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!

 

 

SQL VNext sp_configure on Windows and Linux with dbatools

This weekend I set up some SQL vNext virtual machines, two on Windows and one on Linux so that I could test some scenarios and build an availability group.

IMPORTANT NOTE :- The names of dbatools commands with a Sql prefix WILL CHANGE in a later release of dbatools. dbatools will use Dba throughout in the future as the sqlserver PowerShell module uses the Sql prefix

I used PowerShell version 5.1.14393.693 and SQL Server vNext CTP 1.3 running on Windows Server 2016 and Ubuntu 16.04 in this blog post

I set up one Windows box with some changes to the default configuration, these are for my lab only.

Min Server Memory to 2Gb
Max Server Memory to 6Gb
Remote Admin Connections to 1
Backup Compression to 1
Ad Hoc Distributed Queries to 1

I can do this in PowerShell by creating a SQL SMO Server object using Connect-DbaSqlServer from dbatools and then altering the Configuration Properties values and calling the Alter() method

$WinSQl1 = 'SQLvNextN1'
$win1 = Connect-DbaSqlServer -SqlServer $WinSQl1
$win1.Configuration.Properties['DefaultBackupCompression'].ConfigValue = 1
$win1.Configuration.Properties['MinServerMemory'].ConfigValue = 2048
$win1.Configuration.Properties['MaxServerMemory'].ConfigValue = 6144
$win1.Configuration.Properties['RemoteAccess'].ConfigValue = 1
$win1.Configuration.Properties['OptimizeAdhocWorkloads'].ConfigValue = 1
$win1.Configuration.Alter()

I can see the change by using the Get-DbaSpConfigure from the popular PowerShell module dbatools. I like to output to Out-GridView (Alias ogv at the CLI)

$WinSQl1 = 'SQLvNextN1'
Get-DbaSpConfigure -SqlServer $WinSQl1 | ogv

1 SPConfig ogv.PNG

Out-GridView can filter in the top bar and it works very quickly. It is a very useful tool

2 - ogv filter.gif

You can also rearrange the columns and use the Add Criteria button to filter your results

3-spconfig-ogv

You can use Export-SQLSpConfigure to export the configuration to a .sql file which is useful for DR or documentation purposes. There is also a corresponding Import-SqlSpConfigure command

$WinSQl1 = 'SQLvNextN1'
$WinConfigPath = 'C:\Temp\Winconfig.sql'
Export-SqlSpConfigure -SqlServer $WinSQl1 -Path $winConfigPath
notepad $winConfigPath

4 - Export-SQLSpConfigure.gif

Chrissy LeMaire b | t showed a neat trick when we were in Utrecht to compare the configuration of two servers

$WinSQl1 = 'SQLvNextN1'
$WinSQl2 = 'SQLvNextN2'
$Win1SPConfigure = Get-DbaSpConfigure -SqlServer $WinSQl1
$Win2SPConfigure = Get-DbaSpConfigure -SqlServer $WinSQl2
$propcompare = foreach ($prop in $Win1SPConfigure) {
[pscustomobject]@{
Config = $prop.DisplayName
'Windows Node1 setting' = $prop.RunningValue
'Windows Node2 Setting' = $Win2SPConfigure | Where DisplayName -eq $prop.DisplayName | Select -ExpandProperty RunningValue
}
}
$propcompare | ogv
So when we compare the two Windows SQL nodes we can see that at this point there are differences in the configuration
5-compare-configures

 

Now we can copy the configuration from SQLvNextN1 to SQLvNextN2 using the Copy-SqlSpConfigure command

$WinSQl1 = 'SQLvNextN1'
$WinSQl2 = 'SQLvNextN2'
Copy-SqlSpConfigure -Source $WinSQl1 -Destination $WinSQl2

6 - Copy Configurations.gif

and we can see that those configurations are now the same for those two servers by comparing them like before.

7 - compare configurations.PNG

We can use Get-DbaSpConfigure with Linux servers as well but we need to use SQL authentication like so (No, I don’t know why I used two v’s!)

