By: Greg Robidoux | Last Updated: 2014-02-05 | Comments (6) | Monitoring
As I'm sure you are aware, monitoring your SQL Servers should be a daily part of any DBA's activities. The problem with monitoring is that it takes time to determine what to monitor and even more time to setup processes to collect and alert you of issues. The other option is to use third party monitoring tools, but this can get expensive to monitor all servers. So because of these issues, many servers are not monitored and DBAs take a reactive approach to server management instead of a proactive approach.
Dell Software understands these issues that DBAs face and has put together several free monitoring solutions for SQL Server available within Spotlight Essentials. These tools allow you to monitor and gauge all of your SQL Servers at no cost so you can begin to take a proactive approach to SQL Server monitoring.
Spotlight Essentials is a subset of Dell Software's flagship solution Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise, and offers many useful features such as:
- Spotlight Freemium - A SQL Server Management Studio Plug-in to manage all of your servers
- The Spotlight Healthcheck providing a prioritized list of health issues
- Access to collective intelligence data that allows you to compare and benchmark your stats to similar servers
Spotlight Freemium - SQL Server Management Studio Plug-in
The Spotlight Freemium plug-in for SSMS allows you to manage all of your servers and see issues using a heat map as shown below. Each box represents a server that is being monitored and the size of the box along with the color coding allows you to see which servers require your immediate attention.
In addition, the plug-in allows you to setup Alarms to get real-time notifications of any issues, so you don't need to manually monitor your servers.
Spotlight Essentials - Healthcheck
The Spotlight Essentials Healthcheck is a process that reviews your monitored servers for any potential configuration and performance issues such as security, memory, I/O, SQL Best Practices and more.
The healthcheck will provide information like the image below that shows four instances that were checked and two instances have high priority issues that should be addressed.
From this high level review, if you drill deeper into the issues, Spotlight Healthcheck will give you a more detailed description of the issues.
And drilling even deeper will give you the information you need to resolve the issue.
Spotlight Essentials - Comparing Your Servers to Other Similar Servers
Sometimes having all of this information is not quite enough to know whether you have an issue or not. Just because you are being alerted of these issues, it's helpful to compare your server to other similar servers. If you have a big SQL Server shop you might have access to this information, but maybe the servers are not quite the same or maybe you don't have any others servers to compare to, this is where access to the Spotlight Essentials data is key. Spotlight Essentials allows you to compare your servers to other servers that are using Spotlight Essentials to get a better understanding of how your servers performance compares.
In the image below, we can see particular counters that were captured and this is then compared to the Spotlight Essentials data that has been collected from thousands of servers and has a repository of over 30TB of data that is used to help you get a better understanding of how your server's performance compares with others.
If you are looking for a way to monitor all of your SQL Servers or just need to monitor one, take a look at Spotlight Essentials for free options to take a proactive approach to SQL Server monitoring.
- Download a copy of Spotlight Freemium
- Learn more about monitoring features
- Learn more about the health check features
- Learn more about Spotlight Essentials
MSSQLTips.com Product Editorial sponsored by Dell Software makers of Spotlight Essentials.
Last Updated: 2014-02-05
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