SQL Sentry Reviews

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Score 9.2 out of 100

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Reviews (1-25 of 94)

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January 13, 2021
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using SQL Sentry to centralize our SQL server monitoring from a number of differing domains. For the first time at this organization, we are getting a comprehensive view of our entire SQL estate. The previous solution was a mix of individual alerts on various SQL instances and several instances of a competing monitoring tool.
  • 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
SQL Sentry is so flexible it's amazing. It comes with a steep learning curve and will take time to truly implement and dial in, but you're not alone--customer support is outstanding. My biggest complaint is that the thick client is slow and almost unusable over a VPN. Since COVID hit, that's a big deal. The web portal is snappy and fast, and I look forward to when the thick client is retired in favor of the portal.
  • We're starting to see areas for tuning improvement
We have had an issue with blocking, and with SQL Sentry we get an accurate picture of the point in time to see exactly what is happening on the SQL instance. Before, we were dependent on only using wait times for analysis.
Read this authenticated review
May 01, 2020
Derek Knutsen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Currently, we use SQL Sentry to monitor database performance and debug issues as they arise. I open up the dashboard for our production environment at the start of each day. We also use it to run our complicated weekly job that spans four servers. This job calls one server and then calls back to the originating server.
  • 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.
SQL Sentry is good for overall monitoring and job configuration. There are capabilities for deep-dive troubleshooting. However, it is highly recommended to get training. Be prepared for a steep learning curve on how to get the system configured the way you want it. But, it is worth it. Do not expect this to be an all in one solution. This will not take care of backups.
  • 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.
We were seeing regular spikes in CPU on our production environment. SQL Sentry identified these are coming from a Java process. The queries looked like a report without any criteria set. By sending the graphs and the sources of the queries, our report writers found that a test report was running against our production environment.
Read Derek Knutsen's full review
April 30, 2020
Mark Lessard | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SQL Sentry is being used to monitor 260 SQL instances across or enterprise. We are in the process of integrating the alerting capabilities with SCOM via SNMP. Along with alerting SS greatly increase our efficiency in resolving ongoing and past performance issues. SS also provides a central repository for reporting at the enterprise and client level. We previously used a competitors tool for 7 years but moved to SQL Sentry due to the products inability to function in our environment and more so a lack of response to the issues we were experiencing by the vendor. Our experience with SQL Sentry support has been excellent to date.
  • 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.
I only see one scenario for this type of tool. I want all tools in this category to collect OS and SQL performance metrics over a time frame and present and or alert on them in a way that allows me to diagnose availability and performance issues on the servers. I need this information in real time and historically. I need to be able to report on this information at the micro and macro level. I need a tool that just works and a company that stands behind there tool. SQL Sentry meets these needs.

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.
A common experience is the SQL optimizer choosing to use a loop join on a large join. We see this even after stats update with full-scan on the associated tables. We have tried the optimizer trace flag.

Process.
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.


They usually respond within a few hours and will pull in needed resources without the need for me to escalate the issue. They take the initiative to follow up. They are open to suggestions for future enhancements and actually implement them. They give the impression they want to resolve your issues.
Read Mark Lessard's full review
April 28, 2020
Kevin R. Zakoski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
My team uses SentryOne to monitor our production SQL environment. They will use it as a first tool to verify system health when pulled into production issues. If SQL is determined to be the bottleneck in process, we'll use the information SentryOne provides to pinpoint the problem code and pass the information onto developers for fine tuning. In our development environment, our developers also have the client tools to monitor their processes. If we had licenses available for the Dev/Test servers, then we could fine tune them before releasing code to production. This is limited because we only have a few licenses to spare for Dev/Test.
  • 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 has great out-of-the-box features that make it easy to install and get it up and running right away. However, fine tuning and customization of the solution, like setting up custom alerts and notifications, needs to be someones dedicated responsibility. Because of this, we don't necessarily have the time allocated to become true subject matter experts on the tool. What we get out of the box is usually going to be the norm.
  • 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.
We get hammered after quarterly releases and get inundated with performance calls asking what changed. Most think the DBA team is constantly changing configurations, etc. and must be the problem, because their test cases ran just fine. SentryOne has found numerous flaws in coding practices that they never looked at in Test and\or even tried running through the production workload. With evidence we provide from SentryOne, we're able to work in some temporary workarounds while the Dev team goes back to work to make a permanent fix.
It fairly easy to use with out of the box features and doesn't require a lot of customization. Interfaces are also easy to read and drill into to get more details when needed.
Read Kevin R. Zakoski's full review
May 23, 2020
Kevin Dickover, PMP | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SQL Sentry Performance Advisor on both MSSQL Server and Analysis Services. It allows us to go back and investigate performance events that occurred outside of the normal workday and correlate what was happening on a server to other servers that it was connected to at the time. Over time it has allowed us to address specific recurring performance problems that we might not have been able to easily track down.
  • 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
SQL Sentry Performance Advisor is good at monitoring your system over time and allowing you to go back to previous problems to compare what was happening then to what is happening now. It is also good at reporting on harder to trap errors occurring in your system, memory pressure events in analysis services spring to mind here.

