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Inside IDERA's database performance management and optimization tools

IDERA offers tools for analyzing, monitoring and diagnosing database performance issues and increasing the performance of SQL code across the major relational databases.

In October 2015, IDERA acquired Embarcadero Technologies to enhance its existing database performance management and administrator tools portfolio. The company now offers a full spectrum of database, infrastructure and application management products for app developers and DBAs. 

IDERA's multi-platform monitoring tool, the Precise Application Performance Platform, is predominantly an application performance management tool, but it also provides database performance monitoring options for Oracle, DB2, SQL Server and SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise. A common interface enables a consistent user experience, regardless of the underlying database being accessed.

Using Precise, database administrators (DBAs) can implement 24/7 heterogeneous database monitoring to analyze behavior to find database objects and processes with performance issues such as high I/O rates or locking problems. Precise can identify potential bottlenecks and take corrective action before end users are adversely impacted. It can also be used to generate tuning recommendations, perform what-if analysis, and for capacity planning and management.

DB Optimizer can be used to optimize SQL code across the major relational DBMSes. It assists DBAs in tuning SQL statements via visual SQL tuning diagrams for explain plans and a SQL tuning wizard that provides automated performance optimization recommendations. The product's database profiling capability simplifies tuning with wait-time analysis visualization, making performance problems easy to spot. It can also be used to simulate the production environment in test.

Rapid SQL can be used to assist developers as they write code to formulate high-performing SQL against heterogeneous DBMSes. The product offers a visual query builder; a code analyst for examining SQL code; and debugging aids for SQL statements, stored procedures and functions.

DBArtisan can optimize database objects across heterogeneous DBMSes as well as manage space, data and performance details with built-in analytics. DBAs can use DBArtisan across all supported platforms from a single product license. It can be used to view detailed performance metrics and identify performance, capacity planning and storage management issues before they become major problems. DBArtisan also offers a Process Monitor to identify connected users and their current activity and a job management function that integrates with Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler.

DBArtisan also provides performance analytics capabilities such as those listed above in the coverage of Precise. But DBArtisan is a desktop tool, licensed for each user, whereas Precise is licensed based on the application, technology or database management system that's to be monitored.

IDERA's heterogeneous database performance management tools support Oracle, IBM DB2, SQL Server and SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise.

Tools for managing SQL Server

IDERA offers additional database performance management tools for managing SQL Server performance, including:

  • SQL Diagnostic Manager delivers physical and virtual performance monitoring with the ability to set up alerts on important database performance metrics; it can also be used to monitor and identify poorly performing SQL queries.
  • SQL Doctor provides expert recommendations and assistance with query plans. It can integrate with SQL Diagnostic Manager.
  • The SQL BI Manager monitors and manages the health and availability of Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, SQL Server Reporting Services and SQL Server Integration Services to optimize the performance of these business intelligence services.
  • The SQL Defrag Manager identifies database objects that require reorganization and helps the DBA schedule defragmentation jobs to repair hot spots, page splits, reset space and fill factor settings.

Free database performance management tools

IDERA also offers a wide variety of free tools, mainly focused on SQL Server, which can be downloaded from its website. These tools provide valuable performance monitoring capabilities, but most just identify problems and don't have the ability to fix them. Free tools include SQL Check, which monitors 20 key performance metrics; SQL Heat Map, which provides a visual map of storage usage; and SQL Fragmentation Analyzer, which identifies databases that need defrag, but doesn't perform the defrag. IDERA's latest free tool, MySQL Query Explorer, can be used to monitor the top resource-consuming queries and review explain plan and statistics details.

IDERA's product licensing and support

IDERA sells direct to customers. Depending on the product, licensing is by user or by DBMS. The company offers three support packages: a Basic package using a web-based portal with access to a knowledge base; Gold support (for Microsoft SQL Server products only), which adds product environment reviews and custom and individual support services to the Basic services; and Platinum support, which includes all the features of Gold and Basic support plus priority service through an exclusive Platinum Support phone line and technical account managers who are available during business hours.

A demo version of the Precise Application Performance Platform and trial versions of other IDERA database performance management products or suites are available.

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