$linuxSQL = 'LinuxvvNext'
$cred = Get-Credential -UserName SA -Message "Linux SQL Auth"
$linuxSpConfigure = Get-DbaSpConfigure  -SqlServer $linuxSQL -SqlCredential $cred
$linuxSpConfigure | ogv

and compare the three servers like so

$WinSQl1 = 'SQLvNextN1'
$WinSQl2 = 'SQLvNextN2'
$linuxSQL = 'LinuxvvNext'
$cred = Get-Credential -UserName SA -Message "Linux SQL Auth"
<div>$Win1SPConfigure = Get-DbaSpConfigure -SqlServer $WinSQl1
$Win2SPConfigure = Get-DbaSpConfigure -SqlServer $WinSQl2
$linuxSpConfigure = Get-DbaSpConfigure  -SqlServer $linuxSQL -SqlCredential $cred
$propcompare = foreach ($prop in $Win1SPConfigure) {
[pscustomobject]@{
Config = $prop.DisplayName
'Windows Node1 setting' = $prop.RunningValue
'Windows Node2 Setting' = $Win2SPConfigure | Where DisplayName -eq $prop.DisplayName | Select -ExpandProperty RunningValue
'Linux Setting' = $linuxSpConfigure | Where DisplayName -eq $prop.DisplayName | Select -ExpandProperty RunningValue
}
}
$propcompare | ogv

and see the differences for the Linux Server

8 - Compare Linux Configs.PNG

we can export the Linux configuration using Export-SqlSpConfigure

9 - Export Linux Config.PNG

So now lets copy the configuration changes from the Windows Server to the Linux Server

10 - Copy Configuration to Linux.gif

There was some Red text there you will notice. This is because there are unsupported features in Linux as you can see in the SQL Server on Linux Release Notes The errors from the command are

Database Mail XPs to 0. Feature may not be supported.
SMO and DMO XPs to 1. Feature may not be supported.
Ole Automation Procedures to 0. Feature may not be supported.
xp_cmdshell to 0. Feature may not be supported.
Ad Hoc Distributed Queries to 0. Feature may not be supported.
Replication XPs to 0. Feature may not be supported.
contained database authentication to 0. Feature may not be supported.
hadoop connectivity to 0. Feature may not be supported.
polybase network encryption to 1. Feature may not be supported.
remote data archive to 0. Feature may not be supported.
allow polybase export to 0. Feature may not be supported.

But if we compare the configurations again, we can see that the settings we wanted have been altered successfully

11 - Compare Linux Configs again.PNG

Lets reset the configuration on the Linux server using Import-SqlSpConfigure and the Linuxconfig-backup.sql file created before any changes

12 - Import backup Linux configuration.gif

Interestingly this time we only had an error for Database Mail XPs, but as you can see below the Linux Configuration has been reset back to the original values.

13-configuration-comapre-back-to-original

Lets export the configuration from the Windows server to a file and import it onto the Linux server to see what happens

14 - Import Windows configuration to Linux.gif

Again only an error for Database Mail XPs, and we can see the configurations are again matching.

15 - Final Compare.PNG

Hopefully, this post has been of use in exploring the *SpConfigure* commands in dbatools and how you can use them to get the sp_configure output, compare it between servers, Export and import it to and from files, as well as copy it between servers for both Windows and Linux. Remember these commands have been tested from SQL 2000 to SQL vNext so they should work for you across your estate

 

Happy Automating!

