Reviews (1-25 of 94)
- Metrics collection
- Collects data across differing domains
- SQL Plan Explorer is part of the tool
- Alert configuration is amazing
- Customer support is outstanding
- No metrics for replication, but does alert
- Thick client is slow and almost unusable over a VPN
- The alert configuration is so flexible that it has a steep learning curve
- We're starting to see areas for tuning improvement
- The unique offering is the graphical chaining of jobs. This is especially important when the job chain spans servers.
- The graphs in the dashboard gives easy to follow and quick information as to the status of the database system.
- The timeline of the job execution has been handy when seeing how long a job has executed or when a scheduled job could cause conflicts.
- I wish there was a better way to determine what queries are running at a given time. This could be a resource problem, but I found myself going to profiler a lot.
- Configuration of alerts is not intuitive. I want to create an alert for low disk space, but the interface was too obtuse.
- Navigation is also not intuitive. You have to fumble around the tree structure to get to things like the job timeline.
- A report was added to two locations in our application. That blew out the CPU. SQL Sentry was able to identify the times when heavy usage overloaded the system. We were able to identify the report as the root cause. And quickly fix it.
- There was a poorly performing stored procedure that existed in the third party application we use. After an upgrade, the procedure caused our performance to drop. SQL Sentry was able to identify the queries that identified the procedure. We were able to put a patch in for the stored procedure.
- In the process of adding a one-time job execution, I accidentally added another run of a maintenance job. The timeline view showed my error before the end of the day, allowing me to fix my error before it became a problem.
- Collecting and rolling up SQL statements with the associated plan. The ability to see aggregate and individual execution of SQL statements along with the associated plan is key in rapid diagnosis of bad plans. Bad plans are the most common performance issue we see in the big data environment.
- The ability to drill into disk IO. Being able to easily see IO per a file can help identify issues with slow / stressed storage and or poorly distributed tables.
- Easily focus on time-frame. Being able to click and drag to select a time frame to analyze from a prior time frame keeps maintains the flow of troubleshooting.
- Alerting is inherited and highly configurable.
- The collection can be distributed over multiple servers allowing scaling out horizontally and fault tolerance.
- AD roles can be used in configuring access to the subsets of the servers being monitored. Access can be configured such that adding a user to an Active Directory role will provide access to just the servers then need to see. This works very well for our client specific operations.
- The presentation of SQL server waits needs work. A large value on a throw away wait like cxpacket will change the scale such that an important wait like sos_schedular _yield is not readable. I have been told this is being addressed in the next release.
- Installation of the client requires sysadmin access on the repository server for the initial install. Once the install is complete sysadmin can be removed.
- There is a web interface but this does not have much of the functionality yet.
- I have not found a way to view page splits over time.
The only scenario I see were SQL Sentry would not work is were purchase cost of the product is weighted very heavily as opposed to all other factors.
- We are more efficient in diagnosing performance issues. Time spent on this type or diagnosis has decreased by about 75%. The tool makes it much easier to discriminate between issues due to SQL and environment issues versus solution architecture and data distribution issues.
Find the SQL statement in Top SQL
Look at the historical run times/plans grid. Notice run time and color of dot. High run-time and different color, you have a bad plan.
Open the plan to review operators
Add hash join query option or join hints. I know this is not best practices according to MS, but the trade-offs in our OLAP environment make it the best choice.
- It has an easy to use interface/dashboard; it doesn't require a lot training or reading to get information. Most of the key counters are on the main dashboard and the rest of the data you're looking for is usually just a tab away.
- Historical information: By the time I get the call, the system is usually back to normal, so having the ability to look back in time and pinpoint when problems started is essential for us when determining the root cause of problems.
- One tool: Not only can it determine what is causing the issue, SentryOne also captures the detail and plans for code being executed. It allow me to drill into the plans and get down to the nitty gritty code all within one interface. No need to buy additional tools or load into Management Studio to get more details.
- Tuning advice: With all the graphs and data available, it's not always easy to determine the best thing to do. I'd like to see SentryOne provide some best practice analysis based on the historical information collected for the server being looked at.
- They could add help tips or links to help documents, when you select a graph on the dashboard. Inexperienced users tend to put blinders on and focus on one thing when they see a high counter or something out of the ordinary. It would be very useful to include a link that provides underlying help. The link would provide an explanation of the counter in detail and offer possible explanations as to why the counter is off.
