Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off of a completely revised feature called Activity Monitor in the RC0 version of SQL Server 2008, which has been available to the public since June 10, 2008. If you have used Vista or Windows Server 2008, this should seem pretty similar to the Windows Resource Monitor included in those products, which I like to call “Task Manager on Steroids”. A screen shot of it is shown below.
The Overview section shows % Processor time, Waiting Tasks, Database I/O, and Batch Requests/sec. The other sections below the Overview can be opened up for more detail about Processes, Resource Waits, Data File I/O, and Recent Expensive Queries.
This is a great tool for getting a slightly deeper and more SQL Server specific view of what is going on with your SQL Server than what you can see with Task Manager or Windows Resource manager. Of course, this is no substitute for for a good set of DMV queries wielded by an knowledgeable DBA, but it is certainly useful for starting to drill into the old, familiar “my server is running slowly, and I don’t know why” problem.