 

Converting SQL Agent Job Duration to TimeSpan using PowerShell

When you look in msdb for the SQL Agent Job duration you will find that it is an int.

sysjobshistoiry

This is also the same when you look at Get-SQLAgentJobHistory from the sqlserver module. (You can get this by downloading the latest SSMS release from here)

agentjobhistoryproperties

This means that when you look at the various duration of the Agent Jobs you get something like this

duration.PNG

The first job took 15 hours 41 minutes  53 seconds, the second 1 minute 25 seconds, the third 21 seconds. This makes it quite tricky to calculate the duration in a suitable datatype. In T-SQL people use scripts like the following from MSSQLTips.com

((run_duration/10000*3600 + (run_duration/100)%100*60 + run_duration%100 + 31 ) / 60)  as 'RunDurationMinutes'

I needed more information than the number of minutes so I have this which will convert the Run Duration to a timespan

$FormattedDuration = @{Name = 'FormattedDuration' ; Expression = {[timespan]$_.RunDuration.ToString().PadLeft(6,'0').insert(4,':').insert(2,':')}}

formatted.PNG

So how did I get to there?

First I tried to just convert it. In PowerShell you can define a datatype in square brackets and PowerShell will try to convert it

timespan

It did its best but it converted it to ticks! So we need to convince PowerShell that this is a proper timespan. First we need to convert the run duration to a standard length, you can use the PadLeft method of a string to do this which will ensure that a string has a length and precede the current string with a value you choose until the string is that length.

Lets have a length of 6 and preceding zeros PadLeft(6,’0′)

padlefterror

But this works only if it is a string!! Remember red text is useful, it will often contain the information you need to resolve your error. Luckily there is a method to turn an int to a string. I am using the foreach method to demonstrate

padleft-with-string

Now every string is 6 characters long starting with zeros. So all that is left is to format this with colons to separate the hours and minutes and the minutes and seconds. We can do this with the insert method. You can find out the methods using Get-Member or its alias gm

methods.PNG

So the insert method takes an int for the startindex and a string value to enter

insert

There we go now we have some proper formatted timespans however they are still strings. We can then convert them using [timespan] Now we can format the results within the select by using an expression as shown below

select

and as you can see it is a timespan now

timespan property.PNG

On a slight side note. I needed the durations for Agent Jobs with a certain name within the last 6 days.

getting-agent-jobs

I did this by passing an array of servers (which I got from my dbareports database) to Get-SQLAgentJobHistory. I then used the Where method to filter for JobName and the Job Outcome step of the history. I compared the RunDate property  to Get-Date (today) adding -6 days using the AddDays method 🙂

Hopefully this will be of use to people and also I have it recorded for the next time I need to do it 🙂

 

 

Using the new SQLServer Powershell module to get SQL Agent Job Information

So with the July Release of SSMS everything changed for using PowerShell with SQL. You can read the details here As I mentioned in my previous post the name of the module has changed to sqlserver

This means that if you have a PowerShell script doing Import-Module SQLPS, it will need to be changed to be Import-Module SqlServer in order to take advantage of the new provider functionality and new CMDLETs. The new module will be installed to “%Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\SqlServer” and hence no update to $env:PSModulePath is required.

You can download the latest SSMS release here Once you have installed and rebooted you can start to look at the new Powershell CMDlets

Take a look at cmdlets

Today I want to look at agent jobs

getcomand sqlagent

So I decided to see how to gather the information I gather for the DBADatabase as described here

This is the query I use to insert the data for the server level agent job information.

So Get-SQLAgentJob looks like the one I need. Lets take a look at the help. This should be the starting point whenever you use a new cmdlet

Which states

Returns a SQL Agent Job object for each job that is present in the target instance of SQL Agent.

That sounds like it will meet my needs. Lets take a look

sqlinstances

I can get the information I require like this

NOTE – That code is for PowerShell V4 and V5, if you are using earlier versions of PowerShell you would need to use

But to make the code more performant it is better to do this

jobs

Using Measure-Command showed that this completed in
TotalSeconds : 0.9889336
Rather than
TotalSeconds : 2.9045701

Note that

Does not work. I had to check the properties using

Which showed me

IsEnabled Property bool IsEnabled {get;set;}

So I tested this against the various SQL versions I had in my lab using this code

Here are the results
job data table

I also had a look at Get-SQLAgentJobHistory Lets take a look at the help

DESCRIPTION

Returns the JobHistory present in the target instance of SQL Agent.

