Performance monitoring, alerting, and diagnosis for SQL Server

Walkthrough 2: Working with the overviews

SQL Monitor Global Overview

In this walkthrough, we're going to work with SQL Monitor's overviews. The Overviews tab provides a quick and easy way to check the performance of our SQL Servers. We can view the current status of any part of our system at any level of granularity: global, cluster, machine, SQL Server, or individual database.

Above we have the Global Overview. It shows us some important information across the different monitoring levels:

The information is updated every few seconds, so the Global Overview is a handy way to monitor performance across the board. We can spot problems on all levels, as they happen.

To drill down further, we click on the machine or SQL Server we'd like to look at, either in the main panel or the Monitored servers menu. Each overview will show us the alerts relevant to that level. Let's take a look at our tst-itanium machine.

SQL Monitor Machine Overview for tst-itanium

We click on tst-itanium, which takes us to the machine level overview. Again, we get the numbers of alerts and the machine status, but we also get more performance data.

From here, we can monitor CPU, memory, disk and network usage, particularly important metrics for our machine's performance. We can also check the properties of the machine at a glance, should we need the information whilst fixing a problem.

If we need more detailed information about performance, we can click on one of the metrics. This takes us to the Analysis tab. For more information, see the Analysis Walkthrough.

At the top, there is also a list of all the SQL Server instances on the machine, with their statuses and uncleared alerts. In this case, we'll check (local). To drill down further, we can click on the SQL Server name here, or in the Monitored servers menu.

SQL Monitor SQL Server Overview for local

The overview for our local instance gives us a summary status of the host machine and each database on the SQL Server. Below that, we have metrics and server properties, the latter repeated from the higher level view. Again, information is updated every few seconds, and we can click on a particular metric to go to the Analysis tab.

Clicking on a particular database in the Databases list will take us to its overview. We'll take a further look at sqbconv.

SQL Monitor Database Overview for sqbconv

This is the deepest level of the overview. We have some of the details from upper levels, such as the status of the machine and the SQL Server instance, but the metrics are just for our database. Like other parts of the application, these values are updated at regular intervals.

Further down, we have information about settings of the database files, such as their name, autogrowth and max size.

At the instance and database levels, we also have a list of the Top 10 expensive queries, the 10 queries that use the most resources at this particular level, over a selected time period.

Top 10 expensive queries list

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