TSQL2sDay – Get-PostRoundup

First an apology, this round up is late!

The reason for that is an error in the PowerShell testing module Pester (That’s not completely true as you shall see!!)

I spoke in Stuttgart at the PowerShell Saturday last weekend and had intended to write this blog post whilst travelling, unfortunately I found a major error in Pester (again not strictly true but it makes a good story!!)

I explained it with this slide in my presentation

Yep, I forgot to pack my NUC with my VMs on it and had to re-write all my demos!!

But anyway, on to the TSQL2sDay posts

What a response. You wonderful people. I salute you with a Rimmer salute

There are 34 TSQL2sDay posts about dbatools, about starting with PowerShell, If you should learn PowerShell, SSAS, SSRS, Log Shipping, backups, restores, Pester, Default settings, best practices, migrations, Warnings in Agent Jobs, sqlpackage, VLFs, CMS, Disabling Named Pipes, Orphaned users, AG Status, AG Agent Jobs, logging, classes, auditing, copying files, ETL and more.

I am really pleased to see so many first timers to the TSQL2sDay blog monthly blog party. Please don’t let this be your only TSQL2sDay post. Come back next month and write a post on that topic.

Here they are below in the media of tweets, so that you can also go and follow these wonderful people who are so willing to share their knowledge. Say thank you to them, ask them questions, interact.

Learn, Share, Network

Volker wrote about testing best practices with dbatools

Dave explains why PowerShell is so useful to him in his ETL processes

Steve writes about the time he has saved using PowerShell to automate restores and audit SQL Server instances

Nate talks about copying large files like SQL Server backups using BITS with PowerShell

Warren talks about his experience as a beginner, the amount of things he automates and his DBReboot module

THANK YOU every single one and apologies if I have missed anyone!

 

 

Testing SQL Server Access to a share with PowerShell using dbatools

A good security practice is to backup our SQL Servers to a network share but not allow users to be able to browse the share. How can we ensure that our SQL Server has access or test it if it has been set up by someone else?

Lets set this up.

First lets create a share for our backups

$FileShareParams=@{
Name='SQLBackups'
Description='The Place for SQL Backups'
SourceVolume=(Get-Volume-DriveLetterD)
FileServerFriendlyName='beardnuc'
}
New-FileShare @FileShareParams

This will create us a share called SQLBackups on the D drive of the server beardnuc, but without any permissions, lets grant permissions to everyone

$FileSharePermsParams=@{
 Name = 'SQLBackups'
 AccessRight = 'Modify'
 AccountName = 'Everyone'}
Grant-FileShareAccess @FileSharePermsParams

01 file share.PNG

The share is created and I can access it and create a file

02 - create a file.PNG

and as we can see the permissions are granted for everyone

03 -permissions.PNG

OK, that’s not what we want so lets revoke that permission.

Revoke-FileShareAccess Name SQLBackups AccountName 'Everyone'

04 revoked.PNG

Now lets add permissions just for our SQL Server Service Accounts

$FileSharePermsParams = @{
Name = 'SQLBackups'
AccessRight = 'Modify'
AccountName = 'SQL_DBEngine_Service_Accounts
}
Grant-FileShareAccess @FileSharePermsParams 
and explicitly deny our DBA user accounts from accessing them.
$BlockFileShareParams = @{
Name = 'SQLBackups'
AccountName = 'SQL_DBAs_The_Cool_Ones'
}
Block-FileShareAccess @BlockFileShareParams
In the GUI our permissions look like this
and when I try to access as THEBEARD\Rob I get this

07 -no permissions.PNG

So how can I check that I have access from my SQL Server? Sure I could get the password of the SQL Service account and run a process as that account, not saying that’s a good idea but it could be done. Of course it couldn’t be done if you are using Managed Service Accounts or Group Managed Service Accounts¬†but there is a way

Enter dbatools to the rescue ūüėČ The dbatools module (for those that don’t know) is a PowerShell module written by amazing folks in the community designed to make administrating your SQL Server significantly easier using PowerShell. The instructions for installing it are available here It comprises of 182 separate commands at present

