New SQL Monitor release extends insights into VMware performance
Cambridge UK, Tuesday 25 July - To improve the experience of running SQL Server inside virtual machines, Redgate Software has added support for VMware to version 7.1 of its popular SQL Server monitoring tool, SQL Monitor. Users can now quickly – and easily – identify if performance concerns are being caused by an issue within SQL Server or VMware.
While monitoring the performance of SQL Server can be achieved using custom scripts, the growing complexity of SQL Server estates is increasing the requirement for tools like SQL Monitor. As well as reducing daily checks from hours to minutes, with a web-based overview that updates every 15 seconds, it addresses the changing nature of the way SQL Server is being used.
The need for the VMware feature, for example, has emerged as the practice of using virtual machines grows. Once a risk-prone exercise, the advantages it offers, such as more effective load distribution, flexible provisioning, and the availability of additional tiers of redundancy, has made it commonplace.
But while the VMware platform offers benefits for SQL Server users, it also presents challenges. With other virtual machines running on the same host, each SQL Server instance now contends for the CPU, memory, network and physical I/O subsystem.
The result? Performance issues can be caused by problems with VMware rather than SQL Server, and tracking down those issues adds to the burden of administering a SQL Server estate, particularly if there are multiple instances.
The new version of SQL Monitor automatically detects any SQL Server instances running on virtual machines and presents VMware- related performance data in the Server Overview page.
“Behind the scenes, we’ve spent a lot of time developing really valuable VMware metrics, ” says Mark Champion, Redgate Product Marketing Manager. “But the real key to their usability is how users access the information. Rather than having to hunt for them, the overview is presented through a constantly updated graphical interface. It’s immediately apparent whether a problem is down to SQL Server or VMware, and the problem can be investigated further through an analysis page.”
The metrics for monitoring VMware include times when the CPU of a virtual machine is under-provisioned, where VMware is trying to reclaim memory, or when the physical host is under load. When issues like this arise, users can see in seconds the real cause of a drop in performance and, importantly, know what they need to do to resolve it.
The development team at Redgate is now working on other features that have been requested by users like the ability to configure and filter alerts so that, over time, SQL Monitor can be trained to know which alerts are the most important to individual users.