As a DBA I find one of the most difficult tasks to complete is trouble shooting those performance events that happen when I’m not around. When we sit down to really think about it there is only a few ways that you are going to know you have a performance problem when it happens.
- The users call you up and call you all those nice names
- You have some tool that sends you a warning
- You stumble upon it
Now everyone should have a baseline on how there server performs. In many cases many baselines are needed. For example, if your SQL Server has users in the US and in Japan then your servers will perform differently at different times of the day.
The other day I took a little tour through the Performance Advisor made by SQL Sentry. They had a lot of nice features in the tool that I liked. Some of the features that I liked is that it plugs right into the existing tool event manager that I like a lot. Another feature I liked was the UI, and where they are going with the disk monitoring. But this is not what I liked most about the tool.
What surprised me the most about the Performance Advisor Product was the start trace feature. This is the way that I can see myself using that feature. Its 3 PM and somewhere on the planet one of my SQL on Call clients has a performance problem. I can set the conditions so that if a processor hits 80% utilization then a trace will kick off. When I get the message and I head over to my machine I can now look and see what was going on at that time.
Many people don’t realize that before SQL Server 2008, there just was not that much you could do after a performance problem to find out what caused that problem. I like the idea that now I can look at the activity that is going on when the problem happened. I am going to do some more looking around this product but I can tell you that this is going to make my life a lot easier.