There is a command called Test-SqlPath As always start with Get-Help

Get-Help Test-SqlPath -Full

08 - get help.PNG

So it uses master.dbo.xp_fileexist to determine if a file or directory exists, from the perspective of the SQL Server service account, has three parameters Sqlserver, Path and SqlCredential for SQL Authentication. Of course if that stored procedure is disabled on your estate then this command will not be of use to you. With that in mind, lets run it and see what it does
Test-SqlPath -SqlServer sql2016n1 -Path \\beardnuc\SQLBackups
09 - path test

That’s good I have access, lets back¬†a database up

Backup-SqlDatabase -ServerInstance SQL2016N1 -Database DBA-Admin -CopyOnly -BackupAction Database -BackupFile '\\BeardNuc\SQLBackups\Test-DBA-Admin.bak'
Ah, I cant show you as I don’t have access. Better get in touch with the data centre admin to check ūüėČ Luckily, I am my own data centre admin and have another account I can use ūüôā
10 - check

So what if we want to test all of our servers for access to the new share? I tried this

$SQLServers = (Get-VM -ComputerName beardnuc).Where{$_.Name -like '*SQL*' -and $_.Name -notlike 'SQL2008Ser2008'}.Name
Test-SqlPath -SqlServer $SQLServers -Path '\\BeardNuc\SQLBackups'
but unfortunately I hit an error
11 - error.PNG
It seems that at the moment (version 0.8.942) this command only accepts a single server. This is what you should do if you find either a bug or have an idea for dbatools. Raise an issue on Github
Navigate to the GitHub repository and click on issues. I generally search for the command name in the issues to see if someone else has beaten me to it
12 - issues
If those issues don’t match yours then click the green New Issue button
There is a template to fill in which asks you to specify your Windows, PowerShell and SQL versions with the commands that you need to do so included. Please do this and paste the results in as it will help the folks to replicate the issues in the case of more complicated  bugs
I created this issue with a potential fix as well, you don’t have to do that, just letting the folks know is good enough
Until that issue is resolved, you can check all of your servers as follows
$SQLServers=(Get-VM -ComputerName beardnuc).Where{$_.Name -like '*SQL*' -and $_.Name -notlike 'SQL2008Ser2008'}.Name
foreach($Server in $SQLServers)
{
$Test = Test-SqlPath -SqlServer $Server -Path '\\BeardNuc\SQLBackups'
[PSCustomObject]@{
Server = $Server
Result = $Test
}
}
13 - servers.PNG
and if I remove one of the service accounts from the group and restart the service an run the command again
14 - one fails.PNG
So that’s how to use dbatools to check that your SQL Server have access to a Network share and also how to create an issue on GitHub for dbatools and help it to get even better

Happy Automating

NOTE – The major 1.0 release of dbatools due in the summer 2017 may have breaking changes which will stop the above code from working. There are also new commands coming which may replace this command. This blog post was written using dbatools version 0.8.942 You can check your version using

 Get-Module dbatools

and update it using an Administrator PowerShell session with

 Update-Module dbatools

You may find that you get no output from Update-Module as you have the latest version. If you have not installed the module from the PowerShell Gallery using

Install-Module dbatools

Then you can use

Update-dbatools

Test your Sqlserver backups on Linux with PowerShell and dbatools

I have written about Test-DbaLastBackup in posts here, here and here. They have been Windows only posts.

With SQL Server vNext CTP 1.4 now available and providing SQL Agent capability on Linux, I wrote here about using Ola Hallengrens scripts on Linux SQL Servers so can Test-DbaLastBackup work with Linux?

