DBAs are always looking for ways to better manage the performance of their database systems and the applications that access those databases. Indeed, monitoring and tuning are perhaps the most frequent tasks that DBAs perform. So, it makes sense that DBAs want to use tools that ease this burden.
One tool that should be on the radar for DBAs looking to improve their performance management capabilities is the latest release of Navicat Monitor, version 2.0, which now includes support for Microsoft SQL Server. That means that Navicat Monitor can now support the monitoring of Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB, and Percona Server databases.
Navicat Monitor is an agentless remote server monitoring tool that runs on Windows, Mac or Linux and can be accessed from anywhere via a web browser. Navicat Monitor can be installed on any local computer or virtual machine. It also supports cloud services including AWS, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and others. It does not require any software installation on the servers being monitored.
It is common for DBAs these days to manage multiple different types of DBMSes, and Navicat Monitor can help these DBAs with its intuitive dashboard interface. Navicat can display summary information for all your database instances on its main dashboard screen. And with the compact view you can see over a hundred instances on a single screen!
In Figure 1 we can see a screen shot of the dashboard showing how multiple servers can be monitored from a single pane. You can filter by DBMS type and search for specific instances, simplifying the way in which DBAs manage the performance of all the different databases under their purview.
Figure 1. Navicat Monitor Dashboard
Using the dashboard DBAs can view a one-page summary of the real-time health and performance of all the database instances they are responsible for. And the dashboard can be customized to enable DBAs to view the information they want in the manner they want to see it.
Microsoft SQL Server Support
But the big news for Navicat Monitor Version 2.0 is the addition of support for Microsoft SQL Server. All the performance management capabilities you have been using for MySQL and MariaDB are now available for SQL Server. This means you can measure database performance metrics such as CPU load, RAM usage, I/O bottlenecks, locking issues and more for each database type and instance you support.
A major component of performance monitoring and tuning for Microsoft SQL Server involves determining the cause of observed or reported SQL Server issues and implementing the requisite changes to improve performance. Changes may be required to any component of the technology stack supporting the applications including the SQL Server database, application code, operating system configuration, and hardware components. From a database perspective, tuning can require modifications to many different facets of your SQL Server environment, including Transact-SQL (whether in queries, stored procedures, or programs), optimized execution plans, indexing, database structures, your SQL Server configuration, operating system configuration, and the physical hardware you use including memory, disk and other data storage mechanisms, and really, any parameters or configuration options.
The challenge is to identify what is causing the performance issue and that is where Navicat Monitor shines. DBAs can use Navicat Monitor to gain visibility into instance resource utilization, performance, and operational health. Using Navicat Monitor you can get a complete overview of all your instances and how they are performing. You can interact with Navicat Monitor using its graphical visualization of performance metrics for a high-level view, and then drill down into a more detailed analysis.
Navicat Monitor uses a performance repository to capture historical performance metrics which you can use to evaluate performance trends and diagnose problems. DBAs can set up customized rules to alert when specific performance thresholds are reached, delivering notifications via email, SMS, SNMP, or Slack. And if you do not have time to customize your own rules Navicat Monitor comes preconfigured with more than 40 alert policies right out-of-the-box. Of course, these rules can be customized later to conform to the metrics and thresholds most important to your environment.
But probably the single most vexing issue for DBAs and developers is SQL performance. It is estimated that as much as 80% of relational database performance problems can be attributed to poorly performing SQL. And without the capabilities of Navicat Monitor it can be extremely challenging to identify, analyze and improve the performance of poorly performing SQL queries.
Navicat Monitor’s Query Analyzer feature delivers the ability to identify, analyze and optimize the performance of SQL queries. Using Query Analyzer to regularly track the performance of your top resource-consuming SQL statements can help you to constantly improve the overall performance of your applications by finding, and then tuning the worst performers first.
Figure 2. Navicat Monitor Query Analyzer
Refer to Figure 2. You can use Query Analyzer to implement a common best practice, identifying and tuning a top five list of problem queries. Query Analyzer gathers information about SQL queries and identifies the Top 5 Queries, which are the 5 most time-consuming query statements, along with additional details.
Take a look at the Query Table section of the Query Analyzer, shown toward the bottom of the screen shot in Figure 2. Here we see that Navicat has identified the Top 5 queries based on total execution time, along with additional details including the SQL text, a count of how many times the SQL was run, and cumulative execution time.
You can use Query Analyzer to dive down and acquire more information on all of the longest-running queries in your environment. Figure 3 shows the Long Running Queries screen. Here we can perform an in-depth analysis of the long running queries examining when they are run along with additional details including execution plan details, lock waits, I/O, and all the relevant database and system details to help you optimize your SQL.
Figure 3. Long Running Queries
If you already use Navicat Monitor, you’ll love the new version. If you have yet to use it, now is the time to take a look. And with the new Microsoft SQL Server support, Navicat Monitor 2.0 will be beneficial to even more organizations and DBA teams than ever before.