Quest Launches Cloud-based SQL Server Testing Service

Quest Software has launched a free cloud-based service that analyses SQL Server trace files and helps determine the source of performance issues.

The company announced the new service, currently in the pilot phase, at the PASS Summit 2010, which that took place this week in Seattle, Wa. The site, called Project Lucy, is hosted on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud service, and is aimed at creating a virtual community of SQL Server users.

In addition to helping database administrators (DBAs) determine the source of performance issues, the site will evolve to help users compare their performance data with community members and those practices recommended by Microsoft.

Quest, which among other things provides SQL Server management tools, said Project Lucy will take shape as a feature of SQLServerPedia, the company's free site that offers information on anything that has to do with SQL Server, said Ari Weil, a Quest product manager.

When logging into Project Lucy, the DBA uploads the trace file and in return receives a summary of what was inside of the file, Weil explained. "We can show you how busy your SQL Server was, [what] particular resources it was using, [determine] if you have individual performance issues and anomalies that we've noticed inside of the trace files and we'll highlight those for you."

"We are initially just going to let people use SQL Server trace files because it's easy, every DBA knows how to do it, or every IT professional should be able to kick off just a SQL Server trace."

Over time, Project Lucy will track other performance-related issues such as log files, monitoring counters and query plans and it will provide comparisons with other customers' data, which will be kept anonymous, according Weil. "You don't have to upload any personally identifiable information, we'll still be able to give you advice regardless of what you upload to the project," he said

Right now, the data kicked back from the trace files is based on an automated engine, Weil said. "What we are going to do to extend it is we will be creating a user community around this," he said. "So we'll give you an analysis and then we'll provide the ability to share the analysis with the community."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.


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