This started as a simple SQL Server monitoring solution for my clients. The first question
I get when applications have issues is “Is It SQL Server?” I wanted a simple monitoring
service I could run onsite that would answer that question. It had to be simple enough
that a non-DBA could look at it and decide whether to call me.
Supports SQL Server 2008 through SQL Server 2022
Monitor CPU usage for SQL Server and non-SQL Server tasks
Capture batch requests per second
Monitor disk I/O
Show actively running queries
Capture basic demographic information including version, start time, database sizes, etc.
Run with no installation or as a service
Monitor Availability Group and Database Mirroring Status
The Is It SQL server needs to have any any one of the following drivers installed:
Add a usage page that attempts to show Edition and cores used over the last hour. This is a very rough attempt at helping with licensing. This is also downloadable as CSV.
Moved the tag submenus to the top so they are easier to use. They don’t fall off the bottom of the screen any more.
Logging is improved. The configuration files supports enabling TRACE or DEBUG levels of logging. Only retain six previous log files.
The CPU metrics are incremental. SQL Server records the last minute of CPU usage. This was populating the CPU graph at each poll. However this looked weird when an AG failed over. Now it only adds missing CPU entries.
Metrics (watis, disk I/O, CPU, etc.) are cached between restarts. They are also displayed as per minute values to better support longer times between polling.
Better logic to determine the installed date
If you set a URL for the home page (usually a tag), there is now an “All Servers” link
Display Send and Receive queues for Availability Groups. The JSON config file supports setting a warning and error threshold for high queue values.
Shared Credentials can be defined. These are SQL Server logins and passwords. These can then be assigned to servers. This is useful when a common SQL Server login for monitoring is used. These are stored encrypted in connections.json.
Added filters to the application error log and the extended events page
On server lists, display memory percentage as the percentage of the memory cap for the instance. Hovering over the memory field shows the cap the physical memory on the box
The Extended Events page refreshes every 60 seconds and displays in absolute time instead of relative times
The settings page allows you to set a URL for the “home page”. This is the link the “Is It SQL” text in the upper left links to. I’ve set this to a tag for key servers such as “/tag/your-tag”. The Tags menu has a link for “All Servers”.
Supports domain login to edit settings
Most server displays now use the max memory if it is configured
A “Versions” page lists all the versions and editions. You can also download this as CSV. The CSV includes cores, edition, and memory so you can do rudimentary licensing validation.
The Log Events now includes a filter. You can reach this by clicking on the “Refreshed” label on the upper right.
If servers have the proper extended event session, those events can be filtered. If you haven’t created the Extended Event session, the code to do so is listed on the page. Please see the Extended Events section in this document.
The Availability Group page now has JSON output. See the About page for the link. This should be suitable for generating alerts.
Added an Application menu with links to Monitored Servers, Settings, Credentials, the Application Log, and a few other pages
Added an About page that links to lots of internal pages
Fixed a bug where ignored backups with trailing spaces wouldn’t ignore
Added a page to list all database snapshots and their age
All the features that were hidden behind beta flags or entering a secret Enterprise code are now available.
The missing backups page exposes a JSON object with all the missing backups ( http://localhost:8143/backups/json). It’s fairly easy to write a job that emails that out. I wrote one in PowerShell and run it every hour during my “awake” hours.
The polling is split into two parts. Every 10 seconds, we poll if the server is up and check the health of any availability groups. Then every minute we do a full poll of the server. The pages now refresh every 15 seconds.
Previously, the polling used a worker pool to poll. That meant a few bad servers could affect polling. Now each server gets its own thread. It uses a little more CPU at the start but quickly evens out. And in the event of an incident (like, I don’t know, losing an entire data center), you still get timely polling on whatever is still out there.
I added a section at the top of the Availability Groups page that lists one AG per line. I found it easier to read and it’s easy to click down to see the details.
All error reporting and metrics logging has been removed. There should be no “phone home” functionality in the application at all. The only external access it should need is the HighCharts URL to download the charting library.
The app better handles “names” that repoint to new instances. For example, an AG listener or static DNS entry that switches to a new instance doesn’t create odd spikes in disk I/O or waits. It also better handles reseting metrics on server restarts.
You can choose which servers appear in the dashboard by assigning them a “dashboard” tag. It will show the friendly name you’ve entered and sort by that name.
Backup reporting now reports an AG backup from any node. If you are looking at the database page for a node in an AG, it will show that a backup was completed for that database even if it was done on another node. You can hover over the backup and it will show which node completed the backp, when it was done, and what file it sent the backup to. If you have enabled the Enterprise features, you can see all this on the central backup alerts page.
Include support for availability groups. Is it SQL displays the health of any
availability groups it finds. Note: This is an Enteprise feature. Sign up for the mailing
list above and I’ll send details on enabling this feature.
Disk performance now breaks out the MB/sec, IOPS, averge IO size, and average duration
over the one minute monitoring period. It does this for reads and writes. This column
is also sortable based on the IOPS. This gives an easy way to see which servers
are generating the most disk I/O.
The pages that show a list of servers now include a total line. It totals the disk I/O,
SQL batches per second, SQL Server memory, and the size of data and log files. This lets you see
the total load you’re placing on your infrastructure across your all servers.
It appears on the server page will show any databases that are mirrored.
Second, there’s a global database mirroring page that will show each mirrored
database across all servers. It will show the status, partner, and send and
receive queue sizes. It also includes a “priority column”. This gives an easy way to
prioritize databases that aren’t online and synchronzied or have a send or receive queue. This is a beta feature. Sign up for the newsletter and we’ll send instructions on enabling it.
The log size of database is split out into its own column which makes it sortable.
Information that is polled in real-time is identified with a cool lightning bolt. Every page refresh will update this data.
Assorted behind the scenes fixes for perfomance, memory and concurrency.