Monitoring Tools for SQL Server

Dear Experts,

I am working for a customer that has over 30 SQL Server 2005/8 databases in their enterprise. The databases are small to medium size (few gigabytes at the maximum). The customer has requested me to research a few third party SQL Server performance monitoring tools. I found this link that compares a few tools:

Two tools Idera SQL Diagnostic Manager and Precise i3 for SQL Server appear very promising. Have you used any of these tools? Or do you have a recommendation for another tool?

The other option, of course, is to build scripts that utilize system tables, dynamic management objects, built-in functions etc. But I think a third party tool is probably a better investment since they want this done at an enterprise level.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Who is Participating?
lcohanConnect With a Mentor Database AnalystCommented:
I personally worked with Idera and is pretty solid and offers great level of detail.
Here's another excellent tool that I use and has a freeware license for up to 20 severs that can be excellent (personally I use it and like it much better than anything else) replacement if not all of the 30 servers are critical otherwise is pretty expensive.  The free version does not offer trends and reports are only based on current activity but again, other than that is great as you can have ALL servers on a central dashboard with red/yellow/green status and easy to setup.

Besides that depending what you need to monitor and how there are free tool like SQL own Performance Dashboard reports and MRTG:
shekhar_shashiAuthor Commented:
Another tool that seems very promising and was in the original mssqltips link is:       Zero Impact by SQL Power Tools (
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