Top 5 SQL Server Performance Monitoring Tools

Top 5 SQL Server Performance Monitoring Tools

When working with Microsoft’s SQL Server, it is essential to have the right tools available that can help you to optimize the performance of your databases.

To keep SQL Server running smoothly, it is crucial to know which tools to use to ensure the proper storage and tracking of data as well as monitor the performance of your database engine. With a wide variety of tools to choose from, the key is to find the best tools that can meet your needs for SQL Server monitoring.

In this article, we will discuss 5 of the top SQL Server performance monitoring tools, as well as break down what these tools have to offer. Keep reading to learn all about what these tools are and why they are so important.

What Are SQL Server Performance Monitoring Tools?

SQL Server monitoring and performance tools are a type of software used for tracking the performance of SQL Server. These tools can serve a variety of purposes, from tracking resource usage to providing an overview of events occurring on the server as a whole.

Why Do You Need SQL Server Performance Monitoring Tools?

Using SQL Server requires you to stay on top of performance monitoring, as a server with unsupervised performance can easily result in decreases in efficiency, as well as higher operational costs.

Having the right performance monitoring tools gives you the ability to keep up with your due diligence and maintain a high level of visibility when it comes to the functionality and day-to-day operations of your database.

Additionally, this due diligence can also help you to identify and solve problems within the database before they cause more severe issues or even a system failure.

Some of the most important components of SQL Server to track include:

  • Memory Usage: You want your SQL Server to have a good amount of RAM storage available to keep the database running properly. When your RAM usage gets too high, this can indicate a need for updates to your server’s storage and memory system.
  • CPU: CPU — or Central Processing Unit — refers to the core computing and processing device that enables your server to have the right CPU capacity to function correctly. When the workload of your server strays outside of normal limits, this is a highly important problem to be aware of and is, thus, one of the most important performance metrics to track.
  • Network Usage: In addition to CPU and memory usage, you must also track how well your server responds within its network. A high level of visibility is crucial when looking at network usage, as this can also greatly affect the efficiency of your server.

The 5 Best SQL Server Performance Monitoring Tools

SQL Servers can quickly become complex and difficult to monitor without the right resources in your toolbelt to simplify the process. To keep your SQL Server functioning properly, you need a strong set of tools that ensure the performance of your server is always optimized.

Here are the top 5 best SQL Server monitoring and performance tools in 2022:

1. SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer

As a leader in the SQL Server performance monitoring industry, SolarWinds offers a powerful tool for analyzing server performance called the Database Performance Analyzer, or DPA.

DPA helps to optimize database performance by providing in-depth performance metrics for a wide variety of factors, including CPU, memory, and network usage. Additionally, DPA can assist with performance tuning and provide index recommendations.

Moreover, SolarWinds DPA is a great tool that is also cross-platform, with the capabilities in place to monitor not only Microsoft SQL Server but also:

  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • MariaDB
  • Aurora
  • DB2

One of the greatest advantages of using DPA is that it gives you a singular, unified platform through which to operate your database monitoring control center. This simplifies the entire performance monitoring process, eliminating some of the more complex and time-consuming elements that may have prevented you from properly monitoring your databases in the past.

SolarWinds DPA Pricing & Features

For pricing, SolarWinds DPA offers a fully functional trial for free for 14 days. After that, this product uses subscription-based pricing starting at $1,340 (as of June 2022).

You can get a free online pricing quote for SolarWinds products here.

As for features, the Database Performance Analyzer includes:

  • SQL Server Tools: SQL Query Analyzer, SQL Database Monitor, SQL Server Audit Log Tool, SQL Server Performance Tuning Tool, SQL Query Optimization, SQL Server Activity Monitoring
  • Amazon RDS Monitoring
  • Azure SQL Server Performance
  • VMware Monitoring
  • Oracle Exadata Performance Monitoring

View the full list of features for SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer here.

2. SQL Sentry

Another excellent SQL Server performance monitoring tool that comes from SolarWinds is the SQL Sentry.

SQL Sentry offers a more graphical view of database performance metrics, enabling users to leverage DataOps for better observability and database optimization.

