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We been having a lot of sql server performance problems lately. I've recently been digging into performance analysis using the variety of DMVs. I've definitely found some interesting things. Unfortunately, i'm a developer and can't spend a whole lot of time on this issue and we don't have any in house knowledge in this area. SQL performance monitoring almost seems like an art in itself. So i've been researching some tools that will lead us down the right path and take a lot of guess work out the equation. The competing tools i've found so far are:

  1. Ignite - Confio
  2. SQL Monitor - Redgate
  3. Foglight - Quest
  4. Diagnostic Manager - Idera
  5. Performance Advisor - SQL Sentry

    I'm leaning towards SQL Monitor because we have a variety of red gate tools and have been extremely happy with them and it comes at a very attractive price compared to the competition. I also really like the web interface compared to a stand alone app. I'm sure by the price there are features in the other tools that red gate doesn't have. There is only so much you can get from marketing info & videos on their website. Can anyone give some advice to which of the products (if not all) give alerts that are more geared towards the type of shop that doesn't have anyone who is SQL Server performance anaylsis pro?

Edit: Which of the tools require a separate machine? It appears from confio web site that ignite does.

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closed as not constructive by Aaron Bertrand, Mark Storey-Smith, Nick Chammas, JNK Jun 27 '12 at 2:14

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Disclaimer: I work for one of the vendors you mention. I don't think this question is on-topic here since all you're going to get is an argument over whose tool can beat up the other's tool's dad. Seriously. It is just going to invite opinion and there is no objective way to say "tool x is better." One might be cheaper than the others, but there is this adage called you get what you pay for. The proper way to determine which tool is best for your staff and your environment is to install the trial versions and try to use them yourself. The opinions you might get here are just that: opinions. –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 18 '12 at 16:29
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Most tools will probably work better with a dedicated machine handling their services. Some require agents on the monitored servers, some don't. Some have published studies extensively detailing the overhead you should expect to see, some keep that information quiet. Some have very good support departments, some are more geared to marketing and pre-sales. Only your experience and your expectations can dictate what you will deem "best"... –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 18 '12 at 16:32
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And finally, any tool is capable of raising alerts and providing advice. But you have to take any advice you get on what to do about those alerts with a grain of salt. The tuning advisor, for example, can make all kinds of bad recommendations about what indexes to create. Not only because it recommends duplicate or redundant indexes, but it also does so based on limited information - you gave it a workload but does it represent your entire business cycle? –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 18 '12 at 16:42
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Will your staff be able to identify that a recommended index isn't a duplicate or that it won't adversely affect your workload at the end of the week when your bulk load or ETL processes kick in? –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 18 '12 at 16:42
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I think that what @Aaron implies is that you should consider hiring an SQL-Server (performance) expert, either permanent or on-demand. An expert with simple tools is usually better than a novice with expert tools. –  ypercube Jun 18 '12 at 19:10
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I think the comments on the question answer it. I'm creating this so i can mark the question as answered.

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