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I'm a developer who inherited a Win2k3 box in a small shop with a database server (SQL Server). What kinds of things do I need to know to monitor the server and see what processes cause the most problems/use the most system resources?

Is there a handy utility that will help?

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Sql Heartbeat from sqlsolutions.com will give you a realtime view of whats going on all the time (including the running query). Its a free app but they also have a full solution to monitor everything (deadlocks/long running queries/etc.). Using the Sql Hearbeat is probably a good start. You'll want to start educating yourself about Sql Server to set up maintenance plans and backups to make sure you are covered.

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There's a large selection of dynamic management views (DMVs) in SQL Server itself, where you can read in Books Online how to use them.

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