In October, SolarWinds acquired Confio, maker of Ignite database performance software.  In the DBA community Ignite is well known and widely used by top tier DBAs and database developers.   For the rest of the SolarWinds community, here are the key points that will help explain what makes Ignite such a popular solution.

  1. Response Time Analysis.   From the very beginning, Ignite was built to measure the TIME it takes for the database to respond to queries.  And Ignite does not just measure time to complete a query, but tracks the time spent on each step along the way, identifying the resource bottlenecks that most contribute to the delays.  

    Why is this important?   The purpose of a SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase or DB2 database is to deliver a query response to an application.  Knowing whether the server is busy doesn’t help the application user if they are waiting on a slow database.   Rather, the key to delivering better application response is knowing which bottlenecks are causing delays and how to fix them.

    Think of a real life comparison.  If you want to minimize the time it takes to drive to work, your best bet is understanding how much time is spent at each stop-light on the way, then figuring out how to avoid the long ones (Wait Time).   That is more effective than focusing on how fast your engine is running (CPU or server health).     More about Response Time Analysis.

    Ignite measures the time spent at bottleneck steps called Wait Types or Wait Events, then analyzes and tells the DBA or Developer how to get faster results. No other tool gives the same wait details, or ties them into Response Time Analysis. 

  2. Big Bars Bad.   Response time data is complex, with hundreds of Wait Types for every query processed, along with many other details like execution plans, locks, programs, users, and objects touched along the way.   Ignite makes it simple, clearly showing response times in the form of bar charts at every level of detail.   When you look for a problem in Ignite, just look for the “longest bar”, because that is the most critical problem to focus on.    Ignite users know that the longest bars are the key to their performance issues, and quickly learn from Confio that Big Bars are Bad.   Nothing else is as simple.
    Which query is the biggest problem?

  3. 4 Clicks to the Problem.   Serious DBAs use serious tools, and some of them have extremely complex screens of statistics that few DBAs or Developers can understand.  Ignite excels at making it easy to get to the root cause of the problem, typically in about four clicks.  This means that everyone on the DBA team, application developers, or managers can use Ignite without specialize training.  
    By clicking on the alarms that indicate problems, and following the big bars, Ignite users get right down to the root cause.   More details on Ignite.

Section of Ignite home screen, with red alerts designating the first click to find the problem