Infrastructure

Monitoring and Visualizing SQL Server using 3rd party dashboard solutions

This is the second in a four blog post series focusing on how to monitor and visualize SQL servers in your environment using Microsoft technologies. These post topic include:

  • Part 1: Monitoring & Visualizing SQL Server using System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2
  • Part 2: Monitoring & Visualizing SQL Server using 3rd party dashboard solutions [This post]
  • Part 3: Monitoring & Visualizing SQL server using Operational Insights (OMS)
  • Part 4: Monitoring & Visualizing other variations of SQL Server

This blog post will focus on showcasing pre-built dashboard solutions from two vendors in this space:

  • The “SQL Servers” dashboard by SquaredUp
  • The “SQL Server” dashboard by Savision

     

Monitoring & Visualizing SQL Server using 3rd party dashboard solutions

As we have seen in the previous blog post (Monitoring & Visualizing SQL Server using System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2) the ability to visualize the health and performance of SQL server has come a long way in Operations Manager. There are also some excellent 3rd party solutions which can provide pre-built dashboard solutions to visualize information about your SQL servers.

The “SQL Servers” dashboard by SquaredUp

SquaredUp includes a pre-built dashboard to showcase your SQL Server information which is shown below. This dashboard includes recent alerts, server health, database health, server processor usage %, server memory pages/s, server disk sec/transfer and server low disk space.

Each section shown above can be drilled in to provide further details. We will start with drilling into details on the alert information.

On the alert details you can change the status of the alert, the owner or associate the alert with a ticket.

You can also directly edit company knowledge for the alert:

Screenshots below show details for server health:

From this view you can enable maintenance mode, view additional performance information or take actions related to this server. Data can also be exported for this serve by using the Export button in the top right corner.

Below is an example of a task to see what processes are running on the system:

You can also view additional performance information which drills down further to this:

Within each of the various performance graphs you can change the duration and you can interact with the graph to see the value of individual datapoints such as the one shown below.

The database health can be drilled into as well to show information about the health and performance of a database.

Each of the performance counters shown on the right (including the top 3 server low disk space chart) can be drilled into to provide more detail.

These graphs can be easily changed to change the timeframe and you can highlight a section of the graph to zoom into that particular timeframe.

 

Customization of the SquaredUp SQL dashboards:

The gear icon in the top right section of each dashboard section provides the ability to customize that piece of the dashboard. The example below shows how the alerts section can be changed to provide the configuration you would like including changing the scope (as an example, to only show new alerts), define filters or to set the maximum number of items in that dashboard. The gear icon also makes it easy to delete a dashboard section or duplicate that section.

You can also define different layouts for the health state related dashboard sections using the yellow buttons shown below as a tile, a column, or a list.

Performance views can be changed as well to choose different metrics, timeframes, and visualization.

A variety of graph visualization options are available including graph, sparkline and bar.

You can also edit the overall page layout by using the edit button in the top right corner.

This allows you to configure new sections the dashboard and then public the updated dashboard.

New sections can include alerts, status, web content, image, performance, KPI, SLA, SQL Query of Visio options.

The new section of this dashboard (Available Mbytes) blends seamlessly into the existing performance graphs.

If you want a chance to try this out you can get an evaluation version (https://squaredup.com/free-trial/) or you can also test this yourself on their demo environment at: http://demo.squaredup.com/SquaredUp/grid/index/sql

 

The “SQL Server” dashboard by Savision

Savision includes a pre-built dashboard to showcase your SQL Server information which is shown below. This dashboard includes a SQL Server Health heatmap, Top SQL Servers by Active Clients, Top SQL Servers by Transactions, Top SQL Servers by Average Wait Time, Top SQL Servers by CPU, Top SQL Server by Memory, Top SQL Servers by User Connections and Top SQL Servers by Logins.

You can highlight objects shown in the SQL Servers Health heatmap to determine which server you want to drill into. This dashboard shows additional details on SQL performance, buffer cache hit ratio, OS performance, Server details, related services and active alerts.

It’s simple to change the duration that data is displayed for by clicking on the timeframe option in the top left (One week by default). Available options include One day, one week, one month, three months, six months and one year.

 

Customization of the Savision dashboards:

You can create your own dashboards by using the Add New option available on the top level dashboard.

Within this you can choose from a variety of dashboard objects (Active Alerts, Events, Heat Map, Object Properties, Performance Graph, Related Services, SLA Status, SQL Query and Webpage).

Once you have added the dashboard objects that you want and configured them you can either save your dashboard to make it available.

A sample dashboard is shown below showcasing services related to an object and showing SLA status for an object.

Your custom dashboards appear on the top level of the dashboards product with the name that you created them as.

If you want a chance to try this out you can get an evaluation version at https://www.savision.com/request-any-product-evaluation-0.

 

Summary: Third party vendors have made some excellent pre-built dashboards to help to visualize your SQL server health and performance. These solutions can also be customized to tailor pre-built dashboards to meeting your organization’s requirements. In the next part of this blog series we will investigate monitoring & visualizing SQL Server using Microsoft OMS!

Reference URL’s:

 

 

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