01 - Yes it does.PNG

Yes it does!!

and I caught the database being restored in SSMS as well

02 - SSMS.PNG

Happy Automating ūüôā

 

Using Pester with dbatools Test-DbaLastBackup

In previous posts I have shown how to use Test-DbaLastBackup from dbatools and how you can make use of the results. Today we will look at using  Pester with the results

Pester provides a framework for running unit tests to execute and validate PowerShell commands from within PowerShell. Pester consists of a simple set of functions that expose a testing domain-specific language (DSL) for isolating, running, evaluating and reporting the results of PowerShell commands.

we shall use it to validate our results. First we need to gather our results as we have seen before, In this example I have set the MaxMb to 5 so change that if you are playing along

Import-Module dbatools
$TestServer = 'SQL2016N1'
$Server = 'SQL2016N2'
$servers = 'SQL2016N1','SQL2016N2'
$Results = $servers.ForEach{Test-DbaLastBackup -SqlServer $_ -Destination $TestServer -MaxMB 5}
Then we need to write some Pester Tests. I tried to use Test Cases which are the correct method to iterate through collections as Mike Robbins shows here¬†but Pester does not accept the type of object that is returned from this command for that. It’s ok though, because Pester is just PowerShell we can use a foreach loop.
In this scenario, we are testing for failures rather than when the backup test has skipped due to the file path not being a network share or the size being greater than our max size, so our checks are using the Should Not assertion. I have also added a test for the time the backup was taken.
Describe "Last Backup Test results - NOTE THIS IGNORES Skipped restores,DBCC and BackupFiles" {
foreach($result in $results)
{
It "$($Result.Database) on $($Result.SourceServer) File Should Exist" {
$Result.FileExists| Should Not Be 'False'
}
It "$($Result.Database) on $($Result.SourceServer) Restore should be Success" {
$Result.RestoreResult| Should Not Be 'False'
}
It "$($Result.Database) on $($Result.SourceServer) DBCC should be Success" {
$Result.DBCCResult| Should Not Be 'False'
}
It "$($Result.Database) on $($Result.SourceServer) Backup Should be less than a week old" {
$Result.BackupTaken| Should BeGreaterThan (Get-Date).AddDays(-7)
}
}
If we run that we get an output like this. Green is Good Red is Bad ūüôā
01 - pester script.PNG
We can save the script to a file and use the Invoke-Pester to call it like this.
Invoke-Pester C:\temp\BackupPester.ps1
(Some Restore Frames removed for brevity)
02 -invoke pester.gif
invoke-Pester can output results to a file so we can output to XML which can be consumed by many things
$Date = Get-Date -Format ddMMyyyHHmmss
$tempFolder = 'c:\temp\BackupTests\'
Push-Location $tempFolder
$XML = $tempFolder + "BackupTestResults_$Date.xml"
$script = 'C:\temp\BackupPester.ps1'
Invoke-Pester -Script $Script -OutputFile $xml -OutputFormat NUnitXml
will provide an XML file like this
04 - XML output.PNG
We can also make use of the reportunit.exe from http://relevantcodes.com/ to create pretty HTML files from the XML files we created
This piece of code will download and extract the file if it does not exist in the directory
#download and extract ReportUnit.exe
$url = 'http://relevantcodes.com/Tools/ReportUnit/reportunit-1.2.zip'
$fullPath = Join-Path $tempFolder $url.Split("/")[-1]
$reportunit = $tempFolder + '\reportunit.exe'
if((Test-Path $reportunit) -eq $false)
{
(New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadFile($url,$fullPath)
Expand-Archive -Path $fullPath -DestinationPath $tempFolder
}
and this will run it against the XML and open the file
##run reportunit against report.xml and display result in browser
$HTML = $tempFolder  + 'index.html'
& .\reportunit.exe $tempFolder
Invoke-Item $HTML
which will look  like
03 - pretty html file.gif
Happy Automating

NOTE – The major 1.0 release of dbatools due in the summer 2017 may have breaking changes which will stop the above code from working. There are also new commands coming which may replace this command. This blog post was written using dbatools version 0.8.942 You can check your version using

 Get-Module dbatools

and update it using an Administrator PowerShell session with

 Update-Module dbatools

You may find that you get no output from Update-Module as you have the latest version. If you have not installed the module from the PowerShell Gallery using

