One stop shop for baselining and troubleshooting SQL Servers
February 18, 2016

One stop shop for baselining and troubleshooting SQL Servers

Chuck Hieber | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SQL Sentry Performance Advisor

SQL Sentry Performance Advisor is being used by the database administrators and developers. We use it to baseline our servers and trend process usage as well as checking to see if we have anything that might be using too many resources, like a runaway query. We gather reads, writes, CPU usage and waits as well as capturing the SQL text, host, login, etc. We can watch the information as it is running, but we often look back at historical information.
  • In my opinion, the main benefit of Performance Advisor is trending and baselining. It gives us a good idea what times of day are normally heavy use, as well as grabbing the user and sql text for problem queries. We can look at what is currently happening, but we can also go back and view historical charts and numbers.
  • The charts on the dashboard are great. They give a quick view of CPU usage, SQL Server Waits, System Memory, Disk and network IO. Within the charts, they show what is being used not only by SQL Server, but also by other processes, so you can quickly start isolating where to look for problem areas.
  • Performance Advisor is a one-stop shop for deadlocks and blocking. You can view current blocks and kill processes right from Performance Advisor. If there are not any current blocks or deadlocks, you can also click a single button to jump to the last block or deadlock, which comes in handy when the report of blocking or deadlocks comes in after it has passed.
  • On the Top SQL tab, you can see all of the data pulls that are currently running with data, like reads, writes, CPU usage, host, login, SPID, etc. You can also go back to a specific period of time and view what processes were running then with pretty much the same detailed information, which is great for checking for trends, as well as troubleshooting causes that have already passed to help prevent them in the future.
  • I would like to see more detail on specific parameter values being used.
  • I would like to see more health information on availability groups.
  • I would like to be able to filter the information easily, like being able to find queries based on text in the query.
  • When someone comes to us with issues of slowness or a process hanging, the first thing we do is go to Performance Advisor. It gives us a quick snapshot we can quickly and easily drill down into.
  • The email notifications give us advance warning of issues. Sometimes we are working on the issue before we even get a call on it.
  • Performance Advisor, with its historical information, is very useful for creating baselines.
We use a third party application that has a SQL Server back end. We keep getting reports in the morning of reports hanging . We used Performance Advisor to see that a process runs every morning. We have the application name, the userID it was using, and found it is a regular process the third party app created and uses, and it regularly blocks all other processes while it is running. We were able to use that to go back to the software vendor to have them investigate why their process is blocking the others.
SQL Sentry Performance Advisor has been used since before I became a DBA here, and it works so well, we have never had a need to evaluate any other products.
SQL Sentry Performance Advisor is very well suited to troubleshooting slowness on a server, whether it is current or in the past. The dashboards are great. They give you a quick view of charts for CPU usage, SQL Server waits, etc. You can view current data, or you can go back to a time range historically. When you choose a date and time range, if you see something you want more detail on, you can zoom into that specific time, and all of the tabs use that new time range.

SolarWinds SQL Sentry Feature Ratings

Performance dashboard
10
Intelligent alerting
10
Top SQL
10
Historical trend data
10
Virtualization support
Not Rated