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Solarwinds Beefing Up SQL Monitoring through Acquisition

Solarwinds announced in a press release last Friday that they would be acquiring SentryOne, a company that specializes in both Azure Cloud and on-premise SQL database performance Monitoring.

From my perspective, this play makes a lot of sense for both organizations. Solarwinds can integrate SentryOne’s monitoring technology into their suite of products, specifically improving upon the DPA (Database Performance Analyzer) offering.

What I am most curious about is if they will integrate most of the SentryOne product functionality into the DPA module or if they will package it into a different product and sell it separately.

I see quite a bit of overlap between the two products but the ability to automate responses based on conditions, monitoring Azure-specific products (Synapsis for example), and deep dive into cloud DB performance sets SentryOne apart from DPA in a number of ways and looks to be the reason for the acquisition. Aside from having their own growing customer base.

This also seems like a good move for SentryOne. With any niche monitoring company, the end goal is usually to get acquired for your technology (and hopefully not just your people). We saw another recent example of this with VMWare acquiring Blue Medora for their specialized vROps management packs.

I would assume that most of the SentryOne employees will now become Solarwinds employees but there is no specific mention of this in the news release.

In my opinion, Solarwinds is an underrated player in the market. They don’t typically offer the flashiest or most bleeding-edge monitoring products but their wide range of products that they offer basically covers every aspect of typical enterprise monitoring. This seems to be sufficient for a lot of organizations.

Their modular pricing structure is also somewhat attractive as it allows teams to make small investments and grow their monitoring solution as required or as a budget is made available.

If your organization is already using a combination of Solarwinds Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) and Server and Application Monitoring (SAM) it naturally makes sense to consider investing in Database Performance Analyzer (DPA).

One caution I would give is to try not to implement these tools in silos.

If you are going to invest in multiple Solarwinds modules then ensure they are properly architected and integrated. This sounds simple but I have seen multiple instances in my career where DPA is installed by the DBA team as a separate instance as a proof of concept but ends up staying in a silo.

Typically you can install a trial version of the module as part of your “production” instance and then remove it if you decide not to proceed with the purchase.

It’s always interesting to try and predict acquisitions in the monitoring niche. I can’t say I foresaw this one but it definitely makes sense in retrospect. Solarwinds seems to be making aggressive strides to both mature their suite of products and expand into new markets such as China.

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-Dylan