In the Spring of 2008 Idera launched its SQL admin toolset at a super low deal of around two hundred and fifty bucks, so they lured me in rather easily at that price. And considering a few years prior how much I loved handling a 25+ server environment with the help of Idera’s Diagnostic Manager, without question, I was very keen to have an all in one SQL Server Data Platform management tool that filled most of the gaps left by SS Management Studio. I personally have used the following from the toolset to perform common DBA tasks and help developers: Connection String Generator, Quick Reindex, Index Analyzer, Database Mover, Multi Query (like SQL Multi Script), Space Analyzer, Server Statistics and User Clone – there are a total of twenty four tools within the set. Here is an image of them all:
To start, the Server Configuration tool allows you to retrieve directly from SSMS the Registered Servers list, thus saving the time of importing your instance list. For a simple configuration check all you have to do is select the specific server from the SQL Server(s): list and click Get Configuration. For those having to manage an extensive list of servers, you simply choose Server Group and click the Comparison tab, and finally Get Configuration again (will take slightly longer since you are querying across multiple instances). The horizontal Comparison of all instance configurations has options to highlight the obvious differences, with Show Differences, between the configurations and even to apply changes by means of Fixing Differences. Finally, I would suggest using the Snapshot option when comparing settings before and after patching multiple servers or making changes - meaning that you can open an older XML file snapshot (the format for Snapshots) to compare also with current configuration.
I also enjoy the use of Patch Analyzer to keep on top of the build levels for the respective SQL Server instances across my clients' infrastructure, as well as Server Statistics to dig into Performance Counters which help significantly to analyse the buffer cache hit ratio.
If you visit Idera's site, I'm sure you can find a trail download if you are interested in this useful set of tools.