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.
We had a job that ran overnight that started to go long and sometimes fail. PA history showed blocks and bad execution plans that allowed us to look for ways to correct the job. Eventually we rewrote the job so that the parallel executions that were causing the job to fail were eliminated.
The main platform is very well supported. Requests for help with customizing alerts and monitors have been rapidly and thoroughly responded to. Our use of the chain feature seems to be out of the ordinary and our defect reports there while understood and taken seriously, tend to be lower priority than defects in the main platform. They will work diligently to give us a workaround but correction in the standard release is a little slower in the chain feature.
As a general rule, out of the box use of the product is very easy. With little to no experience in the platform, we were up and running with it inside of 3 days. New developers and DBAs in the organization can get a grip on how to use monitoring features inside of half an hour.
Read Kevin Dickover, PMP's full review
May 03, 2020
Adrian Sullivan | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source
We use SQL Sentry to provide an agreeable set of monitoring metrics and results which we use as part of our consulting toolset for MS SQL server.
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
SQL Sentry is amazing at getting information relating to the state of SQL servers. Alerts and issues are easy to consume as an action list.
  • 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.
When troubleshooting performance issues on a SQL server we exhausted our normal tuning methods. We turned to SQL Sentry and found from monitoring data that this server was seeing a very high amount of Context Switches.
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.
Read Adrian Sullivan's full review
May 01, 2020
Jian Fu | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SQL Sentry to monitor our production database servers. We use it mainly for performance tuning for our environments. We also use it to analyse expensive queries, blockages, deadlock and so on. Then from the analysis, we apply optimizations accordingly.
  • 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.
I think SQL Sentry is typically useful for us to understand an environment with performance issues. With this product onboard, we are able to continuously improve our system to give our users the best experience.
  • 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.
We had a lot of situations where SQL Sentry came to rescue us. One of these situations was when we had a query running slow some times, and the majority of the it worked fast. SQL Sentry caught the execution statement and execution plan for us. After analysing the execution plan and parameter values, we found that the cached plan was not optimsed for a certain parameter values set. With this info, we deployed a plan guide to recompile this query, and then now it runs fast all the time.
Read Jian Fu's full review
May 01, 2020
Sharath K | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SQL Sentry addressed one of our pain areas with accomplishing performance insights for critical trading system. It enabled performance insights for DBAs which was difficult to accomplish through native scripts.
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
On Contrast to other vendors SQL Sentry stands top. Sentry one is doing good job in terms of connecting with SQL community and imparting the SQL knowledge.
  • 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
Sentryone was able to fulfill our business needs with great customer support. I would recommend this tool as its very easy yo use and have got all the capabilities holistically to keep the database farm healthy with proactive monitoring.
Read Sharath K's full review
May 01, 2020
Tim Hermann | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using it to monitor our SQL Server instance with customer data on it. It enables me to review the load on our server and also monitor high cost SQL Statements.
  • 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 believe SQL Sentry is well suited for any environment where you need to monitor performance for both the databases and the database server. I wouldn't think it would be neccessary in a development environment.
  • 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.
One of our customers was suffering from performance issues on a job that ran at the top of every hour. I was able to modify the code in the job to reduce the run time by over 90%.
I have always received prompt, professional support. Without fail, they are able to answer my questions and get things up and going.
Once you get over the inital hump, SQL Sentry is very easy to use, but also has a great deal of information that is very configurable.
Read Tim Hermann's full review
April 29, 2020
Steve Strelzyk | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SQL Sentry to help us identify performance issues and remediate them quickly. In addition, we use it to alert on blocking and deadlocks.
  • 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
SQL Sentry is very useful in production and performance testing environments for identifying and fixing slow performing applications. It is difficult on very high volume instances with a lot of history.
  • 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.
We installed SQL Sentry on a system where performance testing identified poor performance. On the first day, we identified three deadlocks that were the root cause of the performance issue. This was a few days before a very large and critical production release. The deadlocks were fixed and we doubled the number of concurrent users that the application could support.
Thankfully, we have not needed to submit many support requests. I believe he have less than 5 cases in the last 4 years. However, when we do need support, the team is there for us.
For our organization, we find this tool to be the best for our needs in the Performance Engineering space. We love how quickly we can identify queries that need tuning and fix deadlocks. The user interface is simple to figure out. We would love to see the Sentry One client be more flexible to allow a single instance to show information from different repositories. We have three different installations of the tool for three different platforms. All three end up on slightly different versions at times, and that requires that users need to connect to a different machine to run the client since it has to match the back end repository. It would be preferable if it functioned more like SQL Server Management Server that is forward and backward compatible to a degree.