This cmdlet supports the following modes of operation to return the JobHistory:

  1. By specifying the Path of the SQL Agent instance.
  2. By passing the instance of the SQL Agent in the input.
  3. By invoking the cmdlet in a valid context.

So I ran

And got back a whole load of information. Every job history available on the server. Too much to look it immediately to work out what to do

So I looked at just one job

And got back the last months worth of history for that one job as that is the schedule used to purge the job history for this server So then I added -Since Yesterday to only get the last 24 hours history

agentjobdetail

The Since Parameter is described as

-Since <SinceType>

A convenient abbreviation to avoid using the -StartRunDate parameter.
It can be specified with the -EndRunDate parameter.

Do not specify a -StartRunDate parameter, if you want to use it.

Accepted values are:
– Midnight (gets all the job history information generated after midnight)
– Yesterday (gets all the job history information generated in the last 24 hours)
– LastWeek (gets all the job history information generated in the last week)
– LastMonth (gets all the job history information generated in the last month)

When I run

I get

Count : 3

And if I run

I get

agent job out gridview

Which matches the view I see in SSMS Agent Job History

jobhistory

So Get-SqlAgentJobHistory will enable you to use PowerShell to gather information about the Job history for each step of the Agent Jobs and also the message which I can see being very useful.

Come and join us in the SQL Community Slack to discuss these CMDLets and all things SQL Community https://sqlps.io/slack

CALL TO ACTION

Microsoft are engaging with the community to improve the tools we all use in our day to day work. There is are two Trello boards set up for YOU to use to contribute

https://sqlps.io/vote for SQLPS sqlserver PowerShell module

https://sqlps.io/ssms for SSMS

Go and join them and upvote YOUR preferred choice of the next lot of CMDlets

trellocount

We have also set up a SQL Community Slack for anyone in the community to discuss all things related to SQL including the Trello board items and already it seems a good place for people to get help with 150+ members in a few days. You can get an invite here https://sqlps.io/slack

Come and join us

Some Pester Tests for SQL Defaults

When I was at PowerShell Conference EU in Hannover last month (The videos are available now – click here and the slides and code here) I found out about Irwin Strachans Active Directory Operations Test which got me thinking.

I decided to do the same for my usual SQL Set-up. Treating all of your servers to the same defaults makes it even easier to manage at scale remotely.

I am comfortable with using SMO to gather and change properties on SQL Instances so I started by doing this

        It 'Should have a default Backup Directory of F:\SQLBACKUP\BACKUPS' {
$Scriptblock = {
[void][reflection.assembly]::LoadWithPartialName('Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo');
$srv = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server .
return $srv.BackupDirectory}
$State = Invoke-Command -ComputerName ROB-SURFACEBOOK -ScriptBlock $Scriptblock
$State |Should Be 'F:\SQLBACKUP\BACKUPS'

This is the how to find the properties that you want

  ## Load the Assemblies
[void][reflection.assembly]::LoadWithPartialName('Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo');
## Create a Server SMO object
$srv = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server SERVERNAME

## Explore it
$srv|gm

## If you find an array pick the first one and expand and then explore that
$srv.Databases[0] | select *
$srv.Databases[0] | gm

I quickly found as I added more tests that it was taking a long time to perform the tests (about 5 seconds each test) and that it took an age to fail each of the tests if the server name was incorrect or the server unavailable.

I fixed the first one by testing with a ping before running the tests

   ## Check for connectivity
if((Test-Connection $Server -count 1 -Quiet) -eq $false){
Write-Error 'Could not connect to $Server'
$_
continue
}

