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IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server is the #8 ranked solution in our list of top Database Development and Management tools. It is most often compared to Redgate SQL Toolbelt: IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server vs Redgate SQL Toolbelt

What is IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server?

SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server helps database administrators to find and fix SQL Server performance problems in physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Unlike its competition, it provides effective scalability, advanced SQL query analysis and optimization, prescriptive analysis with corrective SQL scripts, powerful automated alert responses, broad PowerShell integration, complete customization, and extensive support for current and legacy SQL Server and Windows.

IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server is also known as IDERA SQL DM, IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager .

Buyer's Guide

Download the Database Development and Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server Customers

Padnos, University of Notre Dame, D4, Infeon Technologies, Chevron, LC Waikiki, Sisters of Saint Francis Health Services, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, CVE, Colorado State University, St. Charles, Chaucer PLC, 1-800-Flowers, Ancoris, Money Management, National Opinion Research Center, California Department of Health, Plexus; Aviva, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, CBS, Comcast, Google, Merck, Regions Financial, Schneider Electric, Tata Consultancy Services, Verizon Communications, Zurich Financial Services

IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server Video

Archived IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager for SQL Server Reviews (more than two years old)

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JS
Senior DBA Lead at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Proactively alerts us on a wide variety of issues, but it has not scaled out well with our large environment

Pros and Cons

  • "We're able to diagnose issues prior to their actually becoming issues. Without the alerting, we wouldn't have a clue as to what was going to happen. With the alerting, it gives us a heads-up that a specific threshold has been met, and we need to take specific action."
  • "I'm going to do an upgrade which may resolve my issues, but one area for improvement is its ability to handle the amount of data that we collect with it. We're likely one of the largest installations, with over 300 servers being collected with this product, and sometimes there are gaps. That would really be my only concern, in terms of how the data is collected and stored, for consistency."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to look at the overarching environment and, from there, we're able to pick and choose which servers and databases we want to view more closely. We manage over 300 servers, and 14,000 databases. We're constantly in the tool, utilizing it to drill down and determine what is going on with a specific database and query, or cache, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

We get hundreds of alerts per day, because we manage so many different servers and databases, that alert us to disk space issues, query issues, a wide variety of things. We take that information and we're able to make proactive decisions as to what we need to do.

In terms of the solution helping us with performance monitoring and diagnostics, sticking with the alerting feature, we're able to diagnose issues prior to their actually becoming issues. Without the alerting, we wouldn't have a clue as to what was going to happen. With the alerting, it gives us a heads-up that a specific threshold has been met, and we need to take specific action.

Overall, it has allowed us to do more with database management and run more databases on a given server, because we're able to isolate issues quicker and take the proactive steps necessary to correct them. We were spread out with many servers running databases. We've consolidated some 80 servers down to just a handful. We're getting more bang for the buck out of the equipment that we have.

What is most valuable?

There are so many features. One of the most valuable features is the ability to alert, proactively, on a variety of issues on which we would normally not get a heads-up, that something is going to happen. The alerting functionality is important.

There are a few pre-designed reports that we use for database and disk usage growth, that allow us to show, over time, how much a database and disk space have grown. They help us plan for the coming year.

What needs improvement?

I'm going to do an upgrade which may resolve my issues, but one area for improvement is its ability to handle the amount of data that we collect with it. We're likely one of the largest installations, with over 300 servers being collected with this product, and sometimes there are gaps. That would really be my only concern, in terms of how the data is collected and stored, for consistency.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with the stability of the solution recently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is what I mentioned earlier, regarding room for improvement. It doesn't seem to scale out to an environment as large as ours, with just a single monitoring server. We're monitoring over 300 servers with one. That seems to cause some issues with stuff getting skipped, or gaps being produced.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would evaluate tech support as "fair." It has declined over recent years. It's not what it once was.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. Click, click, click and that was it. The install process took 15 minutes. It was ten years ago, so I'm doing my best to recall correctly.

Regarding our installation strategy, the initial reason we bought it was to evaluate how it was going to work in our environment; to monitor a variety of servers to see how we were doing.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing seems fair to me.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated several solutions back then. I'm sure Redgate was in the mix, and we had our own little set of scripts that we used to run that would just give us some information, but this is the one we decided to go with. It was a long time ago. I don't remember the reasons why.

What other advice do I have?

Evaluate your different options and choose what you think is the best fit. Every one has its pros and cons. I always equate software to my experience - and I'm dating myself - back in the 80s, with radar detectors for cars. The radar detector companies would come out with a product that would pick up radar much better, so you wouldn't get stopped for speeding, and then one would come out with something better, and it would just go back and forth. It's the same thing with databases. Ultimately, you pick a platform, be it Oracle or SQL or whatever, you stick with it and go with it. You re-evaluate as time goes on, but as time goes on, it becomes more entrenched and more ingrained. So do your research up front and make sure you can live with it. Think about all the different options and where you're going to be in five or ten years.

In terms of our implementation, we have not used the solution to create any custom dashboards, charts, or counters. We have 12 DBAs using the system. I'm the only one in our organization who deploys this product. At this time we don't have any plans for increased usage. We're already monitoring the vast majority of our SQL Servers.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten, primarily because of the scalability issue we've seen. It has a lot of really nice features in it, but the scalability, from our standpoint, is what's holding it back right now.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
MB
Senior Manager, Data Operations at a consumer goods company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Allows us to respond quickly to any database issues, but does not handle performance-tweaking well

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are disk space projections for planning, and also the Snapshotting ability, to look back in time, to see what was going on the server at a particular time. It's basically the output of an sp_who2."
  • "We don't find that it helps us with performance monitoring and diagnostics. We find that SentryOne does that better. Also, in terms of alerts, we had to customize them dramatically so that we didn't get alerted on every little thing."
  • "I would absolutely love to create customized dashboards but, unfortunately, they don't provide me the information that I need to create the report. The report I need is the detail or the transaction detail that's happening on those Snapshots. I'd like to be able to go back through time and search for things. I don't have that functionality, which is very disappointing. That's pretty bad and frustrating because I could query it and find out so much information about what's hitting my environment and when, but instead, they want control over it and to not give me that information. So it's encrypted. I can't pull it out and that is really bothersome."
  • "The initial setup gives too many user rights to the server, so you have to put a user that is part administrator's group - that's the preferred way - on each server, which is kind of a risk. You want to do least privilege and you're not doing that."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is monitoring. We use the solution to get an overview of our entire environment and then drill down to view details. We look for issues that have happened in the past, that have been reported by users. We can then see what was going on, on the server, at that time, to cause such issues.

The only people who are using it are eight DBAs.

We did increase usage for lower environments rather than just production environments.

How has it helped my organization?

It just allows us to respond quickly to any database issues. We have customized the alerts to be "critical." We will actually then send a PagerDuty alert which will then buzz us. Non-critical stuff will go into our inbox and we'll look at it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are disk space projections for planning, and also the Snapshotting ability, to look back in time, to see what was going on the server at a particular time. It's basically the output of an sp_who2.

What needs improvement?

We don't find that it helps us with performance monitoring and diagnostics. We find that SentryOne does that better.

In terms of alerts, we had to customize them dramatically so that we didn't get alerted on every little thing.

I would absolutely love to create customized dashboards but, unfortunately, they don't provide me the information that I need to create the report. The report I need is the transaction detail that's happening on those Snapshots. I'd like to be able to go back through time and search for things. I don't have that functionality, which is very disappointing. That's pretty bad and frustrating because I could query it and find out so much information about what's hitting my environment and when, but instead, they want control over it and to not give me that information. So it's encrypted. I can't pull it out and that is really bothersome.

For example, a use case is where a user is using a particular account from a particular desktop, to be able to connect to our database, and we want to track all the times that they did that. I have no facility to do that, even though the tool contains that information and stores that information. Instead, I have to go through the History Browser and click every five minutes and go back every five minutes and look and query and then go back and it's too cumbersome, considering it's a database tool. I should be able to query it like a database.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had stability issues where we have to restart the SQL Diagnostic Manager service because all of a sudden it has stopped collecting, so we didn't see any new Snapshots.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

Our experience with technical support has been good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup gives too many user rights to the server, so you have to put a user that is part of the administrator's group - that's the preferred way - on each server, which is kind of a risk. You want to do least privilege and you're not doing that. They also have non-recommended settings and we use the non-recommended settings where we don't give full access. But it's kind of bad that that's what they recommend. As a company that supports databases, I would think they would also support least privilege.

The setup has been revisited a couple of times. We've moved it from server to server. It takes about three hours to get everything configured right. But that has been over the course of time because we'd have to tweak all the alerts, etc. If you really want to talk overall, it probably took six months to get everything just the way we wanted it.

Our implementation strategy was to not have it alert us every minute. We needed to reconfigure the alerts so that it wouldn't alert us all the time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We were upgraded to Premium Support without their actually asking us, when we were quoted. Then I asked for Standard Support and that they had to re-quote us that. But they don't do that by default. They upcharge you by default, which I didn't think was very nice, without even asking.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at IDERA SQL Diagnostic Manager vs SQL Sentry. However, SQL Sentry is harder to configure for alerts.

What other advice do I have?

Work on configuration and take the time to configure alerts.

I rate it at seven out of ten because it does not handle performance-tweaking that well, but it does a good job on monitoring.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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LP
Senior DBA with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Helps us proactively diagnose issues in our system

What is our primary use case?

We use it to look at performance.

How has it helped my organization?

