SolarWinds DPA is an Excellent Performance Monitoring Tool for SQL Server
Updated July 21, 2020

SolarWinds DPA is an Excellent Performance Monitoring Tool for SQL Server

Mike Saedi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer

As a consultant, I recommend and use SolarWinds across multiple clients currently at Nortek/Broan-Nutone, BlastMotion, and Hansen and Adkins. I use this on a daily basis to assist me with monitoring SQL servers and assisting me with troubleshooting performance issues as they arise. I have also used SolarWinds DPA to set up alerts for issues like low drive space and query plan changes.
  • Excellent for trending SQL Performance over time.
  • Excellent for monitoring deadlocks and blocking.
  • Good for trending SQL query changes over time.
  • It would be nice to have more built-in alerting capabilities.
  • Indexing recommendations are also somewhat unclear. I have seen areas that say you could improve performance on a table for example but not giving any additional details beyond that.
  • More in-depth recommendations, other tools like Idera Diagnostic Manager I feel are stronger in this area.
  • I definitely receive value from this product. Before DPA, I could not easily pinpoint why my SQL Server was slow at any given point in time.
  • The graphs and trending also help me visualize where problems are and fix and address them much more quickly.
We had an issue recently where we experienced poor performance of a query due to a plan change. DPA pointed this out and I adjusted how often I updated my statistics, which helped this query. I would have a hard time knowing that the query plan change was the root cause of the issue had DPA not told me.
One thing that might be helpful though would be if DPA saw this plan change and then told me I should update my statistics, since I had to figure this out and do this separately on my own.
I feel like this needs a little more work and more details. Indexing recommendations from DPA are usually good, but the table level tuning advisors I feel do not provide enough details to help much. If they expanded this area this would help the tool out a lot.
I have not had the opportunity to use this feature
I have used DPA with AWS to help me with performance tuning related to indexes
Overall DPA is the best tool that I have used because of its simple interface and ability to dig in within a few clicks to see the root of a performance issue, but Idera and SQL Sentry have some areas where they are better than DPA, such as blocking and deadlocks.
I also feel the Idera tool has a slight edge over DPA when it comes to recommendations for improvements.
I like the fact that I can visually see what my SQL server is doing over time and drill into top queries.
Alerting and notifications are not as strong as some other tools I have used.
Blocking and deadlocking features/analysis could be improved also.

SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer Support

I have overall been quite pleased whenever I have had to contact Solarwinds for support. Responses have always been timely and generally fairly thorough as well.

Whenever I have had to follow up with additional questions, support has been able to answer any additional questions or direct me to resources on their portal that have also been quite helpful.
I have had a good overall experience with quite response times from support
I have not yet had the opportunity to utilize this feature yet but will try it next time I need support.
All of my experiences with support have been excellent
I have used this to review the current versions of our software and assist me with identifying which software is out of date and what I need to do to update to the latest versions.

Evaluating SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer and Competitors

I researched many SQL tools and have always come back to DPA because of the easy to use graphical interface and easy to drill down features