SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer

Databases are so critical to business operations that it's essential their health, availability and performance are assured.

Problems with databases and their host systems are notoriously difficult to identify and diagnose and can easily manifest themselves when it's too late to stop them impacting on customer services.

To ensure smooth database operations, businesses need a proactive monitoring solution and the SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) provides a wealth of features. Supporting all main cloud, on-premises and virtualised database platforms, DPA offers deep insights into performance and resource usage, identifies anomalies and their root causes and provides sage advice on remedial actions.

We found DPA easy to deploy and had it running on a Windows Server 2019 host in under 30 minutes. It provides a handy web browser wizard that helps create a performance data repository, and offers facilities to register individual database instances or multiple ones at the same time.

A key feature of DPA is its agentless monitoring while larger organisations will approve of its support for SQL Server availability groups (AGs) plus Oracle's multitenant container databases (CDBs). At its foundation, DPA uses the proven Response Time Analysis method to measure the wait time between query requests and responses.

DPA gets right down to business as its home page presents an informative top-level dashboard with a graph identifying instances with the highest wait times and another that can show wait times trending upwards or downwards. A summary below uses colour-coded blocks to denote partially healthy or unhealthy AGs, instances with excessive wait times and host system hardware metrics that are in warning or critical states.

Selecting a database instance from the list below transports you to a dedicated web page with coloured bar graphs showing wait time trends for individual SQL statements over custom time periods. You can drill down deeper into the day's activities to see detected anomalies and DPA provides full search facilities for quickly locating any SQL statement. DPA's advisors use proprietary algorithms to analyse database performance and identify issues and anomalies. All queries that have raised an alert are listed where you can view details such as the execution time, recent variations in performance and historical patterns of activity.

SQL blocking prevents resource conflicts but can cause major performance problems when lock durations are too long. DPA remedies these issues as its graphs reveal the root blocking transactions, their impact on other transactions waiting for the resource to be released and even poorly written SQL statements that may be causing these issues.

Query performance analysis assists in identifying the root cause of performance issues where you simply click on a hash value at the side of the wait graph and it'll load a detailed view of the query's activity. DPA's machine learning and intelligent analysis correlates all relevant information in one page with the top waits and statistics plus query and table tuning advisors that provide valuable assistance in narrowing down the culprit.

DPA snaps in seamlessly with the SolarWinds Orion platform, allowing multiple products to be used to monitor overall app health and capture database performance metrics. The optional SAM module can keep an eye on database apps and host health while Orion's smart PerfStack feature uses correlation projects to compare metrics from multiple systems and apps to identify the root cause of complex network problems.

SolarWinds DPA is the perfect partner for businesses that can't afford to have poorly performing databases impacting their customer services. It presents a wealth of information about database issues, helps find their root cause in as few as four clicks and provides invaluable database tuning assistance. NC

Product: Database Performance Analyzer
Supplier: SolarWinds
Web site:
Price: Perpetual from £1,597 per instance excluding VAT