DPA: Great web application for wait stats and trends. Not the tool for those needing actionable alerts.
July 19, 2019

DPA: Great web application for wait stats and trends. Not the tool for those needing actionable alerts.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer

We use DPA on one team in our department. We have a team of 12 that has access to the tool, although it is mainly just three of us that use it. We do export reports and send to people outside of our team. The tool addresses anomalies that come up across the environment, and patterns before and after changes. We also use it a lot to see what was going on after-hours or when we had an issue come up when no one was available.
  • Capturing wait statistics is a great way to monitor performance on a SQL Server instance. This is the main source of info for DPA.
  • Web app: no client install required. Easy to login from a web browser, share info and manage everything from a browser tab.
  • Drill-downs from one time interval to seconds to see database activity is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Alerts seem to be lacking in DPA compared to competitor's tools. They can be setup but are not quite as easy or as helpful as some other tools I have used.
  • Grooming/pruning the repository database isn't very easy. We don't manage a lot of instances but our repo DB has grown pretty significantly.
  • At times when I am drilled-down to a chart, it can be difficult to navigate around from that point to another time range/query/metric.
  • Relatively inexpensive tool for our environment that has saved us lots of time troubleshooting after-hours issues.
  • DPA has helped us to scale and size new environments as we do migrations—CPU usage patterns, memory usage, user activity, etc.
  • In addition to the license costs, the storage cost for the repository database is not insignificant. I think our company has still had a positive ROI considering that cost.
I have used Spotlight (for Oracle on RAC) but it has been several years. The dashboard was crisp, clean, and intuitive, but the tool had a significant overhead. However, no competitor made a tool that met our needs at the time. I have also used Idera's SQL Diagnostic Manager in more than one company. That tool is helpful for a larger environment than we currently have. But I think it is better at alerting than DPA but worse at just about everything else. The good thing is you can flag an alert as acknowledged, so you stop getting emails. The bad thing is I don't think I could use it to troubleshoot issues like I do with DPA. I do not have enough experience to provide helpful feedback on the others selected.
DPA is well suited for an environment where a web app is preferred. Especially if there are several users accessing the reports and data. I would also say it's suited for teams with a good amount of SQL knowledge pertaining to wait types. It would be less suited for teams that need a tool to recommend changes to SQL queries to improve performance, as well as those looking for a tool to send out actionable-alerts that can be turned on or off based on actions.