We are running 25 instances through a single monitoring service and it is able to keep up. We are finding that this many instances in our environment is about as many as can be handled. We will need to deploy additional monitoring services. Luckily, there is no additional licensing costs to deploy additional monitoring services. For us, it's just an additional Azure VM.
Yes - Nothing unexpected. The upgrades were simple to perform.
Read Steve Strelzyk's full review
May 06, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We specifically purchased SQL Sentry Performance Advisor out of the need to resolve performance issues on one of our SQL clusters. It was difficult to troubleshoot the issues after they had occurred and SQL Sentry allowed us to review the performance over a period of time and specifically go back to when an issue occurred to troubleshoot. We now use this for the majority of our SQL estate and specifically for IT Department only.
  • 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.
SQL Sentry can be utilised for both performance monitoring and alerting. It is good if you need to analyse performance issues whether in production or in development. Easily can export stats to send to vendors where applications are not performing well. And can setup alert thresholds that can send emails to support teams or write out to SCOM or the event log.
  • 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
Fairly recently we had a performance issue with a SQL Server consuming 100% CPU, with the performance advisor we was able to pin point the specific queries that were a problem and advise the vendor. Which lead the vendor to make recommendations and changes to their tables and jobs. This resolved the performance issue.
From their infancy as a smaller company to now as a global player they have always kept focus on prioritising he customer. They know their product and the technology it supports and are easily accessible for both resolving problems with the product all the way to adding value through additional training and assisting with getting return on investment through utilisation of the many features the product provides.
I don't know how we survived before without this tool, the added value that you get from it to do deep dive performance analysis, reactive problem solving and proactive monitoring and alerting is limitless. We have only scratched the surface of what we can do with this tool at my company. The support and ROI that SentryOne provide is exceptional and one of my favourite vendors to deal with.
Read this authenticated review
May 01, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
As a Managed Service provider, SentryOne provides us with a key platform to monitor, diagnose issues and optimize performance for our customers. The platform provides the capability for services to be monitored 24/7 with in-depth, relevant information to be captured and reviewed for proactive and reactive cases, improving service delivery significantly.
  • 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!).
A customer experiences a slow Analysis Services cube processing overnight from their Data Warehouse and wants to understand why this issue has occurred. SentryOne provides you the capability to see exactly what happened, with just as much detail as if you were sitting on the servers at 3:00am monitoring it directly. This applies for SQL Server, Windows, Azure, APS. Once you have experienced the product, you will realize you must have it.
  • Query optimisation improvements
  • Identification of key lookups / forwarded records which once addressed provided incredible performance improvements
A business intelligence application would intermittently take two to three times its normal duration to complete its processing run, causing significant business disruption. The workload was spread across multiple SQL instances and was a black box from a code perspective. SQL Sentry identified that the application was running multiple processing runs in parallel, but this wasn't visible from a customer perspective, as they only scheduled the run once.
The support received is outstanding. They are quick to respond, will happily speak with you on the phone, and go above and beyond on every single ticket to ensure that you have the best resolution, and provide a detailed breakdown around the problem, or if you are having issues understanding the metrics. The training / support materials alone that SentryOne provide are invaluable.
Users from SQL Server DBAs, Managers, to non technical Account Managers can drive the product, and the help function and resources provided enable anyone to double check any functions they aren't sure about, or even it its to analyse a particular chart or graph. But there aren't any issues with usability we've experienced.
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June 25, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SQL Sentry to monitor and alert on our SQL Server Environment. It helps us troubleshoot live issues as they occur using the dashboard and Top SQL. The history allows us to look back and investigate issues that have already happened. The built in baselines help us compare current metrics with historical norms. The dashboard gives us the a great view to analyze CPU, waits, disk latency and many other metrics on a single screen. There are some good out of the box reports. It is a powerful and flexible tool.
  • 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.
SQL Sentry allows the user to get a quick overview of the DB server and then drill into problem areas to get more details. The dashboard charts make it easy to snip and paste into Teams chats for the group to analyze. It seamlessly integrates with Plan Explorer for detailed analysis of the execution plan.
  • 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.
We used SQL Sentry to help us identify queries that were causing CPU pressure on our system. Using the Top SQL and sorting by CPU allowed us to quickly zero in the queries that were consuming the most CPU. We were able to make adjustments to alleviate the CPU pressure.
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May 03, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SentryOne to monitor our Production SQL instances for the entire organization. We choose SentryOne as our monitoring solution to reduce dependency on custom written alerts. This eliminates having to maintain custom alert compatibility with different versions of SQL Server and we are confident in the best practice standards SentryOne uses to develop their alerts. SentryOne is my first place to go when problems arise, and SentryOne is usually the first to let me know there is a problem.
