DB Sentry Overview

Download: For more information about DB Sentry pricing or downloading a trial, see the DB Sentry product page.

DB Sentry helps you optimize performance by providing metrics you can use to better forecast resource allocation based on utilization. Using DB Sentry within the SentryOne platform to monitor your Azure SQL Database gives you the ability to see transactions per second, diagnose performance problems with Top SQL, and optimize the data platform with Plan Explorer.

DB Sentry helps you monitor performance metrics, including DTU usage, or vCore usage and be notified of events occurring on your system. DB Sentry gives you the ability to distinguish consistent performance patterns from anomalies, which is critical to ensuring your data platform delivers optimal performance for the end users of your applications.

Note:  The DTU Deployment model is supported, but vCore is still in Beta. For more information, see the Choosing a vCore service tier, compute, memory, storage, and IO resources article.

Azure SQL Database Dashboard

The Azure SQL Database Dashboard gives you deeper visibility into what's going on with your database. Correlate values on the dashboard to make educated decisions on what's happening over time. See your DTU usage, vCore usage, database size, memory usage, SQL Waits, and more.

DB Sentry Performance Analysis Dashboard

Left side graphs

Displays machine level performance metrics for your Azure SQL DB environment.

DB Sentry Azure SQL DB graphs

Resource Usage

The Resource Usage chart displays Database Throughput Units (DTUs), or vCore usage in your environment for a selected time period or in real-time. DTUs represent the power of the database engine as a blended measure of CPU, memory, and read and write rates. This measurement helps you assess the relative power of the SQL Database performance levels. For more information about Azure SQL Database DTUs, see Azure SQL Database Performance and Service Tiers Explained.

DB Sentry Resource Usage graph

Note:  Easily tell when your target databases have changed service tiers at any given timeframe. Hover over the Resource Usage chart to display a tooltip. The tooltip displays DTUs or vCores based on the mode being used at that given time.
DB Sentry Resource Usage Tooltip

Memory Usage

Displays Allocated Memory Usage for your Azure SQL DB environment for a selected time period, or in real-time.

DB Sentry Memory Usage graph

Database Size

Displays the Database Size percentage for your Azure SQL DB environment for a selected time period, or in real-time.

DB Sentry Database Size graph

Right Side Graphs

Displays SQL Server performance metrics for your Azure SQL DB environment.

DB Sentry SQL Server Metric graphs

SQL Server Activity

Displays SQL Server Activity metrics within your environment for a selected time period, or in real-time.

DB Sentry SQL Server Activity graph

SQL Server Database Waits

Displays SQL Server Database Waits metrics within your environment for a selected time period, or in real-time.

DB Sentry SQL Server Database Waits graph

SQL Server Memory

Displays SQL Server Memory metrics within your environment for a selected time period, or in real-time.

DB Sentry SQL Server Memory graph

Database IO

Displays Database IO metrics for SQL Server within your environment for a selected time period, or in real-time.

DB Sentry Database IO graph 

Note:  View the DB Sentry Dashboard in History or Sample mode.

DB Sentry Dashboard History Mode
History Mode
DB Sentry Dashboard Sample Mode
Sample Mode

Select the Sample or History button on the toolbar to change your view, or right-click on the Dashboard and then select Sample mode or History mode from the context menu.

DB Sentry History Mode toolbar button
History mode toolbar button
DB Sentry Sample Mode toolbar button
Sample mode toolbar button
DB Sentry navigate to History Mode through the context menu
History mode context menu
DB Sentry navigate to Sample Mode from the context menu
Sample mode context menu

Dashboard features

Navigating to a Relevant Time Period

Navigate to a specific recorded time, or view events in real-time by using the toolbar. Enter a specific day and time in the toolbar, and then select Go to display that time period.

DB Sentry navigation toolbar For more information about the SentryOne toolbar, see the Toolbars topic.

Zooming In

Zoom-in to pinpoint time periods where activity is the highest in your Azure SQL DB environment.

Using Click and Drag

  1. Click and drag the cursor over a period of interest on a desired graph.
  2. Release the cursor, and select Zoom In from the context menu.
    DB Sentry Zoom In through the context menu

Using the Toolbar

Zoom in or Zoom out of a time period by using the Zoom in and Zoom out toolbar buttons.

Toolbar ButtonImage
Zoom InDB Sentry Zoom In toolbar button
Zoom OutDB Sentry Zoom Out toolbar button

Using Jump To

Easily toggle between other SentryOne diagnostic and optimization tools using the Jump To context menu item. Use Jump to by completing the following steps:

  1. Highlight the desired time frame in a History mode graph.
    DB Sentry Jump To context menu option
  2. Right click the highlighted section, and then select Jump to > (Calendar, Top SQL )  from the context menu.
    DB Sentry Jump To context menu option

Baselines

Capture and overlay baselines on your dashboard by selecting a pre-defined baseline from the Baseline drop-down menu. For example, you can easily check if the rollout you did last night is affecting your memory usage by comparing the previous day's baseline, or you can capture a baseline to compare performance in your production Azure SQL Database instance against your test Azure SQL Database.

DB Sentry Dashboard baselines

For more information about Baselines, see the Baselines topic.

Top SQL

Get details about historical long-running and/or high-impact statements from procedure and query stats for your Azure SQL DB environment.

DB Sentry Top SQL tabFor more information about Top SQL, see the Performance Analysis Top SQL topic.

Plan Analysis and Query Tuning

Use the features and functionality of Plan Explorer to optimize queries and improve performance of your Azure SQL Databases. Open Plan Explorer by selecting Open with Plan Explorer from the Plan Diagram grid.


DB Sentry Plan analysis and query tuning For more information about Plan Explorer, see the Integrated Plan Explorer topic.

Event Calendar

Visualize how specific activities might impact others and jump to run-time performance graphs, which show specific query performance trends and activity details.

Navigate to the Event Calendar by selecting Jump To > Calendar from the context menu, or by selecting the Jump To Calendar toolbar button.

DB Sentry Jump To > Calendar
Jump To > Calendar from context menu
DB Sentry Jump To Calendar toolbar button
Jump to Calendar toolbar button

Creating Custom Advisory Conditions

Custom Advisory Conditions allow you to tailor and specify metrics for customized alerting based on performance counter metrics, query results, and duration of events. Create Custom Advisory Conditions for your Azure SQL DB environment by completing the following steps:

  1. Expand the desired Azure SQL DB instance in the Navigator pane (View > Navigator), and then select Conditions List.
    DB Sentry select Conditions List in Navigator
  2. Select Azure SQL DB from the Create Advisory Condition drop-down list.
    DB Sentry Create Advisory Condition Azure SQL Database
  3. Enter a name, description, and appropriate recording metrics in their respective fields.
    DB Sentry Create Custom Advisory Condition
  4. Select Save on the toolbar to save and apply your Custom Advisory Condition.
    DB Sentry Save Custom Advisory Condition

Note:  The WMI query, SQL Server Query, and Performance Counter (User) aren't possibilities for Azure SQL Database conditions.

For more information about Advisory Conditions, see the Advisory Conditions topic.