- It provides visual evidence you can provide to a developer that their code sucks. They're oblivious to query plans. Then you can show them that they are generating a billion plus reads and that allocating more memory and CPU isn't always the answer to their problems.
- More often than not, SentryOne has proven that performance issues are usually not hardware related. It provides me the information I can put in a PM's hand stating that they need to allocate additional time and resources to fix poorly written legacy code. Code that needs to be updated using newer and more efficient practices.
- PA focuses attention to problem areas when in the moment and helps get us to quicker problem resolution. Trapping execution plans for long running queries has been particularly helpful as has the insight into disk activity.
- Running PA in both QA and production has allowed for more efficient benchmarking of changes due to go to production and resolution of possible performance problems.
- PA does not replace a DBA but it does help them to be more focused and efficient in a number of situations.
- I would like to see the UI be more responsive, particularly when looking at historical records.
- Capture of execution plans is sometimes unpredictable and I would like to see that more often
- Reporting of job runtimes over history is difficult. Pulling baselines and exporting for multiple jobs would be very helpful.
- Dropping anomalous job execution times from stats would be helpful when exceeding maximum runtimes is important
I've have heard of people trying to replace DBAs with this tool, that is a bad idea. This is a tool for DBAs, not a replacement.
- We have found and corrected for badly constructed queries that were invisible to us in the overnight process
- We have found users running badly constructed queries to SQL Server Analysis Services and stopped them
- We have made reports of bad user behavior factual and backed by data when discussing them with senior leadership rather than the anecdotal reports that we previously had. This allowed us to correct behavior.
It also forms the basis of our alerting and monitoring framework that we deploy for our clients.
- Easy to implement
- Great knowledge base
- Excellent support
- I'd like some customisable branding for reports
- Having a customisable time allocation table to map alerts to an estimated, predefined chunk of time allotted to resolve the alert
- Getting notified on SQL configuration enhancement opportunities has allowed us to more efficiently use hardware resources allocated to our SQL servers. This has greatly benefitted both us and our clients.
- Having historic execution plans greatly speeds up our performance tuning related to the most resource intensive queries.
- Our clients are finding noticeable improvements in application performance, which directly relates to optimisations based on SQL Sentry's output.
This information pointed us to SQL server MAXDOP settings and VM CPU configuration issues.
We would not have been able to find this information easily without using SQL Sentry to find the root cause.
- It captures all relevant information about captured queries, from physical metrics to row counts. It packs all the information we need to analyse our database performance.
- It provides a great graphic user's interface to have quick understanding of what is going in the environment, and gives facility to check historical values for the metric in question.
- It could be improved on the way how the SQL Sentry database is managed, for example archiving old data, and also could have SQL agent jobs to do regular maintenance jobs to make it perform better.
- Also it might be an good idea to have a web interface.
- It would be good to be able to configure what kinds of queries to capture in each server instance.
- It provides us long running queries with missing indices, and applying the indices to improve performance.
- It provides deadlock monitoring, and we are able to analyse the deadlocks and reduce the deadlock occurrences.
Sentryone has added few new capabilities around monitoring SSAS which enhanced to expand our monitoring capabilities. It enabled proactive monitoring on cube failures and utilization.
- AlwaysON Availability Pack.
- SQL Plan Explorer- Very good utility
- Easy to use Reports
- BI monitoring capabilities
- Sentry One cloud pack for high availability
- Azure PaaS monitoring
- Capacity Trending and Analysis
- Detection of Blocking queries which enabled us to resume AlwaysON on Asyc replica.
- Deadlock Monitoring
- Cube utilization and BI offerings
- Trend analysis on top sql for performance trending and troubleshooting
- Capture costly SQL Statements
- Alert the Database Administration Staff to deadlocks, blocking and other important issues
- Able to provide management with performance statistics on the database and server
- Some issues monitored to generate a health score I find to be misleading. One example would be % of free space when you have the data files set for autogrowth.
- The Deadlock monitoring alerted us to an issue with the code and implement a fix.
- The Top SQL section allowed me to optimize some code that was causing performance issues for one of our customers.
- I like the way that the graphs on the dashboard can be selected and synchronize to show how each are related.
- The ease at which problematic SQL can be identified by spikes on the dashboard make this tool invaluable to a Performance Engineering team.
