Common performance problems that the dashboard reports may help to resolve include:
- CPU bottlenecks (and what queries are consuming the most CPU)
- IO bottlenecks (and what queries are performing the most IO).
- Index recommendations generated by the query optimizer (missing indexes)
- Latch contention
The report is an extension of the Custom Reports feature introduced in the SQL Server 2005 SP2 release of SQL Server Management Studio. Note that Reporting Services does not need to be installed.
The reports retrieve info from dynamic management views. They don't poll performance counters or require tracing be enabled. They also do not store a history of performance over time. So it's a lightweight (yet powerful) monitoring option.
You can get the extension itself at:
There's also a complete article about how to install it from Black Belt Administration: Performance Dashboard for Microsoft SQL Server, Part I , at Database Journal (and from which I obtained the image above).