SQL Server Benchmark tools and stress testing tools

This is a FAQ and I recently collected information based on some available resources:

The following Books-online topic talks about the in-built SQL Server tools to collect performance data so you can create a baseline and also identify performance issues:

Monitoring tools that comes with SQL Server: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms191511.aspx

The Disk I/O subsystem is the most important component that needs to be tested for optimal performance when working with SQL Server applications, the following article talks about a tool called SQLIO that’s a great resources to help test your I/O subsystem and more importantly collect benchmarks about the same:

Predeployment I/O best practices: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc966412.aspx

The following two articles talk about methodology for setting up a test environment that are worth reading:

Stress testing methodology: https://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Miscellaneous/2634/

Setting up a stress testing environment: https://www.sql-server-performance.com/2005/stress-test-part3/

I am including a few other tools below that may be good alternatives as well:

This is not a free tool but looks very comprehensive and may do all of the above, I haven’t used it personally but some customers have: Quest tool: https://www.quest.com/benchmark-factory/

This is another 3rd party free tool that I found: SQL Stress: https://www.sqlstress.com/

In the next version of SQL Server code named Denali, we will have a high fidelity tool to setup a replay environment in a distributed fashion. CTP1 of Denali includes this tool which you can play with today, see this link to download and learn more about this tool:

Denali Distributed Replay: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff878304(SQL.110).aspx

Finally, the following tool is used for upgrade testing but can also be used for creating replay environments, it is similar to the tool above that will come in Denali but uses the SQL Trace and Profiler Replay features which can only use one client at a time: Scalability Experts Upgrade Assistant: https://www.scalabilityexperts.com/tools/downloads.html