Microsoft SQL Server  collage via official

Microsoft has released some new SQL Management Packs for SQL Server and Dashboards. The downloads cover SQL Server 2016, 2014 and 2008-2012.

This brings many new features, many of which come from user feedback. Microsoft has also improved dashboard performance and rolled out tons of fixes.

SQL Server 2014–2016 MP Features

The list of fixes is extremely long, so we’re just going to stick to new features and changes.

Here’s what’s new in SQL Server 2014 and 2016:

  • “Added support for configurations where computer host names are longer than 15 symbols
  • Added ‘Event ID’ to descriptions of all the alerts generated by the alerting rules
  • Added a new overridable parameter to monitor “Stale Checkpoint File Pairs Ratio” in order to ignore databases having the number of checkpoint file pairs less than the threshold (300 by default)
  • Updated the visualization library
  • Added 2 rules to generate alerts when there are problems with execution of the monitoring scripts: ‘MSSQL: Monitoring failed’ and ‘MSSQL: Monitoring warning’
  • Added ‘MSSQL 2016: Discovery warning’ rules to generate alerts when there are non-critical problems with execution of the discovery scripts (warning events in the Operations Manager log)
  • Changed ‘MSSQL 2016: Discovery failed’ rules to generate alerts for only critical errors during executing discovery scripts
  • Improved error logging in the MP scripts
  • Made “Resources Pool Memory Consumption (rollup)” enabled by default
  • Disabled Memory-Optimized Data Garbage Collection Fill Factor monitor and rule by default
  • Disabled Memory-Optimized Data workflows for all SQL Server editions that do not support Memory-Optimized Data feature
  • Made detection condition stricter for DB User Policy event-based discovery: added management group name
  • Made detection condition stricter for Script Failed alerting rule: added management group name.”

As you can see, there’s plenty of minor improvements that should help to make the experience more intuitive and stable.

SQL Server 2008–2012 Features

The pack for SQL Server 2008–2012 also has some significant changes:

  • “Added support for configurations where computer host names are longer than 15 symbols
  • Added support for databases stored on SMB Shares
  • Added ‘Event ID’ to descriptions of all the alerts generated by the alerting rules
  • Updated the visualization library
  • Removed files of SQL 2005 MP from the installer since this MP is no longer supported
  • Added 2 rules to generate alerts when there are problems with execution of the monitoring scripts: ‘MSSQL: Monitoring failed” and “MSSQL: Monitoring warning’
  • Added ‘MSSQL 20XX: Discovery warning’ rules to generate alerts when there are non-critical problems with execution of the discovery scripts (warning events in the Operations Manager log)
  • Changed ‘MSSQL 20XX: Discovery failed’ rules to generate alerts for only critical errors during executing discovery scripts
  • Improved error logging in the MP scripts
  • Made detection condition stricter for DB User Policy event-based discovery: added management group name
  • Made detection condition stricter for Script Failed alerting rule: added management group name
  • Deprecated ‘Run As Account does not exist on the target system, or does not have enough permissions’ rule.”

Some of these the same as the later versions of SQL Server, but Microsoft has also addressed some specific problems, so it’s worth a read.

SQL Server Dashboards Features

Finally, some changes have come to the SQL Server Dashboards. Most of the pack addresses numerous issues with the service, but a few changes have crept in too.

As mentioned earlier, the dashboard is now much smoother and performant. The only other change is that group order in the Server Summary dashboard view is correct once more.

That doesn’t mean the pack isn’t worthwhile, however, as it fixes a number of issues. For example, the web console no longer crashes when you right click the hamburger menu and crashes when drilling down from datacenter view are also gone.

You can find download links for each of the packs on the Microsoft blog.