A (not so) hidden gem.
Before we chose Spotlight Cloud, we had researched other options--including Quest's on premise software, Foglight. We quickly realized we needed a solution that could be accessed anywhere--not an on premise option, and Spotlight Cloud offered this in its SaaS design. We've been using Spotlight Cloud for more than two years now and it's become a critical part of our daily survival/business continuity. The time it saves and the ability it offers to be proactive vs. reactive is something I cannot imagine being without.
The biggest benefit that Spotlight Cloud has given me is time. As a small business I wear many hats and my time is already spread thin. By not having to endlessly watch my SQL Servers for issues, my time has been freed for more important tasks. This is, in a word: priceless.
There are a few issues with Spotlight Cloud I have experienced, mostly UI and navigation driven. For instance, any time I try to "Acknowledge" an alarm, a comment box opens with another acknowledge button that must be clicked, but this button is obstructed by the UI's "Help" bubble and results in me having to tab through the screen to close the dialog. Though I've mentioned this minor detail several times, it still exists. There are also helpful features that I don't use often so when I do I cannot easily remember/find where they are located. The ability to save a list of favorite features would go a long way toward helping this. And finally, the SQL Tuning Pack (an additional expense), has not been very useful, often slow, stalls the startup of SSMS, and is hard to understand what exactly it has "optimized."
Spotlight Cloud Review
I use the health check for each of my servers daily to find potential missing indexes and other recommendations.
I use the workload analyzer when I notice server performance issues and need to troubleshoot more effectively.
One of the best functionalities are the recommendations given when diagnosing an alarm. I've found those to be greatly useful and not really done by other monitoring solutions.
Sometimes when using the workload analyzer and trying to find which query is being troublesome... it just tells me the SQL Batch is out of context besides the query. This is not very useful to me but there might not be a way around it on your side..
If you are going to buy this product your better off buying the on prim version as opposed to the Saas. The on prim version is much more stable and easier to use.
The ability to find and tune problematic queries.
The refresh rate is a minute so at best you only know what happened in the last minute.
The play back feature is hard to used and restets itself.
Alarms are hard to snooze and acknowledge, sometimes after the refresh the alarm comes back.
Great product at an affordable price
O really love this product. I would suggest improving the support experience. I have not had a good result all the times.
Cloud synchronization is great. Deployment is straightforward and you have all your instances monitored in a matter of minutes. Push notifications are awesome.
Monitoring Always On availability groups is practically useless. No features at all. This should be reviewed and implemented.
Best Monitoring Software Available
I've really enjoyed utilizing spotlight cloud over the last year at multiple sites. The ability to execute various alarm actions and really setup workflows has made life quite a bit easier for a DBA that manages a multitude of servers.
Support has been fantastic and they seem to be open to feature recommendations.
Customizable Alert Actions
Support is great
No Azure/AWS Capabilities
Security could use a bit more attention
Great SQL Server Performance Monitoring Tool
Feedback already provided
I have been using Spotlight on Premise for years an Spotlight Cloud is not substantially different in functionality. It has been positively enhanced.
Feedback has already been provided to [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] during an hour conference call and few potential enhancement points have been taken by [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN]
Execution Plans are not always easily available to see.
Great for insight, difficult if you're not a true DBA
I find the software is definitely worth the money you put in to it. It is a great arsenal for monitoring my Databases and the server itself that runs it. Overall it has allowed us to make sure our DBs are running efficiently.
I love the visual aspect of Spotlight Cloud. I like that I can go in and see the good and the bad right up front. The animations are also pretty great.
There are certain errors that seem to re-occur and while that isn't the fault of the software. I don't seem to know how to get rid of them. I'm not a true DBA with expert knowledge of SQL Server. So, when I get the message(s) about the page "Page Life Expectancy" is 38 seconds. I don't understand what that means or how to fix it. The tutorial tries to explain what it is and how to fix it but when I do those steps, it just happens again. So I don't know what I'm doing. I should open a ticket but I don't so that's my fault.
Satisfied with the Product
Effective monitoring at an affordable price
We've found Spotlight Cloud to be an easy to use and cost effective way to monitor our SQL instance.
Spotlight has helped us to identify and fix performance issues, and be proactive dealing with any problems.
Clear and easy to understand layout.
Easy to deploy.
Minimal impact on the monitored server's performance.
Lots of different alerts available and with options for customisation.
Good value for money vs other non-cloud based monitoring alternatives.
No issues syncing to the cloud.
Support has been excellent.
Some of the automated alerts were lacking in information. E.g. Deadlock alert does not contain any information about the deadlock.
The Availability Group monitoring does not have much detail.
Acknowledging alarms requires numerous buttons to be clicked.
The SSMS tuning pack slowed down SSMS when it was installed.
It is not possible to have a mix of basic and pro subscriptions running through 1 account. Ideally we would only need a pro subscription for our production servers.
Invaluable Tool for SQL SERVER DBA's
We have had very many performance issues especially during the month end process and were able to sort out the issues by highlighting the code which was causing the problems. Further the resource utilisation data has helped us fine tune our code to bring about greater perforamnce
The required data is highlighted clearly ensuring that the DBA does not have to go hunting for the problem areas. Not only does it get highlighted, the background data pertaining to that issue is also made available ensuring that corrective action can be taken immediately. Enough reports are available and data is there over a period to spot trends and handle any spikes in user activity.
The alerts could have a wizard like setup and or be bunched together in various categories - the need to shutdown or acknowledge each and every alert is very time consuming especially for issues which are very trivial.
See it all at a glance
Super easy to use. Very easy to see exactly what you want at a glance but also simple to drill into items to get more data so also very handy when researching issues.
Configuring alerts and thresholds is not a cloud activity. Have to do it via the monitoring app running on a server.
A great help in managing a SQL Server
Very handy in identifying processes which were causing our SQL server to run slowly.
Very easy to see issue develop and determine the cause. Excellent for a power user who is not a full-on server administrator.
It can be a little overwhelming to begin with and you do still need to know about the processes which make up the server you are monitoring. That is to be expected.
Cloud product still needs work.
I have found the alerts to be buggy. In one case I received over 11000 alerts for one event, and in other cases I never received the alert.
Having one interface to see all my servers is convenient.
If I want to customize an alert I have to do it for each database. I can't just make the change once and have it apply to all databases. This is actually one of the reasons we are looking at other products.
Alerts don't always send out emails like they should.