SQL Server Monitoring

Paul Stage
Paul Stage used Ask the Experts™
I see this question was asked in the past, but it was several months ago. I have a SQL 2008 server that has about a dozen databases loaded, with one primary being about 1TB. I'm looking for a good SQL monitoring tool. I've used Spotlight on SQL in the past, and it was pretty, but didn't allow you to do too much. I've also trialed Redgate, which wasn't as pretty as Spotlight, but let you do some immediate changes to tweak performance. I also see that Idera has a product available, which I have not yet tested.

Does anyone have any experience with these products or another that they could share? My primary DB is supported by our EMR vendor, so I'm not really allowed to make changes. But, I do need to be able to identify issues to report to them for resolution. I found a comparison between several products here but of course, it's by idera, so it's kind of one sided.

Does anyone have personal experience with these products that can provide a good recommendation?
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Operational DBA
I have used DPA, Diagnostic Manager and Spotlight.  My personal preference is Diagnostic Manager for flexibility of the dashboards, non-asinine permissions models and sheer number of metrics included right out of the box.  The comparisons are honestly pretty fair for those 3 products.  I've never used SQLSentry, but based on my experience with Kevin Kline, I would be surprised if that's accurate.  Kevin and Brent Ozar were the main contributors to a giant poster of how to monitor SQL Server using perfmon counters, so I struggle to believe SQLSentry doesn't monitor TempDB.  The best way to figure out which one you like best is to get Trial versions of them all =)  They all have free trials.

Edit: DPA is, in my humbled opinion, just baaaaaarely in the best of breed monitoring solutions category.  Its real strength is its integration with Orion, which allows a single monitoring platform enterprise-wide - one stop shopping for all of your monitoring needs, if you will.
Vitor MontalvãoIT Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2017

I've used Spotlight on SQL in the past, and it was pretty, but didn't allow you to do too much.
What do you want to do with a monitoring tool? As the name says it is used to monitor your databases but you'll need to know what to do when some warning or error occurs.
I like SCOM, is from Microsoft and so support 100% MSSQL features and for each warning or error it has a resolution description that you can follow. In some cases it also gives you the option to try to fix or to run a personal script that you may have to fix the issue.

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