Review of Quest Spotlight on SQL Enterprise

I’ve been using Quest – Spotlight on SQL Enterprise for a while and here are my thoughts.

First some positive things about Spotlight on SQL

  • Very easy to install. All you need is a server, preferably a dedicated for hosting the Service that collects data from your SQL Servers.
  • Very easy to add SQL Servers. Just supply a Windows and/or SQL Server account and you are on your way.
  • Historical view. I absolutely love the possibility to see what happened yesterday or some days ago with my servers. Was there blocking or did the CPU load just go up?
  • Quick View. You get a quick view on which server server has a problem and you can dive down and see more specific on what exactly is wrong with that server.
  • SQL Server repository. You can write your own queries to grab data from the monitoring.
  • I had some trouble with connecting to the Management server over not trusted domains but got really quick help from the forums and even received a special build of the client that helped out with that. Very nice!
  • Quest has a great community where you can ask questions and get help with any problems. Looks like developers often check these forums for problems.

And then some negative

  • Thick client. A web browser should be enough as a client to connect to Spotlight on SQL. This add’s some steps (RDP to my office computer where I have the Spotlight client set up) when I wan’t to check the databases.
  • No way to select multiple alarms and snooze them. Sometimes it’s like a christmastree in the client  and this feature would be really useful when you know there is a problem and you just want to snooze all of them.
  • There are some cool views in the Spotlight on SQL client that I would like to add to a monitoring TV in the office but since it’s a thick client I can’t specify which views to show and I would also have to have one dedicated TV for just that single view (no rotation of various views). With a web browser client this would have been much easier and you could rotate different pages on the same TV.

Having said this, I would recommend Quest Spotlight on SQL if you currently don’t have a tool for monitoring your SQL Servers.

Don’t forget to try out Red Gate’s SQL Monitor and Quest’s Foglight on SQL before you decide! Do you know of any other SQL Monitoring tools out there?

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