  • 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.
SQL Sentry has a very simple to follow layout for configuration and is easily adapted to each instance that has special requirements. Also, having the option to configure an alert to do more than one action is invaluable. Using the Alerting Channel, emails, and running scripts to address the issue automatically provides great value. Being able to set time windows of when to monitor and not monitor, as well as turning off all monitoring as needed by the server or reducing unneeded alerts during maintenance.
  • 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.
SQL Sentry monitors the entire server, so when it noticed an issue with high CPU and memory exhaustion, we knew how to configure the server to address both SQL performance and the other processes on the server that needed these resources. Adding resources without allocating them correctly would not have addressed the issue effectively. Knowing the other processes needed more CPU prompted us to use max dop to limit parallelism to not use all cores available.
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May 01, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Monitor production and development instances for benchmarking, baselining and troubleshooting. we shared access with devs, dbas and ops team to give full insight to the sql server performance. gave everyone a single view of issues and way to share issues or concerns across all teams. with enough rbac controls to keep things simple and secure
  • In-depth monitoring
  • Vast array of customisation
  • support
  • Documentation of customization
  • Configuration
  • explain what is being monitored and default alert values
Great for indepth monitoring where you can plug in 3rd party tool and know you are gathering everything needed to troubleshoot issues. If you dont have a datbase administrator, the amount of details gathered may be to large and set you off down the wrong path / give you red herrings for some issues
  • Baselining
  • Historical analaysis
  • Drill down troubleshooting
Event manager has helped solve multiple issues, both firing alert on real time events and allowing us to troubleshoot issues after the event, gather more details and obtianing proof the issue is resolved when using it with dev / prod. The inital review when simply turning it on highlights some bad configuration settings you may have as well
  • in-person training
Great support from the team both pre and post purchase
Great tool, captures lots of metrics to help diagnose and monitor performance
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April 28, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SQL Sentry within the IT department to help monitor and isolate issues associated with all production level database servers. SQL Sentry provides our IT department and DBA with the tools to quickly identify performance issues with our SQL Server databases. SQL Sentry offers us a centralized portal and a snapshot of our database servers health.
  • 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 is well suited for monitoring all servers in one consolidated interface, rather than bouncing around between different registered SQL Servers.
  • Yes, identified some problematic queries, and was able to proactively provide some performance upgrades after reviewing the query plan provided by SQL Sentry.
When the database performance drastically degraded one day, I was able to use SQL Sentry to isolate the issue to disk latency. Our engineers were able to move the vm onto a less taxed server, and performance returned.
Support has been great, but have had instances where the solution I desired was not inherently available in Task Factory.
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April 28, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We were testing it as a possible replacement for the current monitoring tool but unfortunately some members of the team were too stuck on their old monitoring tool.
  • 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.
It doesn't work well in highly compartmentalized environments, as in, firewall issues can be hard to work through.
  • 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.
As stated earlier, it showed us that the multiple SQL Server instances on NUMA architecture weren't using all available memory so we affinitized the processors and the instances were able to use all the memory on the machine and performance was improved.
As stated earlier the responses have always been quick and accurate and I always feel like they care. Not something I'm used to with all support organizations.
It does nearly everything we need it to do and the limitations we've run into have not been it's fault, but the fact that we simply cannot get that level of information from Microsoft Azure.
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April 23, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SQL Sentry in my department to monitor patterns and fluctuations in performance for our SQL Servers. It's helped us address monthly spikes and unusual performance dips, so we know when we have a bug in just-released code and we know when to prepare for slightly-slower systems and address that accordingly.
  • 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
SQL Sentry is a great monitoring tool for performance in environments that are transaction-heavy. It gives a complex overall view of performance on a daily/hourly/etc. basis so you know where spikes are happening (and when, more importantly). It also provides insight into blocking processes, so if you have a long-running query/job, you can see what's happening more clearly.
  • 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
We had a major slow-down on one of our SQL server instances. Users were calling and complaining about time-out errors. With SQL Sentry we could see what the blocking process was, and a bit more information about it than what you get with the Activity Monitor. We were able to kill the blocking process after some assessment and performance improved.
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May 07, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I [use it to] watch for large usages of CPU and repetitive use of stored procedures and ad-hoc queries.
  • 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
Very appropriate tool when applications appear to be dragging when many queries run without any perceptive issue
  • 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.
Illustrated the use of poor SELECT clauses out of our Entity Framework implementation
