SQL Sentry is a great tool with a lot of good info
May 06, 2016

SQL Sentry is a great tool with a lot of good info

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

Overall Satisfaction with SQL Sentry Performance Advisor

I use SQL Sentry Performance Advisor almost on a daily basis, as does a few of my IT associates. Our original goal was to identify and correct inefficiencies when many of our servers were riddled with problems. SQL Sentry made it very easy to identify problems and patterns in a fraction of the time it would have taken to dig through a bunch of log files. The graphical representations within SQL Sentry and the way that the objects on screen are tied together make it easy to catch issues at a glance, and zoom in to a more narrow timeframe to see how one problem can affect different aspects of server performance. We monitor various production application and database servers with alerts setup for each of them. SQL Sentry has not only helped us identify issues to be corrected, but over time, has helped us redefine our approach to become a more proactive shop.
  • The best feature of Performance Advisor is its history view. In the history view I can easily see when the server is having a performance problem, how often a specific issues comes up, and how long it has been a problem. It allows me to see patterns of performance (disk io, cpu usage, system memory, ect), and I can always zoom in to areas of concern.
  • Performance Advisor can be in conjunction with application installations or changes, process/task changes ect. to get an idea on how these changes are affecting server performance.
  • Alerts in Event Manager can be about as granular as you might want to get, but are a bit lacking in Performance Advisor. In Performance Advisor I only use alerts for connection and task failures.
I use Performance Advisor all the time, but I rarely use it by itself. I believe that the best use of Performance Advisor is with SQL Sentry Event Manager on a database server. The history feature allows you to quickly see a pattern of how the server responds to jobs running in the databases (like when a looping database job eats up the temp db, and spills into the page file). It takes only a moment to see that some jobs need to be fixed while others only need to be rescheduled. At a glance, I can see how my daily and monthly schedules are affecting the server, and when I need to make an adjustment to avoid a failure on the server or the database. So much useful info to proactively address all of the issues that I have been used to reacting to for so long. There are many other cool benefits to SQL Sentry, but this is what I have found to be the most impactful use of SQL Sentry.

SolarWinds SQL Sentry Feature Ratings

Performance dashboard
Intelligent alerting
Historical trend data
Virtualization support

SQL Sentry Performance Advisor Implementation

Was suggested that we install the process monitors on a dev or qa database server, but we found it more useful to create an IT db server and put it there (along with a few other apps that we use for monitoring).
Yes - there were only a few phases. Implementation was pretty easy and went quick.
Change management was minimal - Implementation took less than an hour for all of the servers that we wanted to monitor. Installation of the client was easy. The only recommendation I have is that one person should manage the client installs. Having everyone do their own install proved to be a bit frustrating.
  • Self install of client on pc's very frustrating. Some users enter the wrong info, and end up installing the process monitor on their local pc's.

SQL Sentry Performance Advisor Support

Their support team has gone out of their way to help me get past any issues that I am having. They genuinely see to care about my success.
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
I opened a case with SQL Sentry one evening right before leaving work. They contacted me quickly and stayed online even after I left the office and worked from my phone. I don't remember the issue I had, but it was not an emergency, yet they responded as if it were. They have consistently responded this way for all of my calls.