The continue is there because I wanted to loop through an array of servers

I improved the performance using a remote session and a custom object

      Describe "$Server" {
BeforeAll {
$Scriptblock = {
[pscustomobject]$Return = @{}
$srv = ''
$SQLAdmins = $Using:SQLAdmins
[void][reflection.assembly]::LoadWithPartialName('Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo');
$srv = New-Object Microsoft.SQLServer.Management.SMO.Server $Server
$Return.DBAAdminDb = $Srv.Databases.Name.Contains('DBA-Admin')
$Logins = $srv.Logins.Where{$_.IsSystemObject -eq $false}.Name
$Return.SQLAdmins = @(Compare-Object $Logins $SQLAdmins -SyncWindow 0).Length - $Logins.count -eq $SQLAdmins.Count
$SysAdmins = $Srv.Roles['sysadmin'].EnumMemberNames()
$Return.SQLAdmin = @(Compare-Object $SysAdmins $SQLAdmins -SyncWindow 0).Length - $SysAdmins.count -eq $SQLAdmins.Count
$Return.BackupDirectory = $srv.BackupDirectory
$Return.DataDirectory = $srv.DefaultFile

The BeforeAll script block is run, as it sounds like it should, once before all of the tests, BeforeEach would run once before each of the tests. I define an empty custom object and then create an SMO object and add the properties I am interested in testing to it. I then return the custom object at the end

   $Return.Alerts82345Exist = ($srv.JobServer.Alerts |Where {$_.Messageid -eq 823 -or $_.Messageid -eq 824 -or $_.Messageid -eq 825}).Count
$Return.Alerts82345Enabled = ($srv.JobServer.Alerts |Where {$_.Messageid -eq 823 -or $_.Messageid -eq 824 -or $_.Messageid -eq 825 -and $_.IsEnabled -eq $true}).Count
$Return.SysDatabasesFullBackupToday = $srv.Databases.Where{$_.IsSystemObject -eq $true -and $_.Name -ne 'tempdb' -and $_.LastBackupDate -lt (Get-Date).AddDays(-1)}.Count
Return $Return
}
try {
$Return = Invoke-Command -ScriptBlock $Scriptblock -ComputerName $Server -ErrorAction Stop
}
catch {
Write-Error "Unable to Connect to $Server"
$Error
continue

I was then able to test against the property of the custom object

   It 'Should have Alerts for Severity 20 and above' {
$Return.Alerts20SeverityPlusExist | Should Be 6
}
It 'Severity 20 and above Alerts should be enabled' {
$Return.Alerts20SeverityPlusEnabled | Should Be 6
}
It 'Should have alerts for 823,824 and 825' {
$Return.Alerts82345Exist |Should Be 3
}
It 'Alerts for 823,824 and 825 should be enebled' {
$Return.Alerts82345Enabled |Should Be 3
}

Occasionally, for reasons I haven’t explored I had to test against the value property of the returned object

          It "The Full User Database Backup should be scheduled Weekly $OlaUserFullSchedule" {
$Return.OlaUserFullSchedule.value | Should Be $OlaUserFullSchedule
}

I wanted to be able to run the tests against environments or groups of servers with different default values so I parameterised the Test Results as well and then the logical step was to turn it into a function and then I could do some parameter splatting. This also gives me the opportunity to show all of the things that I am currently giving parameters to the test for

   $Parms = @{
Servers = 'SQLServer1','SQLServer2','SQLServer3';
SQLAdmins = 'THEBEARD\Rob','THEBEARD\SQLDBAsAlsoWithBeards';
BackupDirectory = 'C:\MSSQL\Backup';
DataDirectory = 'C:\MSSQL\Data\';
LogDirectory = 'C:\MSSQL\Logs\';
MaxMemMb = '4096';
Collation = 'Latin1_General_CI_AS';
TempFiles = 4 ;
OlaSysFullFrequency = 'Daily';
OlaSysFullStartTime = '21:00:00';
OlaUserFullSchedule = 'Weekly';
OlaUserFullFrequency = 1 ;## 1 for Sunday
OlaUserFullStartTime = '22:00:00';
OlaUserDiffSchedule = 'Weekly';
OlaUserDiffFrequency = 126; ## 126 for every day except Sunday
OlaUserDiffStartTime = '22:00:00';
OlaUserLogSubDayInterval = 15;
OlaUserLoginterval = 'Minute';
HasSPBlitz = $true;
HasSPBlitzCache = $True;
HasSPBlitzIndex = $True;
HasSPAskBrent = $true;
HASSPBlitzTrace =  $true;
HasSPWhoisActive = $true;
LogWhoIsActiveToTable = $true;
LogSPBlitzToTable = $true;
LogSPBlitzToTableEnabled = $true;
LogSPBlitzToTableScheduled = $true;
LogSPBlitzToTableSchedule = 'Weekly';
LogSPBlitzToTableFrequency = 2 ; # 2 means Monday
LogSPBlitzToTableStartTime  = '03:00:00'}