Install-Module dbatools

Then you can use

Update-dbatools

Backing up SQL Server on Linux using Ola Hallengrens Maintenance Solution

With the release of SQL Server vNext CTP 1.4 SQL Agent was released for use on Linux. To install it on Ubuntu you need to upgrade your SQL Server to CTP 1.4. On Ubuntu you do this with

[code language=”bash”]sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mssql-server

Once you have CTP 1.4 you can install SQL Agent as follows

[code language=”bash”]sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mssql-server-agent
sudo systemctl restart mssql-server

for different flavours of Linux follow the steps here

Once you have done that you will see that the Agent is now available

01 - SSMS Agent Linux.PNG

So now I can schedule backups and maintenance for my Linux SQL databases using the agent. I immediately turned to Ola Hallengrens Maintenance Solution I downloaded the SQL file and ran it against my Linux server once I had changed the path for the backups to a directory I had created at /var/opt/mssql/backups notice that it is specified using Windows notation with C:\ at the root

SET @CreateJobs = 'Y'          -- Specify whether jobs should be created. 
SET @BackupDirectory     = N'C:\var\opt\mssql\backups' -- Specify the backup root directory. 
SET @CleanupTime         = 350         -- Time in hours, after which backup files are deleted. If no time is specified, then no backup files are deleted. 
SET @OutputFileDirectory = NULL         -- Specify the output file directory. If no directory is specified, then the SQL Server error log directory is used. 
SET @LogToTable          = 'Y'          -- Log commands to a table.

The stored procedures were created

03 - stored procedures

and the jobs were created

04 - jobs.PNG

Now the jobs are not going to run as they are as they have CmdExec steps and this is not supported in SQL on Linux so we have to make some changes to the steps. As I blogged previously, this is really easy using PowerShell

First we need to grab the jobs into a variable. We will use Get-SQLAgentJobHistory from the sqlserver module which you need to download SSMS 2016 or later to get. You can get it from https://sqlps.io/dl As we are targeting a Linux SQL Server we will use SQL authentication which we will provide via Get-Credential and then take a look at the jobs

Import-Module sqlserver
$cred = Get-Credential
$Jobs = Get-SqlAgentJob -ServerInstance LinuxvVNext -Credential $cred
$jobs |ft -auto

 

05 Powershell jobs.PNG

Once the jobs were in the variable I decided to filter out only the jobs that are calling the stored procedures to perform the backups, DBCC and Index optimisation and loop through them first. Backups are the most important after all

## Find the jobs we want to change foreach($Job in $jobs.Where{$_.Name -like '*DATABASES*'})

Then it is simply a case of replacing the sqlcmd text in the command to return it to T-SQL, adding the database name (I installed Ola’s stored procedures into the master database and changing the subsystem to use T-SQL instead of CmdExec

## replace the text as required
$job.jobsteps[0].command = $job.jobsteps[0].command.Replace('sqlcmd -E -S $(ESCAPE_SQUOTE(SRVR)) -d master -Q "' , '').Replace('" -b','')
## Change the subsystem
$job.jobsteps[0].subsystem = 'TransactSQL'
## Add the databasename
$job.jobsteps[0].DatabaseName = 'master'
## Alter the jobstep
$job.jobsteps[0].Alter()

We can check that it has done this using PowerShell

$Jobs = Get-SqlAgentJob -ServerInstance LinuxvVNext -Credential $cred
foreach($Job in $jobs.Where{$_.Name -like '*DATABASES*'})
{
foreach($step in $Job.JobSteps)
{
$step | Select Parent, Name, Command,DatabaseName,Subsystem
}
}
06 - Jobs changed.PNG

or by looking in SSMS if you prefer

07 - jobs changed ssms.PNG

Now lets run the jobs and check the history using Get-SqlAgentJobHistory

Get-SqlAgentJobHistory -ServerInstance linuxvnextctp14 -Credential $cred | select RunDate,StepID,Server,JobName,StepName,Message|Out-GridView
08 - ogv for jobs.PNG

