I am looking to identify SQL Server performance and monitoring tools from Microsoft and Third-Parties. Any information and resources for the following would be greatly appreciated: 1. What does Microsoft provide free with Windows Server and SQL Server to manage performance and monitor SQL server? 2. How about other Microsoft SQL management tools with System Center? 3. Then question of so many 3rd party SQL performance and monitoring and alerting products. Can anyone provide feedback or resources that contrast/compare tools from SQL Sentry, Confio, Quest, Idera, Redgate, Bradmark, Embarcadero, etc.? 4. How are the company's in #3 understanding SQL Server and the quaility of the support they provide? Thanks in Advance.
Here are a few answers to the questions you asked Point 1: SQL Server offers up dynamic management views/functions which open up a world of information with regards to what SQL Server has been doing and what sort of performance issues it has been encountering. You can team this information up with PerfMon (windows tool), which supplies information on the O/S level (CPU usage, RAM, HDD etc). Perfmon can also report on SQL Server performance counters too. For a Perfmon intro take a look over on [
BrentOzar.com]. He also has a collection of articles to give you an [intro into Perfomance Monitoring/Tuning] SQL Profiler is another free tool supplied as part of SQL Server. This is a sort of inline tracing tool, which allows you to watch what is going on in the server in real time. This tool can help a lot, but has to be used carefully - the tracing of commands on a high volume production system can slow the entire system down. Point 2 : Sorry, no idea - I have never used System Center Point 3: Most (if not all) of the tools/companies you mention have good tools that use the MS supplied information stores (dynamic management views/functions, tracing/profiler, perfmon) in one way or another to gather their performance monitoring data. All have an overhead, but it is not really noticible, unless you are in really high volume systems. The choice is similar to a choice in wine/beer/food - tastes differ. They all do pretty much the same job, try them out and see which fits your needs/tastes. I think they all have free trial versions. Point 4: Pretty much all of the companies mentioned have industry experts as employees, some higher profile than others, but they all invest heavily in the quality of their products/knowledge of their employees. Some are quite public in their knowledge gathering and sharing and also make it clear that they work closely with MS to better design/integrate their products into SQL server. :
One hint regarding monitoring SQL Server: MS introduced the management datawarehouse and data collection sets with SQL Server 2008. But the information you can gather here may not fit everyone´s need. Also, the SQL Server Agent can also be used for alerting. You´re right, there are many 3rd party tools. Every company offers you a trial version. So if you have the time, try to do some testing. I think every product has it´s pros & cons. Dirk Hondong
I use MindArray IPM's [SQL server performance monitoring tools]. It helps to analyze the resources that affect the performance of the SQL database and monitor performance of your SQL server. I am using it from last 9 month. I think it's best to resolve your three queries. It provides 30 days free trail. :