What is most valuable?
The capability to baseline the environment and define thresholds for alerting is definitely the most valuable feature in my opinion. As an operational DBA, I don't write code but need to make sure the SQL servers are healthy, performing scheduled jobs and made aware when issues arise.
How has it helped my organization?
SQL monitoring time has been dramatically reduced AND our IT Infrastructure team has improved SQL maintenance and monitoring knowledge over time just by using SQL DM. The dashboard provides valuable health information at a glance and from there drilling in and finding the cause of issues is pretty straightforward. Our SQL server environment consists mainly of proprietary databases so it is vital that we are on top of performance, resources and job execution - SQL DM provides the view into all of this.
What needs improvement?
With basic SQL training in my history, I've found at times I needed to Google SQL counters, for example, to understand what was occurring or how to configure SQL DM to be useful. While support has helped out, it's not their job to teach SQL! The built in help works for general configuration of the product but sometimes lacks the descriptions needed for fully understanding the intent of particular settings.
For how long have I used the solution?
We first implemented version 4.X so at least 10 years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
The original deployment was straightforward and upgrades have become more streamlined along the way.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
In earlier versions we periodically needed to restart services but with each upgrade, stability has improved and I don't recall ever needing to restart the version we are using, which is a few versions behind at this point.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Not at all. We easily moved from a SQL server that also contained the application to running the app on our Infrastructure app server and the database on a shared SQL server. Adding licenses and new servers to the SQL DM environment is simple.
How are customer service and technical support?
Although I haven't contacted customer service often, the response has always been prompt, courteous and provided for our needs. Additionally, Idera is very good at keeping the customer up to date on Account Manager changes. Technical Support
Tech support has been contacted only a few times but I found them to be prompt, knowledgeable and helpful in their responses. There is a level of SQL knowledge that I, as a relative beginner in the SQL world, found very helpful!
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
No. We were floundering around with MS SQL counters, event logs, SQL trace and profiler and were basically in the dark.
How was the initial setup?
Straightforward. Install the app and repository and if using the console from a different machine, ie. your workstation, install the console. Launch the app and start base-lining. Adjust thresholds based on your needs and build alerts. The configuration remains through upgrades.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented in-house. It's a simple install and configuration is ongoing for the initial month or so until baselines are established and thresholds and alerts defined.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
License codes are provided by Account Managers and are required for installing or upgrading the product.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at MOM but were already invested in Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor at the time so decided not to go with MOM just for the SQL piece. While Solarwinds had SQL Application Monitor at the time it was not as easy to install, configure or understand as SQL DM.