Great product but failed the "We're already familiar with it" test
Updated April 28, 2020

Great product but failed the "We're already familiar with it" test

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

Overall Satisfaction with SQL Sentry

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.
We didn't actually choose to use it at that company because some members of the team were too stuck on their existing monitoring tool. I was disappointed in that decision.
It doesn't work well in highly compartmentalized environments, as in, firewall issues can be hard to work through.

SolarWinds SQL Sentry Feature Ratings

Performance dashboard
Intelligent alerting
Historical trend data
Virtualization support

Using SQL Sentry

4 - The DBAs use it within the company and we've provided it to the BI Report developers so they can improve the performance of their report queries.
1 - Not a lot is necessary, just experience with the product to provide quick guidance when necessary.
  • We have it set up to page the DBAs when outages occur.
  • We use it to find long running queries.
  • We use it to determine which queries are hitting the SQL instances the hardest.
  • Our BI team was able to use it for a while in Azure, so that was a benefit because they asked the tool questions, not me.
  • We're not currently using it for Azure SQL Databases but hope to in the future when we have more money to purchase licenses.
  • Faster SQL outage resolution.
  • Faster performance resolution.
Love what it does and the price.

Evaluating SQL Sentry and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
I reviewed this product for use within a previous company and preferred it, but I was outvoted. It was already in place at this company, so yay!
I wouldn't change a thing, this is the one I chose.

SQL Sentry Implementation

Just make sure the service account has the necessary permissions...
Change management was minimal - Change management wasn't involved because this is a monitoring tool that had minimal effect on our production systems.
  • No significant issues were encountered.

SQL Sentry Support

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.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
No - I'm not sure if it's available or not, but I've never needed anything other than normal support. They've always been quick and accurate and my problems have been resolved.
Yes - I was provided with an adequate workaround and the bug was fixed in a future release, plus they sent me email when it was fixed saying I should apply that upgrade.
A few years ago we ran into a problem with SQL Server reporting some weird memory issues. My contact at SentryOne didn't know why it was being reported that way and actually got one of their developers involved who discovered a bug in Microsoft SQL Server's memory manager and filed the bug with Microsoft. He also told me how to workaround the Microsoft SQL Server issue until they fixed it.

Using SQL Sentry

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.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Installation was easy, though network configuration did have to be modified.
  • It is very easy to monitor SQL Server and the alerting system is easy to use.
  • Customizing it can be difficult until you have experience.