With Diagnostic Manager what happens is that, when it reaches a certain threshold, it helps us diagnose the issue. For example, disk space: If it's going low on disk space, it alerts us saying, "Hey, this is the warning, and this is at this percent." It allows us to try to see, or remedy, the causes. It's more proactive.

What needs improvement?

I wish there were more tools or more you could add. There are some there, out-of-the-box, but if there were many more, with more options, that would be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is pretty good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support has been okay, not that great, but they made sure that we got what we were looking for.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

When we looked at it we thought the features were good, so we started using it. We do have another similar product that we also use, it's called Cycle Monitor.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little bit complicated. It was not straightforward, but the support team was able to help. I have to call out that they did a good job. I needed manuals and the support had to help me out. Every product comes with a learning curve, and there are certain things that you have to know before you can do it.

What was our ROI?

We do get good value out of it. One of the things that it is used for is to detect anything that could possibly cause our systems not to function well, and it has helped us to determine that before anything has actually happened. I can't give you what the actual return on investment would be but it has done what we aimed for with this kind of product.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is reasonable, it's comparable with the competitors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Foglight, Toad, and one other.

What other advice do I have?

If possible do training, or work with the tech support to make sure that you have considered everything and see what the product does before you try it on your own. Doing that would be very helpful and will save time and will help you get the best out of the product.

I would rate it at eight out of 10. There are a couple of good features but it's not really intuitive and easy to use. Overall, the product is pretty good, just a little bit less user-friendly than I would like.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
Database Administrator at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Monitors and alerts on our mission critical instances in real-time on a 24/7 basis

Pros and Cons

  • "The best part of SQL DM is the ability to customize alerts and counters. This allows our team to find an issue then alert on the issue at a granular level."
  • "SQL DM made troubleshooting much easier and allowed multiple people to look into an issue with confidence."
  • "Monitors and alerts on our mission critical instances in real-time on a 24/7 basis."
  • "It would helpful if SQL DM could mark when changes are made within the program."

What is our primary use case?

We use SQL DM to monitor and alert on our mission critical instances in real-time on a 24/7 basis. SQL DM was also used to troubleshoot deadlocks, blocking, and slow query performance helping in faster resolution and consistent uptime. 

How has it helped my organization?

SQL DM made troubleshooting much easier and allowed multiple people to look into an issue with confidence. The default and custom alerting allowed for instance problem resolution by anyone on the IT team.

What is most valuable?

The best part of SQL DM is the ability to customize alerts and counters. This allows our team to find an issue, then alert on the issue at a granular level.

What needs improvement?

It would helpful if SQL DM could mark when changes are made within the program. This would make it easier to see on a graph when something happened and the effect of that change.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Cloud Database Administrator at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Provides alert customization. No deployment issues.​

What is most valuable?

I love the customization of the alerts.

We created several stored procedures/functions that would query multiple DMV’s and alert if a certain threshold was reached. However, since new DMV’s are added, or older ones are adjusted, it caused too much headache to continue to support the home brew method.

How has it helped my organization?

Baselining our SQL Servers has made a huge impact.

What needs improvement?

Some more granularity in alerting.

We created several stored procedures/functions that would query multiple DMV’s and alert if a certain threshold was reached. However, since new DMV’s are added, or older ones are adjusted, it caused too much headache to continue to support the home brew method.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for less than one year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The Idera team is amazing: 10 out of 10.

Technical Support:

The Idera team is amazing: 10 out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used a home-brewed alerting package that was very dated.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it.

What was our ROI?

ROI is unknown.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is worth the money for one of the best solutions on the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we evaluated SentryOne, SolarWinds, and Dell.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT - Server Administration with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
The capability to baseline the environment and define thresholds for alerting is definitely the most valuable feature in my opinion.

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?

Customer Service:

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user177303
Database Architect at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Overall analysis of data gathered from SQL Server needs work but it is easy to perform issue investigations

What is most valuable?

Ability to identify bottlenecks, deadlocks and slow running queries and run monthly and daily reports.

How has it helped my organization?

It was easier for DBA team to perform issue investigations, slowness of the servers and failures.

What needs improvement?

Reporting and overall analysis of data gathered from SQL Server.

For how long have I used the solution?

One year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Minor. When we migrated to the new server, we had to call the company to transfer the license as their license is issued per server name which had changed..

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the

What is most valuable?

Ability to identify bottlenecks, deadlocks and slow running queries and run monthly and daily reports.

How has it helped my organization?

It was easier for DBA team to perform issue investigations, slowness of the servers and failures.

What needs improvement?

Reporting and overall analysis of data gathered from SQL Server.

For how long have I used the solution?

One year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Minor. When we migrated to the new server, we had to call the company to transfer the license as their license is issued per server name which had changed..

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We recently switched to SolarWinds DPA 9.0 because it provides similar functions but with better pricing model.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this product - I liked it!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.