Breaking News - Quest Software Announces Community Initiative to Help Users Analyze SQL Server Performance Data

At PASS Summit 2010, Quest Software today announced a new user-driven feature of Quest SQLServerPedia, code-named "Project Lucy." Project Lucy analyzes SQL Server trace files securely uploaded by community members. In return, it provides them with an understanding of their instance performance, and how it stacks up against their peers' environments and Microsoft best practices, while keeping their individual user information confidential.

"We felt that there was a void left between traditional forums and educational portals," Ari Weil, Project Lucy project manager, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "On a traditional forum or a board, people are asking questions. They are talking about problems that they are having. On educational portals like Quest SQLServerPedia for example, they are talking about strategies but it is typically in a vacuum where it is absent a problem - you are just talking about the way things should be done."

When it debuts, Project Lucy will provide users with information about their SQL workload based on the uploaded trace file, and highlight performance issues that arise from sort warnings, statement recompilations, plan cache reuse, and more.

With Project Lucy, says Weil, the aim is to have a portal that is more of a community driven solution, that would empower people to upload something very generic and very accessible such as a SQL Server trace file, and then be shown information that they can leverage with direct links to investigate via SQL ServerPedia. They will also be able to compare information from peers who are using SQL Server in a similar fashion to the way that they do.

The name "Project Lucy," says Weil, is a tongue-in-cheek reference to comedian Lucille Ball, as in "Lucy, you've got some explaining to do."

As the project evolves, users will also be able to upload additional data such as log files, monitoring counters, and query plans, and compare their IT system performance with other visitors' anonymous data.

In addition to extending Project Lucy to take additional SQL Server data, it is also planned that the project will be expanded to other DBMSs such as Oracle, DB2 and Sybase.

Built on Windows Azure, Project Lucy is download-free. There are no installation or maintenance costs. It is directly integrated with the community via SQLServerPedia and, because it's built in the cloud, visitor data and current best practices are kept up-to-date.

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