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Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise 11.7 - Deployment Guide

Welcome to Spotlight on SQL Server The size and shape of your deployment Install / Upgrade Spotlight data collection and storage View data and configure Spotlight Monitored connections in the deployment Deployment over the Windows network Monitored SQL Servers Monitored Windows Servers and hosts of database connections

Welcome to Spotlight on SQL Server

Welcome to Spotlight on SQL Server

Spotlight on SQL Server monitors the activity of SQL Server instances. Spotlight displays a visual representation of the status of the databases in your enterprise, enabling you to drill down to graphical flows that illustrate the rate at which data is moving between server components. Icons display the value of key statistics and measurements. A range of visual graphs and tabular grids provide you with detailed information about your SQL Server instance.

The components and dataflows change color to show you the source of any problem. When Spotlight on SQL Server detects a condition that it considers is a potential problem, it not only informs you about it, but advises you what you could look at to diagnose the problem further and suggests corrective actions.

Spotlight on SQL Server seamlessly combines data from several disparate sources into a single user interface. It collects and combines data from Windows performance counters, SQL Server system tables, SQL Server commands and the Windows registry, and presents them in logically related screens.

Note: There are two editions of Spotlight on SQL Server: Enterprise and Standard. This document is only appropriate for Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise. Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise is deploy-able with separate Spotlight Diagnostic Server and multiple Spotlight Clients.

The size and shape of your deployment

The size and shape of your deployment

A minimal Spotlight on SQL Server deployment consists of

These components are installed by the Spotlight on SQL Server installer. In a small deployment all these components can all be installed on the same host, however they don't have to be. Many Spotlight Clients can connect to one Spotlight Diagnostic Server. Where there are a large number of connections to be monitored or those connections are geographically widespread it may be appropriate to deploy multiple Spotlight Diagnostic Server where many Spotlight Clients monitor many connections through many Spotlight Diagnostic Server (a federation of Spotlight Diagnostic Server).

Where a Spotlight Diagnostic Server has access to the Internet, connections can additionally be monitored from a web browser or a mobile device.

Each Spotlight Diagnostic Server requires access to a Playback Database. One Playback Database is deployed per Spotlight Diagnostic Server. The Playback Database can be installed on the same host as the Spotlight Diagnostic Server, dependent on the number of SQL Server instances to be monitored. The Playback Database stores recent history.

Once Spotlight is installed you may choose to collect and store data for reporting and trending. This data is stored in a Spotlight Statistics Repository. Many Spotlight Diagnostic Server can write to the same Spotlight Statistics Repository.

Spotlight Clients, Spotlight Diagnostic Server, Playback Database, Spotlight Statistics Repository and monitored connections communicate over a Windows network. Appropriate permissions need to be in place to ensure communications flow. For more information, see Deployment over the Windows network.

Table 1: Factor in how many SQL Server instances you intend to monitor

SQL Server instances Description

1 - 25

The Spotlight Diagnostic Server, Playback Database and Spotlight Statistics Repository can all be installed on the same host, as long as that host meets the minimum hardware requirements listed in the release notes.

More than 25

It is recommended that the Playback Database and Spotlight Statistics Repository be hosted on a different server than the Spotlight Diagnostic Server host.

The host for the Playback Database and Spotlight Statistics Repository should be configured with an appropriate amount of I/O bandwidth to meet demand.

If your environment uses a storage area network (SAN) it may be possible to install the Spotlight Statistics Repository and the Playback Database on the same host.


Consider a deployment of more than one Spotlight Diagnostic Server. A single Spotlight Diagnostic Server is designed to monitor a maximum of 100 SQL Servers, Analysis Services or Replication instances and 100 Windows servers. Exceeding this recommended limit on 32 bit environments may result in poor performance or product instability, due to the 1 Gb memory limit. On 64 bit environments theoretically more connections can be monitored as the 1 Gb limit no longer applies, however testing of this has been limited.

Install / Upgrade

Permissions required during installation

Install / Upgrade > Permissions required during installation

The Windows user installing Spotlight

When installing the Spotlight Diagnostic Server, Windows administrator privileges are required to register the Spotlight Diagnostic Server as a Windows service and to create the Windows user groups that are used to authenticate Spotlight clients.

When installing the Spotlight Diagnostic Server on a remote machine, the Windows account on the Spotlight client must have Windows administrator privileges on the Spotlight Diagnostic Server host. The local computer must be able to authenticate this user.

Elevated privileges

In many cases, the Spotlight installer will run at elevated privileges in order to perform the required actions. These privileges can specifically be allowed or disallowed by system administrators by means of standard Microsoft Installer (MSI) policy settings.

If the Spotlight Diagnostic Server user does not have privileges to start services, that privilege is granted by Spotlight during the installation process, if possible.

Multiple users of a system

If multiple users of a system install Spotlight for use, the additional users must be local administrators.

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