Via Brad McGehee I read that a small team from Red Gate is designing a new version of their SQL Monitoring tool, and they are trying to do the right thing by gathering the insight and preferences of real DBAs. I've personally used three of the other top commercial monitoring products in depth, and while they were definitely vital -- flying blind in a production environment is crazy! -- I did not find them either particularly likeable or satisfying. One was plain awful, to the point of being nearly unusable. One was buggy. And while the third works reasonably well, it can only monitor a very limited number of servers while consuming all the resources on its own machine, and constantly throws out false alarms. They all tend to be too invasive, too expensive, and gather a lot of extraneous data needlessly. So these guys need your help!
This is an area that needs a stand-out product. It should be reasonably priced, light-weight, and deliver what DBAs really need to see. In a time when we have to manage gigantic, sprawling environments of servers, decent monitoring would help tremendously. Ideally, I think it should be so compelling on both features and cost that it would be tempting even for the die-hard "roll-your-own-monitoring" crowd. If a commercial monitor doesn't tell you what you want to know, so much so that you want to write all your own stuff, then let's tell these guys what you DO want to know so they can get this right.
I was fired up enough about this that I send them a little app I was working on myself. Nothing fancy, mainly an excuse to sharpen my (amateur) C#/.NET skills. Please drop these guys a line: