SQL Server is the primary enterprise data platform for many companies, which makes its ongoing performance and availability critical to the success of businesses. SQL Server database monitoring tools enable you to continuously and automatically track important SQL Server performance and operational metrics. The last thing a data professional wants to find out is that the database is slow, or worse—down. SQL Server database monitoring tools enable you to proactively manage SQL Server performance by monitoring critical system metrics and providing notifications for any behaviors that indicate potential problems.
Although it’s possible to monitor your SQL Server database instances manually, comprehensive monitoring is a complex and difficult process that requires a great deal of expertise. There are hundreds of performance metrics you could analyze, and you need to know which metrics are important, what each metric means, and what the baseline is for each metric. You also must manually create and schedule several scripts to capture the required monitoring information.
SQL Server database monitoring tools take the heavy lifting out of performance monitoring, enabling you to efficiently optimize performance, troubleshoot performance problems, and perform capacity planning. Unlike DIY monitoring methods, which can be hit-or-miss, SQL Server database monitoring tools enable you to leverage the expertise of the solution provider to deliver monitoring of vital system metrics as well as advice and guidance for the conditions that the tool uncovers. Database monitoring tools can help you proactively manage and address issues before your users encounter performance problems. In addition, database monitoring tools collect historical data that enables you to quickly compare your current server state to previous states and track resource usage trends over time for capacity planning.
Crucial issues that SQL Server database monitoring tools can help you with include:
Buffer pool usage
Missing and unused indexes
System resource usage
Storage utilization and trends
When you are evaluating SQL Server database monitoring tools, there are several capabilities that you should look for. Your database monitoring solution needs to
Track all the vital SQL Server performance and system metrics
Identify the normal ranges for these metrics as well as possible causes for any discrepancies in an easy-to-use intuitive dashboard view that enables you to drill down into areas of interest
Make it easy to analyze and optimize T-SQL queries, identifying your most resource-intensive queries and providing query tuning advice
Track your SQL Server system performance and environment conditions to provide historical performance baselines
Provide scalability and flexibility, handling hundreds of SQL Server targets running in physical, virtual, and cloud environments with no loss in monitoring data
Have very low overhead—the solution should be agentless and shouldn’t impact your production workload
Offer customizable alerts, enabling you to configure relevant, actionable alerts to be quickly notified of potential problems
Provide training and technical support
Join Lori Edwards, SentryOne training manager, for a walk-through of SentryOne—the all-in-one platform that allows data professionals to monitor their SQL Server environment easily, quickly diagnose issues, and achieve optimal performance.
The SentryOne Performance Analysis Dashboard provides unequaled insight into your SQL Server database performance to get to the root of performance issues.
Monitor your most important performance metrics, such as long-running/high-impact queries, deadlocks, blocks, waits, I/O bottlenecks, and storage as well as system resource usage. The SentryOne Monitoring Platform is a full-service performance monitoring tool for SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Windows, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
Improve the manageability as well as the visibility of your SQL Server index fragmentation statistics. SentryOne Fragmentation Manager allows you to set up a schedule across your entire environment to automate index defragmentation operations.
You can also customize the maintenance schedules for individual instances, databases, tables, and indexes. Execute index defragmentation actions faster and more efficiently with the support of multiple concurrent operations.
Built-in SentryOne Plan Explorer can play an integral part in the performance tuning process. Plan Explorer makes query plan optimization more efficient in a lightweight standalone app, allowing you to investigate poor performing queries in a variety of ways.
Potential trouble areas are highlighted automatically for easy viewing, and you can open multiple tuning sessions simultaneously to compare different execution plans. With the aid of the version history feature, you can even track your query tuning history with comments.
With SentryOne Event Calendar, SQL Agent jobs—as well as other events across your enterprise—are presented in a calendar-style visual display, giving you control over scheduling conflicts that can impact server performance.
Event Calendar also boasts an extensive and reliable notification system, providing detailed alerts and response actions to a variety of event status, runtime, and performance conditions.