NetIQ is well known for its products in the network and systems management areas, including tools with functionality that are now part of Microsoft MOM. One of these tools, SQLcheck, is a freeware goodie that you can use to check a wide range of parameters in your SQL Server databases. You'll find the download at: www.netiq.com/sqlcheck/default.asp.
You can use SQLCheck for a lot of things. Use it on Windows 2000/XP, either as a standalone system or as part of a Windows 2000/NT domain. It can profile SQL Server 7 or 2000. You'll need to be an administrator on your database server, and it is recommended that you set up the program to be used by the sa account.
You'll find that SQLcheck is a graphical application that shows functions and parameters in a "dashboard" display. Each section of the dialog shows you the performance of your system's software or hardware, with additional drill-down functionality available by right clicking on that section. The program also gives you information about the database configuration, status of any Agent jobs that are running, and it displays the error log.
Among the many parameters that you can measure are: transaction rate, buffer cache hit ratio, memory grants pending, average latch wait time, average lock wait time, lock timeouts rate, database allocation size, database allocation percent, largest tables, process list, error log, agent jobs, server configuration, software versions, memory paging rate, processor use rate, disk transfer rate, and network transfer rate, among other things.
Barrie Sosinsky is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics.