and those same improvements are also helping the new Performance Dashboards. As we bring in more functionality to our cloud service we will continue to look for ways to improve the performance of our system.

Where did Performance Overview Go?

You might have noticed that the Performance Overview page has been removed with the latest release. You may have seen this page in the past as you navigated to the Server Details section to run reports. The original intent of the Performance Overview was similar to the All Targets view in the desktop client, but on the web it came across as a giant wall of text that wasn’t as helpful as it could have been.

Once the Server Health Screens were released, the usage of the Performance Overview feature waned as we were providing an easier way to visualize the environment through the health widgets. The new Performance Dashboard above shows even more detailed information than the Performance Overview on a per target/instance level. Couple that with the plans we have for a better way to look at your overall environment health that is on our roadmap, and it became clear that we could remove this older functionality.

Wrapping Up

We’ve already heard some really great feedback about the new performance dashboards, so we hope you like them as well. You can expect even more views from the desktop client coming to the cloud as we continue to make the SentryOne platform a great experience from anywhere!

Mike (@mikewo) is the Site Reliability Engineering Manager for SentryOne, working on cloud based products, services, and related technologies. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the industry, and for the last decade has been focusing on cloud technologies. He was one of the first Microsoft Azure MVPs, first recognized in 2010, and has been awarded an MVP each year since. Mike also blogs at mvwood.com.