- We have a number of installations across different environments and solution lines. The tool needs to be able to switch between them within the tree view instead of needing to connect to a different installation from the file menu
- We receive frequent timeouts when looking at the Top SQL tab on our busiest SQL servers with a lot of history. Something needs to be done on large repositories
- On one solution line, we resolved 3 lingering deadlocks that were part of the system for a long time on the first day we installed the tool.
- On another team, we have proactively identified that fixed several cases that created production outages.
- no training
- Historical analysis of performance counters - you can go back in time or over a range to see what was happening to the server
- Review Top SQL and Blocking - You can see at a specific moment in time what queries are running and even review historical blocking.
- Baselining - Ability to set your own baselines, so you can compare what is on screen to what you expect
- Read only views - You can grant read only access to users, allowing us to grant support teams the ability to review the dashboards as well.
- If a server is maxing out and unable to allow the service to record then you can get blackouts in the data. This is a risk of running as a service, but then you have bigger problems to deal with if that has occurred.
- The tool has been invaluable with analysing performance issues. Being able to locate what blocking processes occurred overnight to resolve them via scheduling jobs at different times or rewriting stored procedures to run more effectively.
- Great for analysis and to be able to send information to vendors as to why their applications might be deadlocking or running ineffectively if it is missing indexes or statistics are not up to date
- Provides a fantastic review capability for historic data, collating data in a far more efficient, presentable way than you can with default tools. You know that if a customer experienced even the slightest performance dip overnight, you can review that to the finest detail later.
- A highly customisable monitoring system, providing rock solid information which you can drill down to the smallest detail.
- An outstanding Support Team, which continues to go above and beyond any expectations.
- The perfect SQL Server monitoring platform.
- Has the potential to make the business think they can replace DBAs with this fantastic product.
- Windows Integrated Authentication for cross-domain monitoring (but you can monitor across domains, so this can be forgiven!).
- Query optimisation improvements
- Identification of key lookups / forwarded records which once addressed provided incredible performance improvements
- The performance dashboard makes it easy to get a quick overview of the current state of the DB server.
- All monitoring tools have overhead. SQL Sentry does a good job of making the data collection as efficient as possible. I have seen performance issues with another 3rd party monitoring tool. I have not seen any with SQL Sentry.
- Highlighting a significant period on the dashboard (like high CPU, large waits etc) and jumping to Top SQL is very handy.
- There is a bit of a learning curve when setting up advisory conditions (ie alerts on specific metrics).
- The Top SQL tab does a great job at big resource hogs. However the small, frequently executed queries are not as easy to analyze with this tool.
- We have used it to help identify some blocking issues and then fix them.
- Top SQL has helped us identify poorly performing queries that needed some enhancements.
- Because of previous products, we had been accustomed to receiving emails for our alerts. SentryOne provides this functionality with great features like not using it for everything monitored to preventing our mailbox from being flooded by controlling alerts to a certain amount in a time frame (customizable) and an alert to tell you that limit has been reached.
- SentryOne provides a great blocking page to help understand a blocking chain quickly. It is also configurable to ignore short term blocking that hasn't run long enough to be of concern.
- Top-SQL has been a helpful feature to recognize processes or jobs that run beyond their normal run time. Also, helpful when looking for what was running during times an issue has come up and we need to see what was running in the past.
- There is still some work to do with the baseline data. I am sure there are a great number of alerts that could be created using this data to highlight variations beyond normal.
- All the alerts have the ability to trigger a response, providing some best practice configurations of these might help us to use these features more often.
- Could use better documentation on the ports and firewall settings needed during the process of adding an instance to monitoring. This has proven to be different than what is used once monitoring is setup.
- Charting with history and alerts have identified performance bottlenecks that previously had not been recognized.
- Having immediate awareness of key issues has helped to mitigate them before performance reached a point of impact on users.
- SQL Sentry has helped us to find when multiple processes collided causing a performance impact, allowing us to reschedule to avoid unnecessary overlap.
- Historical analaysis
- Drill down troubleshooting
- in-person training
- A centralized location to troubleshoot database server issues.
- Quick access to pin in time snapshots database performance.
- Capabilities to drill into problem areas.
- Provide a query interface embedded into the application, so there is no need to bounce back between SSMS and SQL Sentry.
