Thursday, January 31, 2008

SQL Server 2005 SP2 Performance Reports

Just stumbled across a whole set of reports that can be deployed to SQL 2005 if you have SP2 installed.  Here is the link.  From what I have read, these are a pretty slick addition to the existing reports (you did know that there are existing reports, right?)

Here is the description from the download site:

The SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports are Reporting Services report files designed to be used with the Custom Reports feature introduced in the SP2 release of SQL Server Management Studio. The reports allow a database administrator to quickly identify whether there is a current bottleneck on their system, and if a bottleneck is present, capture additional diagnostic data that may be necessary to resolve the problem. For example, if the system is experiencing waits for disk IO the dashboard allows the user to quickly see which sessions are performing the most IO, what query is running on each session and the query plan for each statement.

Common performance problems that the dashboard reports may help to resolve include:

- CPU bottlenecks (and what queries are consuming the most CPU)
- IO bottlenecks (and what queries are performing the most IO).
- Index recommendations generated by the query optimizer (missing indexes)
- Blocking
- Latch contention

The information captured in the reports is retrieved from SQL Server's dynamic management views. There is no additional tracing or data capture required, which means the information is always available and this is a very inexpensive means of monitoring your server.

Reporting Services is not required to be installed to use the Performance Dashboard Reports.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Microsoft BI Demo VPC 5.1

You better have a monster machine on which to run this: Microsoft has released a new Business Intelligence sample VPC.  The .vmc is set to use 1GB when you first install it, I would recommend bumping to 1.5GB - I tried 2GB and it was a still sluggish on my laptop.  Might want to throw it on a spare server if you have one.

It is a big download, but definitely worth it if you want to have a VPC available for "playing around" with any of the Microsoft BI tools without having to go through the trouble of deploying MOSS, etc. on a VPC.

Download Part 1 (3.5GB)
Download Part 2 (1GB)

From the readme, here is the list of software that is installed and fully configured:

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Service Pack 2
Internet Explorer 7
Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
Microsoft Office Visio 2007
Microsoft Office Project 2007
Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2007
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 w/ Service Pack 1
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 w/ Service Pack 2 (w/ SSIS, SSAS, SSRS)
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Data Mining Add-ins
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SharePoint Integration Add-in
ProClarity Analytics Server 6.3
ProClarity Dashboard Server 6.3
ProClarity Desktop Professional 6.3
ProClarity Web Professional 6.3
Microsoft PerformancePoint Planning Server 2007
Microsoft PerformancePoint Monitoring Server 2007
Microsoft PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer
Microsoft PerformancePoint Planning Add-In for Excel
Microsoft PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler
Project REAL Reference Implementation
SoftArtisans OfficeWriter 3.8.1 and Designer
BI Demo Files
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Samples
Microsoft SQL Server BI Metadata Samples
Performance Point Planning Samples/Labs
Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition