Listing the SQL Server SysAdmins With PowerShell

A very short blog today just to pass on this little script.

I was required to list all of the SysAdmins across a large estate. Obviously I turned to PowerShell 🙂

I iterated through my server list collection and then created a server SMO object and used the EnumServerRoleMembers method to display all of the sysadmin members

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This will work on SQL2000 – SQL2012. You can see how you can easily change the rolename in the script to enumerate other server roles.

Another way you could do it is to use the query

 

and pass that with Invoke-SQLCMD through to every server (if you had to use Powershell 🙂 ). That query won’t work with SQL 2000 though

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How I Check Hundreds of SQL Agent Jobs in 60 Seconds with Powershell

Checking that your Agent Jobs have completed successfully is a vital part of any DBA’s responsibility. It is essential to ensure that all of the hard work you have put into setting up the jobs can be quickly and easily checked. In a large estate this can be very time consuming and if done manually prone to human error. I have repeatedly mentioned John Sansoms Blog Post entitled “The Best DBAs Automate Everything” and I follow that advice. Today I will share with you one fo the first scripts that I wrote.

When I started as a DBA I was told that my first job every morning was to check the Agent Jobs and resolve any errors. This is still something I do first before anything else. (Except coffee, experience has taught me that you get your coffee before you log into your computer otherwise on the bad days you can miss out on coffee for many an hour) I have two scripts to do this. The first sends me an email if the number of failed jobs on a server is greater than zero. This helps me to quickly and simply identify where to start in the case of multiple failures and is also a backup to the second script.

The second script runs on a different server and creates an excel worksheet and colour codes it. This makes it very simple to quickly scroll through the sheet and spot any red cells which designate failed jobs and also provides a nice easy to understand method to show management that on that specific day everything went well (or badly)

As with any Powershell script which manipulates Office applications you first need to create an object and add the workbook and worksheet to it. I also set a filename date variable and a Date variable for the Sheet.

When you use Powershell to manipulate Excel you can access individual cells by identifying them by Row and Column. I use this to create a description for the work book as follows

There are lots of properties that you can play with within Excel. As with any Powershell the best way to find what you need is to use the Get-Member Cmdlet. If you run


You will see that there are 185 Methods and Properties available to you (in Office 2013 on Windows 8.1)

The snippet above creates the following

As you can see we are going to colour code the Job Status according to the three available results Successful, Failed and Unknown. We are also going to colour code the date column to see when the job was last run, this will enable you to easily identify if the last time the job ran it was successful but last night it didn’t kick off for some reason.

The next step is a fairly standard loop through available servers by picking them from a SQLServers text file, a list of the server names (ServerName\Instance if required) that you wish to check. You could also just create an array of server names or pick them from a table with Invoke-SQLCmd but which ever way you do it you need to be able to iterate through the array and then the .Jobs Collection in the JobServer Namespace as follows

What the script then does is to use the following properties of the $Job object and write the Excel File according to the logic in the description

$Job.Name
$Job.IsEnabled
$Job.LastRunOutcome
$Job.LastRunDate

To finish up save the workbook to a share available to all of the DBA Team and quit Excel. Notice that I use a double whammy to make sure Excel is really gone. First I quit the .com object and then I stop the process. I do this because I found that on my server quitting the .com object left the Excel process running and I ended up with dozens and dozens of them. If you have Excel open before you run this script either comment out the last line or save your work (You should save your work anyway regulary!)

As always I take no responsibility for your environment, that’s your Job! Don’t run this on Production unless you know what it is doing and are happy that you have first tested it somewhere safely away from any important systems. Make sure that you understand the correct time to run this job and have qualified the impact on the box it is running on.

Here is a screen shot of the finished Excel Sheet

As you can see the Data Transfer Job needs investigation! The reason I add to yellow rows above and below each servers list of jobs is to help me identify any server that is not responding as that will be easily recognised as two lots of yellow with nothing between them

I have considered improving this script by inputting the data into a database and running a report from that database but have not had the need to do so yet.

Here is the script

 

If you have any questions please use the comment box below

Rationalisation of Database with Powershell and T-SQL part two

In the previous post I showed the script to create an Excel Workbook, colour coded showing the last used date for all of the databases on servers in my sqlservers.txt file. After gathering that information over several months, there is then a requirement for someone to make a decision as to which databases can be removed.

Obviously there will be some databases that are read-only or if not set specifically as read-only may only be used for reference without data being added. You should hopefully have knowledge of these databases and be able to take them off the list quickly.

There are other challenges for a DBA to overcome prior to any action. Many questions need to be answered such as

Who owns the database?
Who is the service owner responsible for the service/application in use by the database?
Even though they may be the service owner who will ultimately sign off permission to remove the database are they aware of how important it is for their people? Or what times of the year it is important to them?
You may find test and development databases that have not been used for months but will they be required next week?
Is it important enough for them to take the time to give the permission?

And plenty more… Add some in the comments below.

Our Primary responsibility is the data. We need to be able to ensure that the data is safe and can be made available quickly and easily. In this situation we need to have a valid backup and a quick and easy method of restoring it. I chose to solve this by creating a T-SQL script which will :-

The reasoning for these steps is best explained by watching this video and yes I always perform the last step too J

I could have used PowerShell to do this by examining The SMO for the Server and the JobServer but this time I decided to challenge myself by writing it in T-SQL as I am weaker in that area. The script below is the result of that work. It works for me. I expect that there are other ways of doing this and please feel free to point out any errors or suggestions. That is how I learn. Hopefully these posts will be of use to other DBAs like myself.

As always with anything you read on the internet. Validate and test. This script works for me on SQL Servers 2005, 2008,2008R2 and 2012 but if you are thinking of running it in your own Production Environment – DON’T.

Well not until you have tested it somewhere safe first J

The first challenge I encountered was that I wanted to only have to change the name of the database to be able to run the script and perform all of these steps. That will also lead onto a stored procedure and then I can automate more of this process and schedule at times to suit the database servers as well. I accomplished this by using a temp table and populating it with the variables I will need as shown below

I then use the variables throughout the script by selecting them from the temp table as follows

And using the variables to create and execute the T-SQL for each of the steps above.

It is pointless to move onto the next step of the previous one has failed so I created some error handling as follows

I created the T-SQL for the agent job by first creating the restore script and adding it to a variable and then right-clicking on a previously created restore database job and using the script to new window command

It was then a case of adding single quotes and reading the code until it would successfully run

 

The process I have used is to change the database name in the script and run it and then run the Agent Job and check the database has been created. Then and only then can I drop the database and disable any jobs for the database. Yes that was the last step in the video J as Grant says “a file is just a file, a backup is a restored database”

Using this script you can reduce the footprint and load on your servers by removing unneeded or unused databases whilst still guaranteeing that should there be a requirement for them you KNOW you can easily restore them. You will still need to take some additional steps like adding a stop to the Agent Job to recreate any users and any other jobs that the database needs but that is more specific to your environment and you will be best placed to achieve this


Rationalisation of Database with Powershell and T-SQL part one

I have recently been involved in a project to rationalise databases. It is easy in a large organisation for database numbers to rapidly increase and sometimes the DBA may not be aware of or be able to control the rise if they don’t have knowledge of all of the database servers on the estate.

There are lots of benefits of rationalisation to the business. Reduced cpu usage = reduced heat released = lower air-con bill for the server room and less storage used = quicker backups and less tapes used or better still less requirement for that expensive new SAN. You may be able to consolidate data and provide one version of the truth for the business as well. Removing servers can release licensing costs which could then be diverted elsewhere or pay for other improvements.

William Durkin b | t presented to the SQL South West User Group about this and will be doing the session at SQL Saturday in Exeter in March 2014 Please check out his session for a more detailed view

I needed to be able to identify databases that could possibly be deleted and realised that an easy way to achieve this would be to use a script to check for usage of the database.

No need to recreate the wheel so I went to Aaron Bertrands blog http://sqlblog.com/blogs/aaron_bertrand/archive/2008/05/06/when-was-my-database-table-last-accessed.aspx and used his script. Instead of using an audit file I decided to use Powershell so that I could output the results to Excel and colour code them. This made it easier to check the results and also easier to show to Managers and Service Owners

 

 

What it does is place the query in a variable. Get the contents of the SQL Server text file holding all my known SQL Servers and runs the query against each of them storing the results in a variable. It then creates an Excel Workbook and a new sheet for each server and populates the sheet including a bit of colour formatting before saving it. The results look like this

usage excel

The tricky bit was understanding how to match the NULL result from the query. This was done by assigning a variable to [System.DBNull]::Value and using that.

Of course these stats are reset when SQL Server restarts so I also included the SQL server restart time using the create date property  of the TempDB. I gathered these stats for a few months before starting any rationalisation.

My next post will be about the next step in the process. You can get the script here


Installing Windows Server 2003 on Hyper-v

A quick post, as much for next time (if there is one) in case I forget.

I created a new Virtual Machine in Hyper-v and installed Windows Server 2003 Standard but after the reboot I had no network connection despite setting it up to connect to my internal network.

I tried re-adding the network adapter in Hyper-v and rebooting which  didnt work so I checked Device Manager which displayed No Device

To fix this, I downloaded and installed Windows Server 2003 SP2 and then installed Integration Services from the Action Menu of the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection.

Then after a reboot I had a network adapter

Viewing SQL Endpoint Permissions with PowerShell

A quick and simple post today as I have been very busy. I needed to list the users with permissions on mirroring endpoints today so I wrote this script and figured it was worth sharing.

It’s a simple script which takes a server name from a Read-Host prompt. Displays the available endpoints and asks which one you want and shows you the permissions

and heres a screenshot of the results

Ps`1If you want to do it with T-SQL

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Using PowerShell to get Azure Endpoint Ports

A quick blog today. I was reading this blog post about How to read the SQL Error Log and I thought I would try some of the examples. I started my Azure VM using the steps in my previous post

I ran

and saw my box had started

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and then

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and bingo I had my SQL Port to put in SSMS and can go and play some more with SQL

Dropping All Tables From A SQL Database with PowerShell

This post could also have been titled confusion with foreach or For-EachObject

The scenario – Having created a blank database a number of users and permissions for an external consultant to create a test database for an application I got a phone call.

“Please can you drop all the tables from the database as we need to re-run the installer with some different parameters”

Sure, I thought. No problem. I will use PowerShell. A simple script is all I need

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That ought to do it. Loop through the tables and drop each one. But when I ran it I got this error

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What I did (which I should have done first up but time pressures hadn’t allowed) was drop the database and write a script to recreate it and all the users and permissions required using my Create Windows User Function and Add User to Database Role Function but it got me thinking.

So I went home and fired up my Azure VMs and had a play and found two ways of resolving it. But first lets understand what is happening here. I read this post which explains it quite well for his script.

We are going through a list collection and deleting any instance of our event receiver, in the “Foreach loop”. But once we delete an item we are modifying the current list collection. The “Foreach” loop looks to see what the current value is, before it moves on to the next item. But since we deleted the current item, we get the “Collection was modified; enumeration operation may not execute” error.

Now that understand what is going on, we can now look at a solution to correct the error.

The simplest way to avoid modifying the collection would be with a “For Loop”.  With a “For Loop”, no modifications are made that will interrupt the looping process.

So when PowerShell has dropped the table it returns to the tables collection to find the current table before moving on to the next table but as we have deleted the table it falls over.

So lets fix it.

First lets create a test database with PowerShell. A piece of code that is useful to keep for scenarios like this. If you are creating a database for something other than a quick demo or a test then go and explore the other properties of the database object that you will surely want to configure. But for this demo the following is fine, it will use default options. The same applies for the tables script below.

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Now lets create some tables.

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And check they have been created

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Now following the advice from above we can do the following

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First we count the number of tables and set it to a variable and then create a for loop. Note if you put $i –le $tables.Count then the script will only delete 4 tables! In the script block we are setting the $table variable to the first in the collection and then drops it. List the table names again to check or run $tables.Count and you will see that all the tables have been deleted.

This was the other solution I found. It makes use of the scripter object to script the Drop commands for the tables add them to a Query string and pass that to  Invoke-SQLCmd to run it.

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Starting My Azure SQL Server VMs with PowerShell

 

The last post about Launching Azure VMs with PowerShell made someone ask me to explain how I start my Azure VMs normally so here goes.

When I decide to write a blog post or develop and test a script or run through demos from a presentation or blog post I fire up my Azure Virtual machines with PowerShell. This is how I do it

Open PowerShell and check that I am connected to my default subscription by running Get-AzureSubscription

Note – You must have installed Windows Azure PowerShell and installed the PublishSettingsFile or used Add-AzureAccount for your subscription following the steps here

http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/install-and-configure-windows-powershell/

Then I run the following three Cmdlets

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Get-AzureVM shows me the VMs associated with that subscription.

I then pipe to Start-AzureVM as I want to start both machines. If I only wanted one I would check that

 

returned the correct machine and then pipe that to Start-AzureVM

Once the VMs have started I use Get-AzureRemoteDesktopFile giving a local path for the rdp file and specifying –launch to run the RDP session

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and away we go 🙂

Once I have finished simply run

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and my machines are stopped and no longer running my credit down.

What Runs on the SQL Server when you run a PowerShell script?–Question from #SQLRelay

Last week I ran a PowerShell lab at SQL Relay in Cardiff. There are still a few places available for SQL Relay week 2. Take a look here for more details and follow the twitter hashtag #SQLRelay for up to date information

The link for my slides and demos from the second part are here https://t.co/Fik2odyUMA

Whilst we were discussing Show-LastDatabaseBackup Kev Chant @KevChant asked where it was getting the information from and I answered that PowerShell was running SQL commands under the hood against the server and if you ran profiler that is what you would see. We didn’t have time to do that in Cardiff but I thought I would do it today to show what happens

A reminder of what Show-LastDatabaseBackup function does

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If we start a trace with Profiler and run this function we get these results in PowerShell

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In Profiler we see that it is running the following T-SQL for

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and then for

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For

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And for

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So the answer to your question Kev is

Yes it does get the information from the msdb database