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April 28, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SQL Sentry started out being used by one division/group and has now expanded to another group and working on expanding to additional areas. It is being used to proactively discover database related issues and manage SQL jobs across different database servers.
  • SQL job management.
  • SQL server monitoring.
  • Alerting.
  • Windows task management.
  • Object hierarchy.
I would think for mid-size groups/divisions it works the best. I cannot imagine having more than 10 or so servers on one monitoring service. It is great when you have a lot of inexperienced users hitting the same database servers with ad hoc queries. SQL Sentry is much more powerful than I know I am using it for, it just takes time to figure out what is best for your own use.
  • Able to catch run away queries quicker.
  • Able to see which stored processes need to be tweaked to run faster.
We have had ad hoc queries that run long and when looking in SQL Sentry, we were able to see exactly which section was taking the most time and able to go fix that part of the query.
very responsive and polite
great functionality and mostly easy to figure out, lots of documentation
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April 28, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Performance Advisory allows you to quickly know what the overall performance of the servers looks like. From the dashboard you can deep dive right away to any specific area that may require attention. It contains the KPIS and data of almost all aspects of the SQL Server.
  • 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
  • Reporting
  • To use algorithms that alert when a relevant or critical KPI is behaving abnormally
I think it is well suited for all scenarios where an SQL Server is involved. Given the costs perhaps I wouldn't spend money paying for licensing on Development environments.
  • It does not improve performance by itself but it shows KPIs and makes it obvious where the issues are
Correlating performance metrics is the key to resolving complex issues, and doing that without a resource that displays them in an organized manner is very hard. This tool has enabled us to identify and remove all kinds of issues, such as sources of blocking, deadlocks, storage bottlenecks, etc.
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November 19, 2019
Timothy Ford | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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.)
Let's get this straight: when it comes to performance analysis tools for SQL Server this is the only product I'd recommend. I've yet to see an scenario where SQL Sentry Performance Advisor was not appropriate. I've monitored physical and virtual servers, large and tiny instance. No issues across the board.
  • 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.
We had a situation with an internal development team that was laying blame on a performance issue with configuration of the SQL Server instance and were asking for an additional allocation of 64GB of RAM and 8 vCPUs to the VM. We were able to show in less than 5 minutes that the issue with performance instead lay with their internally-developed code running against a sub-standard third-party tool's database. We then were able to tune the query and take CPU consumption from 90%+ down to 40% at the peak.
Read Timothy Ford's full review
December 11, 2019
Justin Randolph | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SQL Sentry is being utilized to monitor our current SQL environment. The product has provided insight and a new form of analytics to help push maintenance in a positive direction. The department is the only current user for this monitoring software. It helps prevent failure across the whole organization. Some business problems that are addressed is the new form of communication. Having a solid reporting platform has pushed the standard for other monitoring software in our environment.
  • 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.
SQL Sentry is great for shops that are implementing more than one SQL box, but monitoring just one server that isn't traffic-intensive can be very underwhelming for new DBA's.
  • 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.
With the new software being implemented, I was able to query the DB and find the root cause of the slowness issues. Watching the live performance graphs and then breaking down the coding of the program allowed me to see that the indexes were not built properly. This helped our end users implement a new software solution that boosted productivity.
Read Justin Randolph's full review
November 21, 2019
Richard Bober | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the product to identify performance issues as they occur, with the goal of improving our processes and software to eliminate these issues going forward. We also use the product to monitor the health of our servers and to identify developing issues well before they actually make an impact on the environment.
  • 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.
It's great for making sure your environment is performing well. I love the fact that I can monitor my entire SQL Server estate from 1 screen. However, the setup and customization to ensure your inbox doesn't get inundated with warning messages are tedious and time-consuming.
  • 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.
Most recently, we discovered that one of our nightly data warehouse load SQL scripts was causing a bottleneck in our overnight processing. By making the suggested improvements in the SQL code, it reduced the run-time of that function by 50%, and the resulting bottleneck elimination improved our overall nightly processing by over 10%.
Very seldom do I need to wait an hour for a response, and the support techs are knowledgeable and really work to make sure your problem is resolved.
Read Richard Bober's full review
November 18, 2019
Corey Carrender | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Currently, the DBA team is the primary user of SQL Sentry. We use it for monitoring and performance tuning as well as mining the data for our own internal reporting. We have recently been rolling it out to other teams within Data Services (Data Engineers, Data Warehouse, etc.) and developers as well. The other groups use it for performance tuning and SQL Agent job reporting/history.
  • 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)
As a DBA, SQL Sentry has been extremely suited for most scenarios where I would need a monitoring tool. The primary thing I use it for is alerting. The default alerts are beneficial, and you can make custom alerts for seemingly anything you can think of.

