Reviews (1-25 of 92)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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!).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.)
- 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.
- 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 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.
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 (6)
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|