Suggestions

Welcome to the Redgate SQL Monitor feature suggestions list. Tell us how we can improve SQL Monitor by voting on these suggestions or by submitting your own ideas.

This is the easiest way to make an impact on SQL Monitor’s roadmap. Check out the completed suggestions to see how your ideas have influenced us in the past. Please note that this list is one of multiple sources that drive our development, meaning that we will not always implement the highest-ranking suggestions.

To give your idea the greatest possible impact, please follow these guidelines:

  • Describe the goal you’re trying to accomplish, rather than a specific solution to get there
  • If you have a favoured solution, add it as a comment to your suggestion
  • Give us as much context as possible
  • Only make one suggestion per post. If you have multiple ideas, submit them in separate posts
  • Comment and vote on existing posts to develop the ideas — often the SQL Monitor team will initially stay quiet about new suggestions to see what you have to say!

If you have any questions visit the SQL Monitor forum.

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  1. Triage and configure repeating alerts more efficiently

    CONTEXT: Some alert types such as Long-running queries, Job Failure or Error Log Entries can trigger very frequently under certain circumstances.

    PROBLEM: This causes a large number of alert emails to be sent, and the only way to ascetain that all these alerts are the same is to view the details screen for all of them.

    EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS
    • Group similar alerts in the alert inbox
    • Raise alerts not on individual events, but on these events happening a specified number of times
    • Mention identifying information sooner: e.g. directly in the alert inbox
    • Suppress query-based alerts for specific…

    408 votes
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      60 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Custom reports against alerts, queries and metrics

      CONTEXT: We want to see the bigger picture arising from the data presented in SQL Monitor.

      PROBLEM: Currently you can't pull together a report in the SQL Monitor UI, and the monitoring database is not particularly accessible. We need reports against:
      - The metrics shown in the analysis graph
      - The top queries and waits
      - The alerts raised over time
      - Server configuration and SLA

      EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
      - Provide reporting scripts against the monitoring database
      - Privide a BI interface against the monitoring database
      - Priovide richer data-export functionality in the UI
      - Provide a report designer in the…

      216 votes
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        48 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Suppress performance-related alerts during maintenance periods

        CONTEXT: I expect my system to slow down during routine maintenance tasks, which often leads to false postitives for performance-related alerts (long-running queries, High CPU...) in SQL Monitor.

        PROBLEM: While I could configure a maintenance window where alerts don't get raised, this would also suppress operational alerts (e.g. Machine unreachable, Job failed) - these are still relevant while maintenance is in progress

        EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
        • Allow to configure maintenance times for individual alerts
        • Change maintenance window behaviour so that operational alerts are still active during maintenance

        What do you think about these solutions? Got another idea? Let us know…

        212 votes
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          24 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Only receive emails for the most important alerts

          CONTEXT: I review alerts raised by SQL Monitor in order to stay on top of my server activity, and I also have alert emails enabled in order to respond quickly to issues.

          PROBLEM: I only want to receive emails for issues that require immedate action or are otherwise noteworthy. I don't want to change the alert thresholds because for my triage, the "lower-priority" alerts are still interesting - but they shouldn't be sent as emails.

          EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
          • Send emails by alert priority - e.g. medium and high only
          • Alter the default alert behaviour to only send emails for…

          189 votes
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            13 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

            There is a conflict of interest inherent in alerting systems: The fewer alerts you get, you lower the notification noise, but you also lose detail in the trail of historical alerts. In many environemnts, historical alerts double as a trace of server activity. SQL Monitor users solve this by setting “Low” thresholds for things they want to see in a trace but “Medium” and “High” thresholds for the things that should trigger a notification. “Low” alerts aren’t so much alerts as they are informationlals.

            We have started addressing the problem by revising our default thresholds and improving guidance in the configuration screens. Longer term, we are looking to find a better solution to the “server trace” usecase than the alerts, so that alerts can focus on their primary purpose: notifying DBAs of issues and prompting them to action.

          • Forecast and plan disk/database capacity

            CONTEXT: When looking after a large number of databases, we have to make sure that none of them run out of space or I/O capacity.

            PROBLEM: SQL Monitor needs to show us:
            • The current size of Database files (and which disks they are on) and how full they are, ideally with a forecast
            • Autogrowth configuration
            • Space remaining on disk, ideally with a forecast
            • File and disk-level IO metrics, ideally with a forecast

            EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
            • Provide this data as metrics in the Analysis Graph
            • Create a Disk Overview report with this data
            • Enhance the…

            161 votes
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              10 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

              Note that currently the best way to get a trend and forecast report on disk metrics is to export a few weeks’ worth of disk space data as a CSV and use e.g. Excel to plot a linear trendline.

              We are considering a built-in report on disk usage, but we are currenlty thinking of it as a secondary priority.

            • Make alert configuration levels more discoverable

              CONTEXT: In SQL Monitor, you can configure alert behaviour down to the object level (such as the Database or the Job level). This is useful e.g. when we have specific databases with different backup policies to our global configuration, since we can specifiy "special rules" for individual databases.

              PROBLEM: It is counterintuitive how to do so, and many people don't spot the left-hand drilldown navigation - this makes you think that you can only configure on the global and the server level! Also, when we have created an override, it's easy to forget so causes surprise when we change the…

              143 votes
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                39 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Make SQL Monitor scale to more machines and networks

                CONTEXT: We want to monitor many different servers in different domains and locations

                PROBLEM: Network configuration for cross-domain monitoring can be challenging, and SQL Monior can slow down if many servers are being mointored

                EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
                • Create a central web interface that can access multiple Base monitors
                • Provide an optional agent that can be deployed for easier network configuration
                • Make a single installation of SQL Monitor scale to a larger number of servers, and make network configuration easier

                118 votes
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                  18 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                  A significant improvement to scaling individual SQL Monitor installations to a larger number of SQL Servers is coming in SQL Monitor 5.1. That version will also support cross-network monitoring via VPN tunnels.

                  Obviously, improving scalability of a tool is an open-ended project, so this will never be “complete”, and work will continue on improving things. However, SQL Monitor 5.1 marks a significant step in that direction.

                • Identifiy the failed job steps when a job has failed

                  CONTEXT: When looking at a job failed alert, we would like to pinpoint why it has failed.

                  PROBLEM: SQL Monitor doesn't indentify the failed steps - we have to go to SSIS to get that information.

                  EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
                  • Add this information to the "Job failed" alert
                  • Provide a query to make retrieving this data more convenient

                  103 votes
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                    10 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Install SQL Monitor without needing to provision a (large) SQL Server database

                    CONTEXT: One challenge with installing SQL Monitor is that we need to provide a connection to a SQL Server database.

                    PROBLEM: This can be costly or complicated. It would be better if SQL Monitor had an alternative backend.

                    EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
                    • Offer a hosted data store
                    • Automatically deploy a free backend alternative such as mongoDB or PostgreSQL
                    • Reduce data collection so that SQL Express can be used for small deployments
                    • Provide greater granularity over data retention policies

                    What do you think about these solutions? Got another idea? Let us know in the comments!

                    101 votes
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                      29 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                      A significant improvement to our use of disk space is coming in SQL Monitor 5.1, allowing SQL Express to back ca 5-10 servers deployments (this will vary depending on the activity levels of your SQL server instances and your purge settings)

                      Obviously, improving scalability of a tool is an open-ended project, so this will never be “complete”, and work will continue on improving things. However, SQL Monitor 5.1 marks a significant step in that direction.

                    • Reduce the number of false-positive status alerts (e.g. Machine unreachable)

                      CONTEXT: Many status alerts (eg. Machine unreachable) have a simple configuration model, meaning that these alerts will trigger as soon as a ping to the Machine fails.

                      PROBLEM: VPN connection resets, scheduled restarts, etc. all may be acceptable causes for a ping to fail in our system, but these currently lead to a lot of false positives... provided they are brief, and the system recovers in time.

                      EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
                      • Add configuration to the machine unreachable alerts to set a time threshold
                      • Require two consecutive pings to fail before raising the alert

                      94 votes
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                        14 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Identify if virtualization hosts are congested

                        CONTEXT: We are monitoring virtual servers that share a VM host.

                        PROBLEM: If host resources are overallocated, the physical resources can be contended even if the virtual resources aren't. This is not easy to spot in SQL Monitor.

                        EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS
                        • Add virutal host counters for VMware and Hyper-V to the analysis graph: CPU, Memory, disk...
                        • Integrate with a Virtualisation monitoring solution to connect the dots more easily

                        94 votes
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                          5 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                          Note that ManageEngine create a very good and free VM Host monitoring tool:

                          https://www.manageengine.com/virtualization-management/?FreeTools

                          The capabilities of that tool is a few steps above the kind of virtualisation monitoring you can get from any SQL Server monitoring tool I’ve seen, and also above what we could build into SQL Monitor in the medium term: VIrtualisation is quite a complex technology!

                          My advice in the interim is to use a dedicated tool for VM host monitoring: The stuff you get thrown in with a SQL Server tool is in most cases not worth it.

                        • Integrate SQL Monitor notifications with devices, ticketing systems and and other monitoring tools

                          CONTEXT: SQL Monitor is one of multiple tools I use to monitor my estate, such as SCOM, Tivoli, and OpenView. I would like to consoldate notifications from all of these tools

                          PROBLEM: SQL Monitor only sends human-readable email notifications, but other integration points like SNMP traps are not provided out of the box

                          EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
                          • Provide an SNMP demon against SQL Monitor's alerting data
                          • Make SQL Monitor send SNMP notifications out of the box
                          • Ability to send SMS or other push notifications
                          • Ability to "forward" an alert into a ticketing system

                          93 votes
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                            16 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Use extended events for deadlock "tracing" instead of a trace flag

                            If the SQL Server version is high enough, using extended events to capture deadlock information would be preferred to using a trace flag.

                            81 votes
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                              18 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Identify head blocker in a blocking chain

                              It would be quite useful and timesaving if one could identify the head blocker for a blocked process (as done in SSMS's Activity Monitor, Processes tab). Otherwise when get a lot of blocked process alerts, you have to manually figure out the head blocker by analysing all the alerts.

                              71 votes
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                                5 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Do other tasks than send email on new alert

                                It would be nice if it was possible to allow other tasks when a alert is raised. Other tasks which could be called: Script file, url, exe file.

                                63 votes
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                                  9 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                  We are a bit sceptical about this – if your monitoring solution becomes an active part of the system, it’s no longer a monitoring solution but part of the infrastructure that needs to be monitored.

                                  That said, I’ll leave the suggestion open to see how much traction it gains.

                                • Deal better with extremely spikey data

                                  CONTEXT: Some counters displayed by SQL Monitor is extremely spiky. SQL Monitor scales its graph such that the any spike fits on the y axis

                                  PROBLEM: If there is one extreme spike, all the other data gets scaled such that it's very close to the x-axis, making any patterns in the data hard to see.

                                  EXAMPLE SOLUTIONS:
                                  • allow to manually zoom into the y axis
                                  • allow extreme spikes to be beyod the drawing area of the graph (still with some indicator of how high the spike is)
                                  • have an option to show the graph on a logarhithmic…

                                  63 votes
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                                    9 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • 55 votes
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                                      5 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Support for regular expressions

                                      Most of the alarms need more granular support for excluding/including different things. Using regular expression is a good idea and should be extended further. For example you defenitly need to be able to filter out things from the alarm on the sql server errorlog. Without it's useless.

                                      50 votes
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                                        2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Add an option to alias the server names.

                                        In a multi-server environment it would be very helpful to be able to assign an alias to the server name. So at a glance you can see something like - 192.168.1.1 (Company A OLTP)

                                        Merged idea: Longer descriptions for Servers, Databases etc

                                        48 votes
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                                          15 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Multiple Maintenance Windows

                                          I would like to be able to set two maintenace windows every day.

                                          46 votes
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                                            4 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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