Power, Productivity, and Performance too — Optimize Your SQL Server with sqlSen



Reporting

In sqlSentry, reporting refers to the various ways you can view data, and includes a variety of different options.

Graphs of Activity Help Track Trends

sqlSentry provides two types of graphs: Runtime History and Runtime Aggregate. Runtime History graphs show the history of a job’s runtime over a specified time interval. This allows you to see any potential trends in changing job length over time. Runtime Aggregate graphs show the distribution of a job’s runtime for specified intervals. This graph is useful when you want to figure out the best place to schedule a job in order to reduce potential job contention. To a certain degree, you are able to modify the graphs for your viewing.

Performance Graphs Show How Jobs Affect Performance

To help better understand how a particular job affects your server’s performance, you can graph performance counter data along side any jobs/events you monitor. Like other graphs in sqlSentry, you have the limited ability to modify them for better viewing.

Conflict Viewer Shows Overlapping Jobs

Overlapping jobs can be one of the biggest performance drains on your server. The sqlSentry Conflict Viewer makes it very easy to identify current and future job conflicts, and at the same time, makes it easy for you to change schedules appropriately so jobs don’t overlap.

List Views Can Be Exported to HTML, XML, or CSV Format

A List View is another way to view data in sqlSentry, as an alternative to viewing the data from a Calendar View. If needed, this view can then be exported to other formats for use in other applications. This also includes list views such as All Logs, Conflict viewer, etc.

All Graphs and Calendars Can Be Printed

All graphs and calendars can also be printed. I would recommend that you do a Print Preview of graphs or calendars first in order to see how they will fit onto a page so that when printed, they are more useable.



Is It Easy to Install, Use, and Administer by the Average SQL Server DBA?

After spending much time installing, reinstalling, using, and administering sqlSentry, I can easily say that it is not a difficult tool for any DBA to use, from novice to expert. Yes, there is a short learning curve (learning where all the reports and features are located), but once this is overcome, using it will become second nature.



Does It Put an Unbearable Performance Drag on SQL Server Production Databases?

Because of its agent-less design, sqlSentry puts virtually no load on your production SQL Servers. Ideally, you will want at least one SQL Server dedicated to running the sqlSentry components, although this isn’t mandatory.



Does It Fill a Practical Need of the Average DBA?

Very much so. If you are the DBA of a couple of SQL Servers and your jobs aren’t complicated, then sqlSentry may be overkill for you. But if you have many SQL Servers, and especially if your jobs are complex, sqlSentry will quickly pay for itself in time saved. Implemented correctly, sqlSentry will help to improve your SQL Server’s performance, reduce downtime, lower database administration costs, and reduce hardware and software costs because you will be able to get more out of your existing resources.



Recommendation

After a careful review of sqlSentry, it meets all of its stated benefits and features, and it is “Recommended by SQL-Server-Performance.Com.”

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