SQL Server First Responder Kit
Disaster strikes your SQL Server: queries are stalled, applications are down, customers are calling in like crazy, and your boss is in a panic. What do you do?
What if the same thing happens, but you’re on vacation? (Can you hear your cell phone ringing now?)
The SQL Server First Responder Kit helps you create a repeatable process to triage problems with your SQL Server. This kit helps you build a team who can respond to an injured server like skilled EMTs.
Get the SQL Server First Responder Kit Checklist
Why start from scratch? Download our free SQL Server First Responder Kit Checklist (pdf) here.
Build a Triage Process
Don’t wait until disaster strikes to learn to respond to stress on a SQL Server. Instead, simulate stressful activity against a SQL Server in a development environment. Use this environment to test your First Responder Kit– on yourself and other members of your team.
Kendra Little explains how to use Hammerora, a free tool, to generate load against SQL Server in this video on benchmarking.
Tools for Triaging SQL Server
Find Slow Queries with sp_BlitzFirst®, sp_whoisactive, and More
Need to find out what queries are killing your server right now? Here’s some of our favorites:
- sp_BlitzFirst® takes a 10-second sample of your SQL Server’s vital statistics and reports back what the wait stat bottlenecks are, which queries ran the most often, and more.
- Adam Machanic’s sp_whoisactive stored procedure also shows what’s running, and what it’s waiting on. For longer-term diagnostics, here’s how to run sp_whoisactive in a loop and store data to a table for later review.
- ClearTrace is a slice-and-dice BI-style interface for your Profiler trace files.
- Extended Events can help you catch failing queries that error out.
- Read Bob Dorr’s post about SQL Server 2012’s sp_server_diagnostics
- Check out the sp_server_diagnostics Books Online page
The Dedicated Admin Connection
The Dedicated Admin Connection (DAC): why you need it and how to enable remote access
Want to learn more about perfmon? Read about the performance monitor counters we recommend.
SQL Server Performance Dashboard Reports
Some folks really like these free reports provided by Microsoft for a quick status view of some key performance indicators. I think you should use them if they work for you, but be wary that this may not lend itself well to a smooth First Responder Kit process unless you provide really clear documentation for what your team needs to look for and how to capture information.
Need Performance and Reliability Help Fast?
Don’t have time to learn the hard way? We’re here to help with our quick, easy SQL Critical Care® service that gets to the root cause of your database health and performance pains.