MS SQL, Microsoft’s relational database management system (RDBMS), is known for its broad spectrum of capabilities such as transaction processing, business intelligence, and analytics. This is why most businesses trust and invest in SQL for their data storage and access needs.

What are the benefits of monitoring SQL servers?

  • Discover time-intensive elements in queries that are increasing latency.

  • Detect and remove deadlocks.

  • Diminish downtime.

  • Improve the overall performance of the SQL server.

Applications Manager offers proactive SQL server monitoring. It comes with a dynamic fault management framework that identifies root cause, allows adaptive threshold configurations, and implements automated corrective actions.

How to add a SQL monitor in Applications Manager

Step 1: Log in to Applications Manager using your respective credentials.

Step 2: Click New Monitor > Add New Monitor.

Step 3: Fill in all the necessary fields, then click the Add Monitor(s) button.

Refer to our documentation for detailed instructions on creating a SQL monitor.

An overview of key SQL server metrics monitored by Applications Manager

When you add a SQL monitor in Applications Manager, it collects crucial metrics that will help you understand the performance of the SQL server. You can then take steps to tune the server’s performance and increase its efficiency, ensuring smooth delivery of mission-critical services in your organization.

In this segment, let’s take a look at the key metrics monitored by Applications Manager.

CPU usage

CPU usage is one of the most crucial parameters for a database server, as it determines the performance baseline of your system. Applications Manager’s SQL monitor provides a separate performance tab that offers detailed graphical data about average and total CPU time.

This section also provides options to view the top queries based on CPU, I/O, Common Language Runtime (CLR), etc. You can view detailed information about the queries, including their execution times and database names, along with other related information. These tabs reveal queries that are frequently executed. You can identify the top 10 queries consuming the most CPU and start investigating the resource utilization of each of these queries and how you can tune them.

Buffer details 

As you know, SQL mostly operates by executing queries. The execution of these queries involves various operations that occur between the buffer cache and the database. The SQL monitor in Applications Manager monitors the buffer cache, enabling you to keep tabs on its efficiency. It provides a table that represents important data such as Buffer Hit Ratio, Page Reads/Min, Page Writes/Min, Database Pages, and Page Life Expectancy.

The buffer hit ratio can indicate that you need to improve overall database performance; for instance, a low value indicates a problem with memory, giving you a heads-up that you need to rectify the issue. The number of page reads and writes provides an overview of the server load.

The Database Pages counter tells you how many database pages are currently being occupied in the data cache. The higher the value of this metric, the less room there is for the SQL server to cache more data pages. This means the SQL server may have to free up data cache pages to make room for pages being moved in from the disk to the data cache, which can increase disk I/O and hurt performance. If the value of the Database Pages counter increases above its baseline, this may indicate memory pressure for the SQL Server instance.

Database details

Most businesses carry out mission-critical tasks that rely on the storage and retrieval of data. This data is stored in various database files that are often quite large. It is imperative to monitor and manage these files, as they can gradually take up all the available space on the server and cause it to become unavailable.

Applications Manager’s SQL monitor features a separate table that provides details on all databases along with information about the respective data and log files, such as used, free, total, and max memory. This information enables you to better manage the risk of your server running out of memory.

When you click on the database name, it gives you further information such as system tables, user tables, table relationships, fragmentation details, database disk utilization, log flush details, transaction details, virtual log files, and database mirroring details.

Jobs and sessions

Database administrators (DBAs) create jobs that need to be performed in the database. A SQL Server agent performs these jobs by executing a set of tasks successively. Ensuring that these jobs are properly executed is essential, as a mistake could significantly impact business operations. Failed or long-running jobs can degrade performance and put the database at risk. DBAs need to find those issues and resolve them quickly.

The SQL monitor in Applications Manager maintains a table of jobs that lists details such as the job name, its current execution status, the execution time, the number of retries attempted, and the history of job execution. This information aids in taking actions to address issues and avoid a major server breakdown.

Applications Manager’s SQL monitor also provides graphical representations of both connection and SQL stats. This gives an overall picture of the active connections, along with the queries, compilations, and recompilations that are taking place in the server.

Stats on backup, restore, and replication operations

Businesses have crucial data in their databases, and protecting the integrity of that information is essential. SQL servers support replication, where database files are copied from one database to another so that data does not disappear when an unexpected outage happens. It is important to monitor the replication process, as it can help discover data inconsistencies.

The SQL monitor of Applications Manager provides details on the replication process along with its respective agent details. This enables DBAs to identify faults easily and correct them.

Backup and restore operations are I/O intensive, especially when the database or database backup file is relatively large. It is therefore vital to monitor the backup and restore process of the SQL server. The Backup/Restore tab in Applications Manager’s SQL monitor provides details on the backup and restore process, such as time stamps of the start and end time along with the location. As backup and restoration progresses, DBAs can estimate the expected time of completion and predict any potential impact on the system.

User stats

Security is an integral part of all systems and organizations. A business using a SQL server might have a great deal of databases containing sensitive information. This is exactly why it is important to monitor the users that have permission to make changes in databases.

Applications Manager’s SQL monitor provides user statistics, such as a user’s username, status, login type, and the date and time their account was created, to keep track of all users. This data could prove useful in case of a security breach.

Start monitoring in minutes

Applications Manager is an effective tool in monitoring not only SQL Server, but a wide range of other applications as well. You can download a free 30-day trial of Applications Manager and start monitoring now, or you can register for a personalized demo here.

Applications Manager is a part of ManageEngine ITOM suite of solutions. Apart from Applications monitoring, ITOM also has solutions to streamline network monitoringserver monitoring, bandwidth monitoringconfiguration managementfirewall security and compliance, IP address management and switch port management. Truly, this makes ITOM solutions an ideal choice for over 1 million IT admins, worldwide.
Priya Praburam
Content Writer