Reviews (1-25 of 89)
- 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.
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 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It gives real-time updates to performance issues.
- It monitors batch jobs and lets you know when a job completion time falls out of the minimum/maximum range for that job.
- Helps you identify the culprit when blocking or a deadlock is detected.
- It is not easy to figure out disk activity problems when red marching ants point to a particular database.
- It is not easy to analyze and re-assign licenses for SQL Monitoring vs. Windows Performance monitoring. It should be more intuitive and easier to transfer a license from a SQL Server or Windows machine that I know longer want to monitor.
- It is not always easy to drill into the Health Score details and find the pertinent server, database, SQL object, etc.
- 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
- 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
- Determine the root cause in seconds. Determining the root cause of SQL Server issues can be a time suck in a black hole. This tool eliminates that.
- Historical Perspective. SQL Sentry provides an easy way to review performance intuitively over time.
- Indexes. The Query Plan Explorer almost makes tuning indexes fun.
- UI Response Time. At times the UI is sluggish. This somewhat understandable when you realize what the tool is doing. The 2-3 UI response is not an issue though when compared with the amount of time that it saves you troubleshooting.
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
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.
- Easy to set up and navigate.
- Provides some very important/useful metrics for performance monitoring.
- Custom conditions is an excellent addition to the product.
- I understand that the product requires a certain level of knowledge to interpret the results but I believe tooltips on certain areas could be useful for companies that do not have this knowledge but would like to have their systems monitored and reviewed.
- 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!).
- 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.
- Provides a real-time view of performance.
- Provides comparison to historical performance baselines.
- Has valuable reports for the executive summary.
- Difficult to limit email alerting to only actionable events.
- Drill down in the event calendar is difficult and can be confusing.
- Query Logging, for evaluating performance.
- Network logging, for detecting network issues.
- Query plan view is VERY nice. Better than MS-SQL's native query plan visualization.
- Object browser isn't the most intuitive. the "All Targets" heading is fine, but its a little weird to have your servers underneath "Default Site". Perhaps there's functionality I'm missing, but I still think the default setting should be more clear. Perhaps rename it to "Servers".
- Monitors IO at multiple levels such as Storage, OS & Database level.
- Top SQL provides a lot detailed analysis which allows you optimise queries
- Alerting when setup correctly allow you to fix issues before users are aware.
- Temp DB is not monitored and needs to be
- Improved notifications like push
- Alerting is very flexible and configurable to our needs
- Linking alerting into third party alerting tools via PowerShell was easy
- Collecting and rolling up SQL statements make it much easier to troubleshoot performance problems
- Drilling into PLE and what’s happening when it drops out
- Ease of drilling into time-frame to figure out what was the issue at that time
- Being able to query the SentryOne database for management reports is awesome (Deadlocks and Blocking)
- Navigation could be improved. It can be hard to follow if you are new to the tool
- Calendar of events could use some work. Display can be confusing at times
- SQL Agent Jobs runtime trending and alerting - out of the box alerts runtime deviations send alerts.
- Ad hoc trending against a previous week, day, or sampling period - pretty colors with ranges and averages to share with others.
- Reporting against multiple counters - this is available to compare time periods as well.
- I'd like to see a "Response Time" - measuring/tracking 'Select 1' out of the box instead of having to add a custom counter.
- There is so much functionality in the product that we need additional training to more fully utilize it. For many DBAs this type granularity is preferred over simplicity - I'd rather have more options than too few in a monitoring product.
- Alerts me quickly to SQL Blocking and record locks via email, providing offending SQL and users involved.
- Provides an easy to monitor performance index and common issues that affect it.
- Alerts me to missed tasks, malfunctioning tasks, etc., via email. Really comes in handy when doing MS/Windows updates as I know exactly what was missed when the server was involved in the updates.
- Don't fix too much, it works very well as delivered. Changes made for the sake of change often make a great product into a good product.
- Tech support is great and easy to get to, but a little more development on the help screens in the product could save you some work.
- I'd like to see licensing modified to allow you to monitor one production environment and one test environment. That would be tricky from your perspective, but you are a crafty lot and I'm thinking you could come up with a way to tell if I was monitoring duplicate databases or two entirely different data environments.
- Repeat, do not change too much, this product is great and a good value.
- 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.
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.
SQL Sentry Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About SQL Sentry
SQL Sentry is designed to simplify performance tuning by visualizing where problems exist for faster resolution. This solution aims to help users streamline their defragmentation process and query tuning all in one place.
The vendor says they have combined all SQL Sentry tools into a single unified solution to help users monitor and optimize the Microsoft data platform.
According to the vendor, this solution includes everything for: SQL Server and Windows Performance Monitoring, Event Management, Index Defragmentation and Query Plan Analysis, with Desktop, Web, and Mobile UIs.
SQL Sentry Screenshots
SQL Sentry Videos (2)
SQL Sentry Integrations
SQL Sentry Competitors
- Has featureFree Trial Available?Yes
- Has featureFree or Freemium Version Available?Yes
- Has featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?Yes
- Entry-level set up fee?No
|SQL Sentry||$2,495||per instance|
|SQL Sentry Annual Maintenance||$499||per year|
|SQL Sentry Subscription||$125||per month; billed annually|
|SQL Sentry Essentials||$995||per instance (up to 5 instances)|
|SQL Sentry Essentials Maintenance||$199||per year|
|SQL Sentry Essentials Subscription||$50||per month; billed annually|
|Plan Explorer (SQL Server Query Tuning)||$0||free|
You can trial SQL Sentry Essentials for free at www.sentryone.com/essentials-trial , and SQL Sentry at my.sentryone.com/trial.
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, Amazon RDS and EC2, Azure SQL DB 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|