Key points to look for in SQL Server monitoring software

by Jones David

Being able to monitor an SQL server effectively is the best way to sidestep performance issues and avoid downtime. Thankfully there are a number of different software solutions designed to achieve just that.

With many competing SQL server monitoring platforms vying for your attention, figuring out which to pick is not easy. To give you a foundation for your decision-making, here are a few important assets to look out for.

Comprehensive monitoring capabilities

Data platform ecosystems are getting more complex and diverse by the day, so it makes sense to find a monitoring service that is capable of keeping up with every aspect of the infrastructure you are responsible for, as you can learn here.

This includes being able to encompass a combination of privately hosted databases, cloud-powered setups and hybrid configurations that straddle the line between the two.

Browser-based interactivity

Being able to access the monitoring tools of your SQL server from anywhere and on any device is an obvious boon, which is why the top software packages will provide online interfaces accessible from a web browser for convenience and the ultimate in accessibility.

Many will also provide standalone apps which can be downloaded and installed locally, but it is good to have the flexibility of choice that a browser-based interface entails.

Graphical visualizations

Being blasted with a wall of data wherever you go to monitor your SQL server is not ideal, and can mean that it takes you longer to identify the root of relatively straightforward performance issues.

With the right monitoring software by your side, the current state of play will be expressed graphically in a way that lets you get a comprehensive snapshot in an instant, rather than needing to drill down into the figures.

Custom alerts

All monitoring software should automate aspects of this process and provide alerts when complications arise.

However, the truly appealing examples will give you the ability to customize alerts to your liking, letting you prioritize particular problems and bring them to the fore, or configure the way alerting operates to suit your preferences.


An important yet oft-overlooked asset of a good SQL server monitoring solution is the ability to scale with the growth of your database infrastructure, accommodating new instances as they are added and allowing your organization the breathing room to expand as well.

Scalability may not seem like a particular selling point if you are just at the start of your journey, but it is good to know that it is there for whatever the future might bring.

Analysis of variables

Finally, it is worth looking out for monitoring software that is not just capable of providing you with the raw information about performance, but is also intelligent enough to interpret what this data might mean and how it should be acted upon.

Analysis of wait stats to pinpoint problem queries, of deadlocks to deal with process conflicts and of TempDB growth to address a range of concerns should all be present and correct.

Finally, if all of these features are present and the price is competitive, you should be able to commit to a software service with confidence.

Image Source: Pixabay

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