Keep checking back to this page from time to time as I find new things to add new links to this page.
SQL Server Tools
There’s a wide number of SQL Server tools out there to help you proactively monitor and fix performance issues with your SQL Server.
SQL Server Profiler – look at what is going on “under the bonnet” of your SQL Server.
SQL Sentry Plan Explorer – in my opinion, a superior way to view and analyze your query execution plans. There is both a free and pro version of this product. The free version to my knowledge is completely free and doesn’t stop working after a trial.
sp_blitz – from Brent Ozar – a gift from a SQL Server Master which is simply an awesome tool for reporting a wide array of issues with your SQL Server.
Management Data Warehouse (MDW) as it says on the page – “SQL Server 2008 introduces the Management Data Warehouse (MDW) to SQL Server Management Studio for streamlined performance troubleshooting. MDW is a set of components that enable a database developer or administrator to quickly track down problems that could be causing performance degradation”
Dynamic Management Views – There are a number of useful DMV’s available to help you track down what is wrong with your SQL Server. One of the performance tuning experts out there who you should follow is Glenn Berry who has written many useful queries using DMV’s.
SQL Load Generator Tool – available from Codeplex. As it says on the tin.