Review: Indepth for SQL Server

  • hirenk

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2000

    Comments posted to this topic are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/hkh

  • Venkata Thiagarajan

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 162

    Thanks for writing up the review, I saw the demo 2 days back from VERITAS (branded as I3).  They mentioned ...the product needs to have agent running on the box from which will collect the performance data.

    Wondering whether you have the Indepth product running on the same server as sql server.

    I would really appreciate if you can clarify the following:

    Did you happen to deploy the component to collect data?

    How is the historical data stored?

    If the component (gets deployed) and logs in to the server, what account and privilege is requried in SQL Server?

    thanks again for the review.

    regards

    Venkata N Thiagarajan

    Email:narayantv@hotmail.com

  • hirenk

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2000

    Venkata,

    Thanks for reading this article.

    Yes, you have to install an agent on the server. As far as I know it's very low overhead. Also there is a client componenet so you can review the data from Client machine.

    I believe data is stored into historical flat files on the machine where it was installed and then perodically, it also goes into Performnace Warehosue database which also gets created when you install Indepth.

    It does need an account with Sysadmin access while setting it up. However I am not sure if from a client machine you can access this data with less privileges. I never had to try that.

    Thanks.

    -Hiren

  • cmille19

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5950

    I’ve been running Indepth on a dozen SQL Server for over one year and half years.

    You can install the monitoring agent on another machine so that nothing is installed the SQL Server. This feature is called remote monitoring which I’ve used on several SQL Servers. I would recommend remote monitoring over running the monitoring agent locally. Either way the resource usage on the monitored SQL Server is very low much lower than running a trace in fact Indepth claims it add less than 1 % overhead.

    Data by default is stored in 16 – 32 MB files which are written to round-robin. The size of file is adjustable and the amount of detailed history is determined by the size of the file and the activity on the server. Most of my installations use the default and I am able to use one file per day giving me 16 days of detailed history. On some of the more active servers I’ve adjusted the file size to 64 or 100 MB in order to get the one file per day history.

    Data is also loaded into a backend database for long-term retention although you lose some detail as there is a rollup of data. I believe you get a daily view for 4 weeks which is then rolled up into a weekly view after a certain number of weeks and then finally rolled into a monthly view.

    Indepth works by reading the history files or the buffer of the collector and does not require SQL Server privileges to use for the most part except if you request certain options such as generating a query plan from the GUI.

    I’d also point out this review is for 1.5 version the 6.5 version (the next version after 1.5) has been out for over 6 months and includes many cool features including:

    Captures perfmon counters in addition to SQL statements

    New blocking troubleshooting ability

    Use capture queries to run index tuning wizard

    Collapses like statements

    There are also a lot of features which the author did not address (either for the sake of brevity or lack of familiarity).

    I would add Veritas technical support is excellent I’ve contact them on numerous occasions and they’ve always responded quickly. It’s true the price is high, but the support you get is great. If anyone has used their backup software you are probably familiar with their good support.

    I would recommend if you purchase this product which I believe is the best SQL performance monitoring tool on the market you sign up for their training. I attended an 8-hour WebEx training session which helped explain how to use this very powerful and somewhat complex tool.

  • hirenk

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2000

    Hello cmille,

    Thanks for the details about some aspects of this product that I didn't clarify. When I wrote most of the review, my trial version had already expired and our  budget is still not approvied to buy this product, so yes I was missing few things there. You have mentioned some very good details from you experience using this product and I will keep the training in mind, when we purchase this product.

    Thanks.

    -Hiren

  • Alex Kolenoff

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 89

    I am currently reading reviews for this type of product, and I am desperately avoiding this one product because Symantec has provided the worst support I have ever experienced.  Not on one occasion, but several over the last year.  I was on hold for support on our corporate antivirus solution for 4 hours one time, and we pay for platinum support (which is very expensive)!  Most of the time I have to wait for 40 minutes on hold and then there is no follow-up on the case, if you have an additional question you have to pick up the phone, get back into the queue and repeat the process.

    Veritas support for backupexec is slightly better but has gone downhill also since Veritas bought them; if you have a problem that is urgent, expect to resolve it yourself, it will be faster.

    Bottom line is that Symantec support is very inaccessible and this is just not acceptable for business-critical applications, even if the product is good.  I am going to keep reading reviews. 

     

  • sean_buchanan

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 101

    Is anyone aware as to whether In-Depth for SQL still exists? I've traded emails with a sales guy at Symantec for the last two weeks. He was not able to put me in touch with anyone that new anything about the product.

  • cmille19

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5950

    They still exist, but the company has gone through some turmoil: first Precise was acquired by Veritas, then Symantec acquired Veritas. Symantec divested the Precise product line and now the company is just Precise again.

    Because of this and other reasons I've stopped using Precise and instead now use Confio. Confio also does waitstats analysis, is very table and the company has better long term vision. Send me a private message and I'll provide you with Confio sales person contact info.

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