ApexSQL Monitor for a first time user

Applies to
ApexSQL Monitor

This article provides all necessary information about ApexSQL Monitor needed by the first time user to successfully evaluate and/or use the application.


Installation overview

ApexSQL Monitor is an agentless application that does not require anything to be installed on monitored SQL Servers. The ApexSQL Monitor installation comprises three main components:

  • Data gathering service – a Windows service that continuously monitors SQL Servers
  • Central repository database – a SQL Server database that stores all data collected by the data gathering service
  • Web server – a self-hosted web server that allows user to communicate with the application via any supported web client (web browser)

Q: Where are ApexSQL Monitor components installed?

A: The data gathering service, central repository database (by default), and the web server will be installed on the same computer. Though, the central repository database can be installed on another computer within the same network during the installation.

Q: Are there any connectivity requirements for the computer where the data gathering service is installed?

A: The computer where the data gathering service is installed must have connectivity to:

  • The SQL Servers that need to be monitored for collecting data about their performance
  • The central repository database for storing the collected performance data

Q: What are the requirements for the central repository database?

A: The central repository database requires SQL Server 2008, or later, to be installed. Installing the repository database on the same computer that’s hosting the monitored SQL Server instance is not recommended. Doing so will affect the performance of that instance. Typically, the repository database is installed on a non-production server under direct control of the DBA. When installing the central repository database on a virtual machine, ensure that it is installed on a physical disk mapped to the virtual machine. Installing the central repository database on a virtual disk will affect performance and is inadvisable.

Q: What minimum permissions will be required during ApexSQL Monitor installation?

A: When installing ApexSQL Monitor the current user Windows account will be offered as default with provision for user to use different account instead. The account used must have CREATE ANY DATABASE permission on SQL Server where the central repository database will be created and permissions required to add local and remote SQL Server instance for monitoring. Windows account permissions required for monitoring remote SQL Server instance and operating system metrics: local or domain Windows Administrator and public role on the remote SQL Server instance and the following permissions: CONNECT SQL, VIEW ANY DATABASE, VIEW ANY DEFINITION and VIEW SERVER STATE. For monitoring the index performances, the user must have the sysadmin permission on the instance where the index monitoring will be enabled

Q: How can the status of the monitored servers be checked?

A: Go to the All servers node to see the current status of the monitored servers and databases. All monitored servers are displayed, showing aggregate server information and the status of the most important alerts for the following: current online status, , SQL Server availability, system, SQL Server and databases metrics as well as for query waits and wait statistic. The alerts are displayed using different colors for different severities: red for High, yellow for Medium and blue for Low severity alerts

Q: What are the requirements for a computer where the central repository database is installed?

A: The data gathering service/central repository database computer should always be turned on. Monitoring performs best if a high-speed network exists between the computer that hosts the data gathering service and the monitored instance. Even though monitoring will work through a WAN or low-speed network, it possibly will be necessary to reduce the frequency that ApexSQL Monitor collects the performance data.

Q: What to do after ApexSQL Monitor has been running for a day or two?

A: Review any raised alerts. ApexSQL Monitor is pre-configured for instant use out-of-the-box with default settings for all alert types. To review a raised alert, go to the Alerts view and click on an alert to check its details. Now, it’s the right time to start configuring alerts by setting the thresholds

Q: What are some configuration suggestions after ApexSQL Monitor has been running for a week or longer?

A: Check the automatic data purging. As ApexSQL Monitor collects data from monitored instances, the size of the repository database grows constantly. Via the data purging, ApexSQL Monitor can be set to automatically check for old data and purge data older than the time specified. The user can specify how much data to keep in the repository database according to the available storage resources and ensure that the server doesn’t run out of disk space.

Keep tweaking the alert configurations. As time goes by, it is easier to improve alert settings and to estimate the relevance of raised alerts. Now, alerts can be set more granularly, e.g. for a specific server, database or event.

Schedule maintenance time periods during which measurement and alerting are disabled for selected SQL instances.