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.
We have had several instances of the "Death by a thousand cuts scenario" where a query wasn't particularly costly, but it was running a ton of times. The Top SQL Sentey feature in SentryOne helped us find these issues where our old monitoring tools did not. They had Top SQL charts, but they did not group things properly and mainly sorted them by cost per run.
Read Corey Carrender's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Performance dashboard (94)
9.3
Intelligent alerting (89)
9.7
Top SQL (94)
9.3
Historical trend data (92)
9.4
Virtualization support (60)
9.5

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.

Download a free SQL Sentry trial

SQL Sentry Features

SQL Performance Monitoring Features

Has featurePerformance dashboard
Has featureIntelligent alerting
Has featureTop SQL
Has featureHistorical trend data
Has featureVirtualization support
Additional Features
Has featureQuery plan analysis
Has featureBlocking and deadlock analysis
Has featureEvent Calendar
Has featureAdvisory Conditions
Has featureAlwaysOn Availability Groups monitoring
Has featureIndex analysis
Has featureStorage Forecasting
Has featureSentryOne Portal (installed SentryOne web interface)
Has featureEnvironment Health Overview
Has featureTempdb analysis
Has featureSQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) monitoring

SQL Sentry Screenshots

SQL Sentry Videos (6)

SQL Sentry Integrations

SQL Sentry Competitors

Redgate, Idera, Quest

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
EditionPricing DetailsTerms
SQL Sentry Premium1,500per year per instance (annual subscription)
SQL Sentry Essentials$600per year per instance (annual subscription)
Plan Explorer (SQL Server Query Tuning)$0free
SQL Sentry Premium for Azure SQL Database$325per year per database (annual subscription)

SQL Sentry Customer Size Distribution

Consumers
5%
Small Businesses (1-50 employees)
20%
Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)
50%
Enterprises (> 500 employees)
25%

SQL Sentry Support Options

 Free VersionPaid Version
Phone
Live Chat
Email
Forum/Community
FAQ/Knowledgebase
Social Media
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
Mobile Application:No
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
Supported Languages: English