One of the really cool features we’re planning for SQL Response 2 is the Global Overview. This is a kind of ‘front page’ that is designed to draw your attention to any significant issues across your entire enterprise. The global overview is the top level of a hierarchy of ‘overview’ pages that include:
- A Physical Server overview page, that will provide current data about a selected machine, for example disk space usage and processor metrics. It will also list which instances are on that machine and various other useful data.
- A SQL Server overview page for each monitored instance, that will list current metrics and alerts for that instance. This page will aggregate lots of useful data about a specific instance.
Above both of these, however, lives the Global Overview. Its purpose is simple – to list those SQL Servers and machines with a problem, that require further investigation. Using graphics and colour coding, we want the Global Overview to give you a high-level view across your entire enterprise. From here, with a single click, you can drill down to a SQL Server overview or various other views to see more detailed information.
The question we’re discussing at the moment is how best to present this global overview information to you.
- Do you prefer a list of SQL Server instances only, or do you want to see them in the context of their physical server?
- Or would you want to toggle between a list of SQL Server instances only and a list showing physical servers and instances (ie SQL Servers grouped by their host machine).
- What are the key metrics to see at the Global Overview level for a SQL Server/physical server? (These are the sparkline graphs in our example designs)
We’ve sketched out a couple of alternative ideas for how this Global Overview might look.
This design (click to enlarge) shows a flat list of SQL Server instances. Each SQL Server also shows its host machine, which has its own status based on any problems specific to the physical server:
This design shows SQL Servers organised by their host machine. The status of the SQL Server may be different from that of the physical server, depending on what type of issues SQL Response has found:
In both designs, clicking pretty much anywhere will take you to a relevant page with more detailed information. For example, clicking on an instance name will take you to the SQL Server Overview for that instance, and clicking on the list of alerts will take you to a dedicated alerts page.
Please let us know whether our ideas for a Global Overview meet your expectations. If neither of these are quite what you want, then why not tell us what you’re looking for or send us your own design?