Which pretty much matches what you see in SSMS

09 - ssms jobs view.PNG

and if you look in the directory you see the files exactly as you would expect them to be

10 - Files in Linux

We still need to change the other jobs that Ola’s script create. If we look at the command steps

 

11 - job comands.PNG

We can see that the CommandLog Cleanup job can use the same PowerShell code as the backup jobs, the sp_delete_backuphistory and sp_purgejobhistory jobs need to refer to the msdb database instead of master. For the moment the Output File Cleanup job is the one that is not able to be run on Linux. Hopefully soon we will be able to run PowerShell job steps and that will be resolved as well

Here is the full snippet of code to change all of the jobs

$server = 'Linuxvnextctp14'
$cred = Get-Credential
$Jobs = Get-SqlAgentJob -ServerInstance $server -Credential $cred
## Find the jobs we want to change
foreach($Job in $jobs)
{
if($Job.Name -like '*DATABASES*' -or $Job.Name -like '*CommandLog*')
{
## replace the text as required
$job.jobsteps[0].command = $job.jobsteps[0].command.Replace('sqlcmd -E -S $(ESCAPE_SQUOTE(SRVR)) -d master -Q "' , '').Replace('" -b','')
## Change the subsystem
$job.jobsteps[0].subsystem = 'TransactSQL'
## Add the databasename
$job.jobsteps[0].DatabaseName = 'master'
## Alter the jobstep
$job.jobsteps[0].Alter()
}
if($Job.Name -like '*history*')
{
## replace the text as required
$job.jobsteps[0].command = $job.jobsteps[0].command.Replace('sqlcmd -E -S $(ESCAPE_SQUOTE(SRVR)) -d msdb -Q "' , '').Replace('" -b','')
## Change the subsystem
$job.jobsteps[0].subsystem = 'TransactSQL'
## Add the databasename
$job.jobsteps[0].DatabaseName = 'msdb'
## Alter the jobstep
$job.jobsteps[0].Alter()
}
}
 Happy Automating

Taking dbatools Test-DbaLastBackup a little further

In a previous post I showed how easy it is to test your backups using Test-DbaLastBackup

Today I thought I would take it a little further and show you how PowerShell can be used to transmit or store this information in the manner you require

Test-DBALastBackup returns an object of information

SourceServer  : SQL2016N2
TestServer    : SQL2016N2
Database      : FadetoBlack
FileExists    : True
RestoreResult : Success
DbccResult    : Success
SizeMB        : 1243.26
BackupTaken   : 3/18/2017 12:36:07 PM
BackupFiles   : Z:\SQL2016N2\FadetoBlack\FULL_COPY_ONLY\SQL2016N2_FadetoBlack_FULL_COPY_ONLY_20170318_123607.bak

which shows the server, the database name, if the file exists, the restore result, the DBCC result, the size of the backup file, when the backup was taken and the path used

Text File

As it is an object we can make use of that in PowerShell. We can output the results to a file

01 - out file.PNG

CSV

Or maybe you need a CSV

02 - csv file.PNG

JSON

Maybe you want some json

06 - json results.PNG

HTML

Or an HTML page

03 - html.PNG

Excel

or perhaps you want a nice colour coded Excel sheet to show your manager or the auditors

 

It looks like this. Green is Good, Red is Bad, Grey is don’t care!

Email

You might need to email the results, here I am using GMail as an example. With 2 factor authentication you need to use an app password in the credential

07 -email
You can of course attach any of the above files as an attachment using the -attachment parameter in Send-MailMessage

Database

Of course, as good data professionals we probably want to put the data into a database where we can ensure that it is kept safe and secure

dbatools has a couple of commands to help with that too. We can use Out-DbaDataTable to create a datatable object and Write-DbaDatatable to write it to a database

Create a table

then add the data

and query it

08 - Database.PNG

Hopefully that has given you some ideas of how you can make use of this great command and also one of the benefits of PowerShell and the ability to use objects for different purposes

Happy Automating

NOTE – The major 1.0 release of dbatools due in the summer 2017 may have breaking changes which will stop the above code from working. There are also new commands coming which may replace this command. This blog post was written using dbatools version 0.8.942 You can check your version using

and update it using an Administrator PowerShell session with

You may find that you get no output from Update-Module as you have the latest version. If you have not installed the module from the PowerShell Gallery using

Then you can use

 

 

 

 

Testing Your SQL Server Backups the Easy Way with PowerShell & dbatools

In a previous post I wrote about how easy it was to restore a whole SQL Servers user databases from a¬† directory¬†using the dbatools module. Maybe it is a good idea to look at for disaster recovery scenarios but¬†even PowerShell is¬†going to be useless if your backups don’t work

But setting up a solution to test your backups (technically test your restores) is difficult isn’t it?

Lets use the dbatools module and see how easy it is

The dbatools module has a command called Test-DbaLastBackup if you look at the page or at the help using

 

 

you will see that this command

Restores all or some of the latest backups and performs a consistency check

1. Gathers information about the last full backups
2. Restores the backups to the Destination with a new name. If no Destination is specified, the originating SqlServer will be used.
3. The database is restored as “dbatools-testrestore-$databaseName” by default, but you can change dbatools-testrestore to whatever you would like using -Prefix
4. The internal file names are also renamed to prevent conflicts with original database
5. A consistency check is then performed
6. And the test database is finally dropped

So, if you only have one SQL Server but want to ensure that you are testing your backup files then as along as you have the diskspace you can simply run

and the latest backups that have been taken will be restored using a different name with different filenames, checked for consistency and then dropped

01 - simple test backups.PNG

and as you can see an object is returned
SourceServer  : SQL2016N2
TestServer    : SQL2016N2
Database      : FadetoBlack
FileExists    : True
RestoreResult : Success
DbccResult    : Success
SizeMB        : 1243.26
BackupTaken   : 3/18/2017 12:36:07 PM
BackupFiles   : Z:\SQL2016N2\FadetoBlack\FULL_COPY_ONLY\SQL2016N2_FadetoBlack_FULL_COPY_ONLY_20170318_123607.bak

which shows the Server, the database, if the file exists, the restore result, the DBCC result, the size of the backup file, when it was taken and the path used

You don’t have to use the same server and in many shops you would not want to. You can specify a destination server and you can also pipe the results to Out-GridView to enable easy filtering.

Note you need to be backing up to a shared location ie a path that starts \\ I have fudged this a little in the demo for the keen eyed

03 - with OGV.PNG

Maybe you only want to test the backups for the important databases or some backups are restored using other means and you don’t need to test them this way. There is a databases parameter which you can tab through the database names

04 - choosing databases.gif

In the ISE you can see the drop down of database names

05 - in ISE.PNG

If you have limited space you might not want to test the largest databases so you can use the MaxMb parameter to only restore databases under this size. In the example below, you can see that Fadetoblack was skipped and the system databases were skipped as they are not backing up to a shared location

06 - max mb.PNG

The databases are restored onto the server using a different name and the files are also named differently to avoid any conflicts. The default prefix is dbatools-testrestore- but you can change this using the prefix switch if you wish

02 data files.PNG

You may not want to use your special, super quick storage for performing your test restores. If you have separate data drives that you would like to use for the restores, you can specify those with the -DataDirectory and -LogDirectory. If you do not use these switches then the command will use the default data and log locations.

Its possible to reduce the amount of checks that are done. If you only want to do a Verify Only on the backup then you can use the -VerifyOnly switch, you can skip the DBCC check by using the -NoCheck switch and you can leave the test restore databases on the server using the -NoDrop switch

Happy Automating

 

NOTE – The major 1.0 release of dbatools due in the summer 2017 may have breaking changes which will stop the above code from working. There are also new commands coming which may replace this command. This blog post was written using dbatools version 0.8.942 You can check your version using

and update it using an Administrator PowerShell session with

You may find that you get no output from Update-Module as you have the latest version. If you have not installed the module from the PowerShell Gallery using

Then you can use