- Yes, identified some problematic queries, and was able to proactively provide some performance upgrades after reviewing the query plan provided by SQL Sentry.
- It allowed me to drill into the memory being used by the different NUMA nodes very easily, the old tool did not.
- The default view shows Memory Grants Pending and that's an extremely useful item of information, better than PLE in my opinion.
- It's very easy to customize the alerts and create custom ones.
- I would like to see a better default screen that shows the high-level status of all monitored instances in a single view. What is there isn't good enough as the color coding can be hard to see.
- After discovering that multiple instances on a physical box with NUMA architecture weren't using all available memory, we were able to affinitize the processors to enable all instances to use all of the available memory. Performance was very much improved.
- offers good insight into data that would otherwise be time-consuming to compile
- performance tuning
- monitoring metrics
- customization of alerts can be tricky
- could have more granular data
- summary reports could be more complete
- we're able to react to major performance bottlenecks before the user is affected
- seeing patterns over time tells us where we can make code changes to improve performance
- Identifies executions, CPU usage and waits of stored procs
- Identifies waits, wait states within the monitored database(s)
- Tracks blocked and what is blocking database activity
- Identification of reports and report activity on SSRS servers
- Identification of report jobs and subscriptions
- Identify rights issues on objects
- Illustrates poorly performing stored procedures which leads rewrites and research
- Finds general performance issues on ad-hoc SQL
- Identifies the origin host so you can track from which machine SQL is running. This would let you know if machines that should be idle are not.
- Able to catch run away queries quicker.
- Able to see which stored processes need to be tweaked to run faster.
- Excellent presentation of KPIs
- Allows you to deep dive on counters with a click of a button
- Lets you easily move from one time frame to another
- To allow users to configure raw data retention before it is aggregated
- To use algorithms that alert when a relevant or critical KPI is behaving abnormally
- It does not improve performance by itself but it shows KPIs and makes it obvious where the issues are
We are currently in the evaluation stage of purchasing SQL Sentry Performance Advisor but in my previous role and as a Technology Consultant I've been responsible for installing, configuring, and using SQL Sentry Performance Advisor at multiple companies to the tune of 150+ seats. I'd advocated for years to size up our install base from 15 seats to over 120 at my last company and eventually succeeded in funding with management please over the results.
There, as well as in other companies I consulted for, I used SQL Sentry Performance Advisor to not only identify issues arising on our SQL servers but most importantly to be able to drill into find out the specific commands that are (and were) causing the pain while we all slept at night. There is nothing more important in troubleshooting performance than knowing the specific commands that underlay points in time when performance degrades. The tool is complex in the data available to the end user but simple enough to set up out of the box and the reports it provides to users across all tiers of management has saved many phone calls and stressful conversations.
- Identifying statements causing performance issues: I've never seen any other tool work as good, or provide as much information, as their "Top SQL" tab in SQL Sentry Performance Advisor and I'm quite familiar with all the major players in the SQL Server tools space. You're able to drill into the statements in each of these commands and display (graphically or tabular) what the associated execution plan looked at as well as the IO/Memory/CPU cost for those statements.
- The Dashboard view give you all you need to see in one shot at the SQL Server instance level: CPU, Memory, IO, Network load... it's all there. Then there is the Default Site overview of all alerts, exceeded thresholds, and current status of these same data points for all monitored instances you can see with a single glance.
- Integration with their one-of-a-kind Plan Explorer product: Plan Explorer blows away anything else out there - and there is not much outside of the Microsoft-supplied tools - for graphical query plan analysis.
- There is a great deal of metadata collected and provided to the end user client tool. I've seen issues with responsiveness inside a VPN as a result. This may be an issue with the VPNs itself but I've seen this with at least 50% of the VPNs I've used their tools through.
- Unless you have a DBA on staff, configuration may be a bit difficult as there are a large number of settings to dial in. That being said I've never heard of anyone not getting assistance quickly in regards to customer support and I know from experience for certain sized installs and larger they'll even come on site for training and configuration assistance (either in person or remote.)
- I've been able to tune problem queries quickly based upon their integrated Plan Explorer product that would have either taken days or I would have not been able to see with other tools or the native SQL Server tools from Microsoft.
- Management has used the reports supplied from the tool to make proactive decisions for hardware purchases to grow environments intelligently that would have otherwise been a blind guess or would have had to occur reactively.
- We have used the tool to identify security issues that went un-noticed for years.
