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Free SQL Performance Tool Worth Checking

First, I’d like to wish my readers a very safe, happy and prosperous 2012 (santé, properité, et bonheur).  This is the start of a fourth year of blogging at SSC, and now that cumulative views have reached over half a million, I anticipate greater contributions than in the past 12 months with the release of SQL 2012 imminent, despite the fact that I still have not finished my first Oracle Certification (as promised to my employer).  Moving on…

Back in early November, I was led to believe that longtime SQL Server Most Valuable Professional, and Principal Consultant of the venerable SQLSkills.com team for about a year now, Jonathan Kehayias updated ‘his’ free tool on CodePlex, but this is a myth - thanks to Jonathan and LinkedIn for helping me easily reach him (and glad I was already ‘linked’).  Originally, Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) started out as an internal Microsoft Tool that made its way to open source on CodePlex in 2007.  Jonathan has been recommending this tool for at least four years now, in his own words exactly:  [it is] ‘an absolutely fabulous tool.’ Thus, since it is has a great price (FREE dammit!) and provides thorough analysis, it is worth the download, although the pre-requisite is the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0  To clarify, this updated version is by Clint Huffman, and PAL has nothing to do with Jonathan – a myth that he has been trying to sort out for years now, to which I am in gratitude to his help for this post, thus this is least I can do is help in return.

As Brad MacGehee mentions in this thorough post (meaning his overview is so good, I will not even try to replicate it here): 
Cliff’s tool can seriously help in identifying performance issues. Reports are produced in HTML, so DBAs won’t have issues using (even) their Tablets for analysis – since all DBAs are now using Tablets, right? By the way, I am enjoying the cheapest gadget fix in a long time with the BlackBerry Playbook – see a review here for those tempted to have better features than an IPad2 in a book sized format.

PAL’s templates may have some dated thresholds, according to Jonathan, even in the November 2011 release of the tool, however they can be changed if you figure out how to modify the template.

Happy Analyzing.

Post Script: To benefit more from the work for the SQL DBA community Jonathan has done, you can also enrich yourself thanks to several articles on Simple-Talk.com , his latest the definitive guide to the Lock Pages in Memory debate.


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