Use SQL Server Objects

Applies to: SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server provides objects and counters that can be used by System Monitor to monitor activity in computers running an instance of SQL Server. An object is any SQL Server resource, such as a SQL Server lock or Windows process. Each object contains one or more counters that determine various aspects of the objects to monitor. For example, the SQL Server Locks object contains counters called Number of Deadlocks/sec and Lock Timeouts/sec.

Some objects have several instances if multiple resources of a given type exist on the computer. For example, the Processor object type will have multiple instances if a system has multiple processors. The Databases object type has one instance for each database on SQL Server. Some object types (for example, the Memory Manager object) have only one instance. If an object type has multiple instances, you can add counters to track statistics for each instance, or in many cases, all instances at once. Counters for the default instance appear in the format SQLServer:<object name>. Counters for named instances appear in the format MSSQL$<instance name>:<counter name> or SQLAgent$<instance name>:<counter name>.

SQL Server performance counter values are generated using the Windows Performance Counter (WPC) engine. Some counter values are not calculated directly by SQL Server Database Engine. The SQL Server provides base values to the WPC engine, which will perform the required calculations (like percentages). The sys.dm_os_performance_counters (Transact-SQL) dynamic management view provides all counters with the original value generated by SQL Server. The cntr_type column indicates the type of counter. How the WPC engine processes SQL Server counter values depends on this type. For more information about performance counter types, see the WMI documentation.

By adding or removing counters to the chart and saving the chart settings, you can specify the SQL Server objects and counters that are monitored when System Monitor is started.

You can configure System Monitor to display statistics from any SQL Server counter. In addition, you can set a threshold value for any SQL Server counter and then generate an alert when a counter exceeds a threshold. For more information about setting an alert, see Create a SQL Server Database Alert.


SQL Server statistics are displayed only when an instance of SQL Server is installed. If you stop and restart an instance of SQL Server, the display of statistics is interrupted and resumes automatically. Also note that you will see SQL Server counters in the System Monitor snap-in even if SQL Server is not running. On a clustered instance, performance counters only function on the node where SQL Server is running.

This article contains the following sections:

SQL Server Agent Performance Objects

The following table lists the performance objects provided for SQL Server Agent:

Performance object Description
SQLAgent:Alerts Provides information about SQL Server Agent alerts.
SQLAgent:Jobs Provides information about SQL Server Agent jobs.
SQLAgent:JobSteps Provides information about SQL Server Agent job steps.
SQLAgent:Statistics Provides general information about SQL Server Agent.

Service Broker Performance Objects

The following table lists the performance objects provided for Service Broker.

Performance object Description
SQLServer:Broker Activation Provides information about Service Broker-activated tasks.
SQLServer:Broker Statistics Provides general Service Broker information.
SQLServer:Broker Transport Provides information on Service Broker networking.

SQL Server Performance Objects

The following table describes SQL Server objects.

Performance object Description
SQLServer:Access Methods Searches through and measures allocation of SQL Server database objects (for example, the number of index searches or number of pages that are allocated to indexes and data).
SQLServer:Backup Device Provides information about backup devices used by backup and restore operations, such as the throughput of the backup device.
SQLServer:Batch Resp Statistics Counters to track SQL Batch Response times.
SQLServer:Buffer Manager Provides information about the memory buffers used by SQL Server, such as freememory and buffer cache hit ratio.
SQL Server:Buffer Node Provides information about how frequently SQL Server requests and accesses free pages.
SQLServer:Catalog Metadata This defines a catalog metadata manager object for SQL Server.
SQLServer:CLR Provides information about the common language runtime (CLR).
SQLServer:Columnstore Applies to: SQL Server (SQL Server 2016 (13.x) and later).

Provides information about rowgroups and segments for columnstore indexes.
SQLServer:Cursor Manager by Type Provides information about cursors.
SQLServer:Cursor Manager Total Provides information about cursors.
SQLServer:Database Mirroring Provides information about database mirroring.
SQLServer:Databases Provides information about a SQL Server database, such as the amount of free log space available or the number of active transactions in the database. There can be multiple instances of this object.
SQL Server:Deprecated Features Counts the number of times that deprecated features are used.
SQLServer:Exec Statistics Provides information about execution statistics.
SQL Server:External Scripts Applies to: SQL Server (SQL Server 2016 (13.x) and later).

Provides information about external script execution.
SQLServer:FileTable Statistics associated with FileTable and non-transacted access.
SQLServer:General Statistics Provides information about general server-wide activity, such as the number of users who are connected to an instance of SQL Server.
SQL Server:HADR Availability Replica Provides information about SQL Server Always On availability groups availability replicas.
SQL Server:HADR Database Replica Provides information about SQL Server Always On availability groups database replicas.
SQL Server:HTTP Storage Provides information to monitor a Microsoft Azure Storage account when using SQL Server Data Files in Microsoft Azure
SQLServer:Latches Provides information about the latches on internal resources, such as database pages, that are used by SQL Server.
SQLServer:Locks Provides information about the individual lock requests made by SQL Server, such as lock time-outs and deadlocks. There can be multiple instances of this object.
SQLServer:LogPool FreePool Describes statistics for the free pool inside the Log Pool.
SQLServer:Memory Broker Clerks Statistics related to memory broker clerks.
SQLServer:Memory Manager Provides information about SQL Server memory usage, such as the total number of lock structures currently allocated.
SQLServer:Plan Cache Provides information about the SQL Server cache used to store objects such as stored procedures, triggers, and query plans.
SQLServer: Query Store Provides information about the Query Store.
SQLServer: Resource Pool Stats Provides information about Resource Governor resource pool statistics.
SQLServer:SQL Errors Provides information about SQL Server errors.
SQLServer:SQL Statistics Provides information about aspects of Transact-SQL queries, such as the number of batches of Transact-SQL statements received by SQL Server.
SQLServer:Transactions Provides information about the active transactions in SQL Server, such as the overall number of transactions and the number of snapshot transactions.
SQLServer:User Settable Performs custom monitoring. Each counter can be a custom stored procedure or any Transact-SQL statement that returns a value to be monitored.
SQLServer: Wait Statistics Provides information about waits.
SQLServer: Workload Group Stats Provides information about Resource Governor workload group statistics.

SQL Server Replication Performance Objects

The following table lists the performance objects provided for SQL Server replication:

Performance object Description
SQLServer:Replication Agents

SQLServer:Replication Snapshot

SQLServer:Replication Logreader

SQLServer:Replication Dist.

SQLServer:Replication Merge

For more information, see Monitoring Replication with System Monitor.
Provides information about replication agent activity.

SSIS Pipeline Counters

For the SSIS Pipeline counter, see Performance Counters.

SQL Server XTP (In-memory OLTP) Performance Counters

For SQL Server XTP (In-Memory OLTP) counters, see SQL Server XTP (In-Memory OLTP) Performance Counters.


Use of the SQL Server objects depends on Windows permissions, except SQLAgent:Alerts. Users must be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role to use SQLAgent:Alerts.