With SQL Sentry, you can get metrics that are easily identifiable, as well as being highly accurate, actionable, and detailed. Plus, the capabilities of SQL Sentry include monitoring, diagnosing, and optimizing entire database environments.

SQL Sentry offers database performance monitoring for:

  • SQL Server
  • Azure SQL Database
  • SQL Server Analysis Services
  • SQL Server on Hyper-V or Vware VMs
  • SQL Server on Azure SQL Database Managed Instance
  • SQL Server on Amazon RDS
  • SQL Server on Linux

SQL Sentry Pricing & Features

Before buying SQL Sentry, you can first try it out for free with SolarWinds fully functional 14-day trial. After this period, you will need to request a free quote to learn more about the pricing for this product.

The features of SQL Sentry include:

  • Performance Analysis Dashboard
  • Advisory Conditions
  • Deadlock Analysis
  • Storage Forecasting
  • SQL Sentry Always-On Monitoring
  • SSAS Performance Metrics
  • Index Analysis
  • Plan Explorer

View all of SQL Sentry’s features here.

3. DataDog Database Monitoring

DataDog Database Monitoring is a tool designed for providing highly efficient query issue detection and solutions. With this incredible tool, you can do everything from isolating query performance issues to preventing outages and eliminating bottlenecks at the DBA level.

Additionally, DataDog Database Monitoring is excellent for quickly and effectively troubleshooting performance issues and monitoring key database metrics. This tool also offers out-of-the-box integrations that enable you to create and utilize advanced dashboards and monitors.

DataDog offers more than 500 turn-key integrations, including:

  • Cassandra
  • Redis
  • PostgreSQL
  • MongoDB
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySQL

DataDog Pricing & Features

To start out, DataDog offers a free 14-day trial. After this time, users can select between different subscription-based pricing models starting at $70 per month (as of June 2022).

You can view the full DataDog pricing page and start your free trial here.

Features of DataDog include:

  • Identifying problematic queries according to specific metrics (latency, total execution time, number of rows queried)
  • Access to historical query performance data
  • Tracking long-term trends
  • Granular insights
  • Automatically sampled queries
  • Explain plans
  • Explicit database access

And so much more. To view all of DataDog’s terrific features, visit their product page.

4. ManageEngine Applications Manager

If you are looking for a tool that goes above and beyond database monitoring, then ManageEngine Applications Manager may be the tool for you.

Using ManageEngine Applications Manager, you can gain incredibly deep insights into the health, optimization, and performance of your database and database applications. Plus, you can also access a robust security program through this tool, giving it an even greater advantage over other alternatives.

For users of ManageEngine Applications Manager database monitoring software, many key tasks can be completed, including:

  • Monitoring database performance metrics
  • Ensuring uninterrupted service delivery
  • Analyzing database performance
  • Identifying and eliminating recurring performance problems
  • Trend analysis for determining capacity and upgrades

ManageEngine Pricing & Features

This database monitoring tool actually comes as part of a much larger product called the Applications Manager, which includes additional features such as:

  • Server monitoring
  • Virtualization monitoring
  • Converged infrastructure
  • Cloud monitoring

To view all the monitoring capabilities and the database monitoring-specific features, view the official product webpage.

This product offers a free personalized demo and is available in two different pricing models, professional and enterprise. To get a free quote or to try out the demo, visit the ManageEngine website today.

5. Redgate SQL Monitor

Redgate SQL Monitor offers DevOps solutions alongside SQL database monitoring tools that are top-rated in the database monitoring industry.

With this tool, you can manage your SQL Server estate from a single central platform, making it easy to manage and monitor your databases. This tool can also support databases that are hosted both on-premises and in the cloud.

Plus, you receive high-level and accessible support and resources when needed.

Redgate Pricing & Features

To begin, you can sign up for Redgate’s free 14-day fully-functional trial. After this, pricing begins at $975 per year.

The features offered through Redgate include:

  • Customized reports using performance metrics
  • A comprehensive overview of all database server instances
  • 65 configurable alerts
  • Third-party deployment tool integrations
  • Access to 22 integrations including AWS RDS, Azure SQL, and Slack