Solving SQL Server Performance Issues for 18 Years and Counting

By:   |   Updated: 2023-11-13   |   Comments   |   Related: More > Performance Tuning


SQL Sentry is an excellent example of the adage "necessity is the mother of all inventions." SQL Sentry originated from the needs of DBAs managing SQL Servers in a hosting company that could not find a solution to monitor their growing environment. Since that idea sparked, SQL Sentry has evolved into a solution used around the globe to quickly and accurately resolve performance issues for both the relational database engine and Microsoft analytics platforms implemented both on-premises and in the cloud.

A lot has changed over the last 18 years since SQL Sentry was first launched. How can the recent releases of SQL Sentry help me, and what is next to come?


Over the years, SQL Sentry became integral to a DBA's toolkit for resolving SQL Server performance issues. Recently, additional features have been introduced that can truly benefit DBAs globally.

SQL Sentry's Roadmap

In 2023, SQL Sentry has had multiple releases, and more are planned for 2024. Recent releases include:

  • Performance - Support for deeper performance insights with wait stats and Plan Explorer support
  • Monitoring – SQL Server 2022, instance level health score, and server group health score
  • Cloud – RDS Agent Jobs, Azure Synapse SQL Pools, and RDS blocking monitoring
  • Portal – VMware dashboard, custom charts, Top SQL enhancements, storage visualization, and more

SolarWinds is also working on new functionality for future releases, including:

  • Performance – Session level wait analytics, wait time anomaly detection
  • Integration – Hybrid Cloud Observability
  • Cloud – Azure Elastic Pools and AWS CloudWatch metrics
  • Portal – Event Calendar and Always-On support

For a complete roadmap, visit SQL Sentry Releases.

SQL Sentry's Modern Interface

One of the most eye-catching changes with SQL Sentry is the Portal. Historically, SQL Sentry's interface was a thick client running on a desktop. However, the development team has moved new functionality to the browser-based portal to improve usability and deliver a modern platform. Many of the new features are being released only to the Portal, in addition to the ability to create custom dashboards.

sql sentry interface
sql sentry interface

Check out all the SQL Sentry Web Portal Features.

New Environmental Health Score in SQL Sentry

SQL Sentry has included a Health Score for the entire environment for years and now provides a Health Score across groups of servers and individual servers. The Health Score now gives trends over the last 30 days with deltas for recent changes to determine if recent changes have been helpful or detrimental. SQL Server instances can also be categorized as Critical, Unhealthy, At Risk, or Healthy to understand the environment better and focus resources.

sql sentry health score

Learn more about the Environmental Health Score.

Insights into SQL Server TempDB

TempDB is often a point of contention for numerous applications. This shared system database can be a source of confusion with multiple databases on a single instance creating objects from varying workloads and user demands. Often, TempDB can be the culprit of performance issues, with the source of the problem in a database that is not perceived as operating slowly. To address these scenarios, SQL Sentry has included a new interface focused on TempDB to better understand the source application, activity, sessions, memory usage, and more.

sql sentry tempdb insights

Learn more about TempDB Analysis in SQL Sentry.

Top SQL Interface Includes SQL Server Wait Stats

SQL Server Wait Stats are now included in the Top SQL interface to give DBAs and Developers insight into what (Disk, Memory, CPU, Network, etc.) their queries are waiting on inside the relational database engine. This information, used with additional metrics like duration, count, CPU, memory, reads, writes, etc., can help identify problematic queries that negatively impact the SQL Server instance.

sql sentry top sql interface

Learn more about Top SQL and Query Analysis.

Next Steps

About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Jeremy Kadlec is a Co-Founder, Editor and Author at with more than 300 contributions. He is also the CTO @ Edgewood Solutions and a six-time SQL Server MVP. Jeremy brings 20+ years of SQL Server DBA and Developer experience to the community after earning a bachelorís degree from SSU and masterís from UMBC.

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Article Last Updated: 2023-11-13

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