- In almost every case in my old position the DBAs identified performance issues and in some cases resolved them before being alerted through tools used in the network or server engineering areas - beating SCOM, vCenter and other tools to the punch.
- The reporting features and amounts of diversified emails are astonishing.
- The program is able to drill down on granular issues that plague DB's.
- The software does have some issues with false positives.
- The alerting for build updates could be more detailed.
- We were able to analyze performance issues with a new software from a developer and improve their indexing based on the analysis of SQL Sentry.
- I am able to schedule defrags and monitor any deadlocking closer.
- Monitors running processes and reports when they exceed runtimes well beyond those that are considered normal.
- Tracks resource utilization on the SQL Servers and makes recommendations on reconfigurations that would improve performance.
- Tracks troublesome and long-running SQL queries and provides insights into improvements that could be made.
- The user interface is intimidating, and not very friendly. You really have to study and work with the product in order to find what you're looking for.
- The product is SO feature-rich that it is hard to get started simply.
- The warning messages for various server conditions are great, but the "as shipped" values don't work very well with our environment, so there's a tremendous amount of setup necessary.
- We've identified several configuration settings on our SQL Servers that should have been selected differently when we installed them. Correcting these settings has made a positive impact.
- Tuning obnoxious SQL statements has been a BIG help!
- Trending disk space usage has helped us avoid issues with our data drives and tempdb files.
- Historical Performance
- VERY Customizable
- Solid, Intuitive Interface
- Excellent Customer Service and Prompt Assistance
- Sometimes the UI can be cluttered. (Although SQL Sentry has worked with us to fix this)
The only downfall I could think of is how it aggregates historical data, and you cannot get as granular with older data. However, I completely understand the need for this, and it may even be something that can be done, we just haven't asked them about it yet.
- We have scaled down MANY of our servers because of increased query performance directly due to historical data found in SQL Sentry.
- We replaced three separate monitoring tools in our DB environment with SQL Sentry.
- Better alerting has decreased our downtimes.
SQL Sentry Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
What is SQL Sentry?
With SentryOne SQL Sentry, users can find, fix, and prevent database performance problems that could delay, or even halt, data delivery.
In addition to delivering actionable, detailed metrics that help users maintain optimal database performance in physical, virtual, and cloud environments, SQL Sentry provides scalability, boasting demonstrated success monitoring 800+ SQL Server instances with one monitoring database.
SQL Sentry Premium edition provides visibility across the data estate, with monitoring for:
- SQL Server
- Azure SQL Database
- SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)
- SQL Server on Hyper-V or VMware VMs (including host)
- SQL Server on Azure SQL Database Managed Instance
- SQL Server on Amazon RDS
- SQL Server on Amazon EC2
- SQL Server on Linux
SQL Sentry Essentials edition includes the core features of their flagship monitoring solution, and they state it is ideal for monitoring environments of up to 10 targets, including SQL Server, Azure SQL Database (and Managed Instance), SQL Server on Amazon RDS, SQL Server on Amazon EC2, and SQL Server on Linux.
Although a SQL Sentry Premium license can be used to monitor Azure SQL Database in a hybrid environment, dedicated licensing is available for large Azure SQL Database environments.
SQL Sentry Screenshots
SQL Sentry Videos (6)
SQL Sentry Integrations
SQL Sentry Competitors
SQL Sentry Pricing
- Has featureFree Trial Available?Yes
- Does not have featureFree or Freemium Version Available?No
- Has featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?Yes
- Entry-level set up fee?Optional
|SQL Sentry Premium||1,500||per year per instance (annual subscription)|
|SQL Sentry Essentials||$600||per year per instance (annual subscription)|
|Plan Explorer (SQL Server Query Tuning)||$0||free|
|SQL Sentry Premium for Azure SQL Database||$325||per year per database (annual subscription)|
SQL Sentry Customer Size Distribution
|Small Businesses (1-50 employees)||20%|
|Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)||50%|
|Enterprises (> 500 employees)||25%|
SQL Sentry Support Options
|Free Version||Paid Version|
|Video Tutorials / Webinar|
SQL Sentry Technical Details
|Deployment Types:||On-premise, SaaS|
|Operating Systems:||Windows, Linux, Azure SQL Database, Amazon RDS and EC2, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance|
|Supported Countries:||United States, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland|