“Prediction” is one of the best features I loved in the AimBetter tool, it actually lets you prevent bottlenecks before the client experiences performance degradation.”

by Chezi Shpaisman

Founder & CEO of SAKKOYA – Promoting Business with Technology Ltd

Recently I’ve been asked to review some monitoring tools by one of our customers, and the first thing that came to mind was: “Hey, I can script any monitor the client wants”.

After another discussion with the client he told me that our monitoring scripts are great, but you need to be a DBA to query, analyze, understand and finally solve the issues arising from that data. Additionally, he said that solving the database issues is and will always be the DBA’s duty, but some issues can be solved via the company’s “in house” system team (such as growing log files, network / storage issues etc.). The truth is, I loved that answer. The CIO’s understanding that some issues are reflected via the SQL Server engine and SQL just presents the symptoms and is not the base cause of the performance degradation is awesome.

So diving in and starting an in-depth investigation, I reviewed several monitoring tools including Red-Gate, SolarWinds (DPA) and AimBetter.

I have several active clients using the first two and I compared them to the one that was new to me – AimBetter.

Checking the following (according to client request):

  • Visibility & UI – making sure the client can access and easily understand the monitor’s outcome
  • Support – analyzing the client side perspective of adding additional first-layer support for basic issues (with a 24×7 hands-on team monitoring all client errors)
  • Machine learning capabilities – alerting on relevant issues only (say a scheduled job has a default run time of 50 minutes (AVG) I will not want a false alarm if the job ran for 54 minutes )
  • Basic OS monitoring – alerts of OS / main resources issues
  • Ability to predict issues before they occur
  • And finally, price.

Long story short, they are all good but only one was great. The AimBetter tool proved to be very “friendly” from the UI perspective, meaning that a junior system administrator can get to actual conclusions and understanding of an issue including the ability to self-solve basic issues.

If he missed a critical alert, no worries … the AimBetter team will give you a call and a DBA will assist with first response layer-one assistance.

The machine learning capabilities are configurable; they don’t alert for irrelevant issues for a specific environment (needs some tuning at installation time).

OS monitoring (physical & virtual) is basic on one hand but absolutely sufficient for a database monitoring tool and gives a good over-all view of the OS and its impact on the SQL Server performance.

“Prediction” is one of the best features I loved in the AimBetter tool, it actually lets you prevent bottlenecks before the client experiences performance degradation.

And finally, the cost – taking into consideration the auto updates (this is a cloud-based monitor), the support team (professional DBA’s) and the reports you get (just a few days after installation and you get the first analyzed report of your system done by a DBA), relative to the monthly price you probably get the best ROI.

Cheers and happy monitoring

Chezi Shpaisman – SQL Server DBA Expert & Architect

Sakkoya Ltd – promoting business with technology Ltd

CEO Chezi Shpaisman lists his experience in SQL as:
• Senior architect and consultant in Databases and integration.
• Over 12 years of experience in leading both people and organizations in technology aspects to accomplishing their goals with excellency with high – end technologies.
• Massive experience in countless environments with countless companies.