Test-SQLDefault @Parms

I have some other tests which always return what I want, particularly the firewall rules which you will have to modify to suit your own environment

To be able to run this you will need to have the Pester Module. If you are using Windows 10 then it is installed by default, if not

  Find-Module –Name 'Pester' | Install-Module

You can find more about Pester here and here and also these videos from the conference
You can find the tests on GitHub here and I will continue to add to the defaults that I check.
This is not a replacement for other SQL configuration tools such as PBM but it is a nice simple way of giving a report on the current status of a SQL installation either at a particular point in time when something is wrong or after an installation prior to passing the server over to another team or into service

.

Enterprise Strategies – A #TSQL2sDay post

This months TSQL2sDay blog post party is hosted by Jen McCown and is about Enterprise Strategy.

Adam Mechanic started TSQL Tuesdays over 5 years ago and you will find many brilliant posts under that heading if you search for them

Managing SQL servers at enterprise scale is not a straightforward task. Your aim as a DBA should be to simplify it as much as possible and to automate everything that you possibly can. This post by John Sansom could have been written for this months party and I recommend that you read it.

So here are a few points that I think you should consider if you look after SQL in an Enterprise environment.

  • Enterprise Strategy will undoubtedly garner a whole host of excellent posts and Jen will provide a round up post which will I am certain will be an excellent resource. Take a look here
  • Know where your instances are and have a single place that you can reference them from. Some people recommend a Central Management Server but I find this too restrictive for my needs. I use an InstanceList table in my DBA Database with the following columns [ServerName], [InstanceName] , [Port] , [AG] , [Inactive] , [Environment] and [Location]. This enables me to target instances not just by name but by environment (Dev, Test, Pre-Prod, Live etc), by location or by joining the InstanceList table with another table I can target by the application or any number of other factors. I also capture information about the servers at windows and SQL level to this database so I can target the SQL 2012 servers specifically if need be or any other metric. This is very powerful and enables far greater flexibility than the CMS in my opinion.
  • Use PowerShell (no surprise I would mention this!) PowerShell is a brilliant tool for automation and I use it all of the time
  • Get used to using this piece of Powershell code
	 $Query = @"
	 SELECT [ServerName],[InstanceName],[Port]
	  FROM [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList]
	  Where Inactive = 0 AND NotContactable = 0
	"@
	try{
	$AlltheServers= Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $CentralDBAServer -Database $CentralDatabaseName -Query $query
	$ServerNames = $AlltheServers| Select ServerName,InstanceName,Port
	}
	foreach ($ServerName in $ServerNames)
	{
	## $ServerName
	 $InstanceName =  $ServerName|Select InstanceName -ExpandProperty InstanceName
	 $Port = $ServerName| Select Port -ExpandProperty Port
	$ServerName = $ServerName|Select ServerName -ExpandProperty ServerName 
	 $Connection = $ServerName + '\' + $InstanceName + ',' + $Port
	
	 try
	 {
	 $srv = New-Object ('Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server') $Connection

Notice the query variable above, this is where the power lies as it enables you to gather all the instances that you need for your task as described in the bullet post above. Once you get used to doing this you can do things like this identify all the instances with Remote DAC disabled using a query against the DBA Database and then enable it on all servers by adding this code to the loop above

$srv.RemoteDacEnabled = $true
$srv.alter()

Very quick very simple and very very powerful. You can also use this to run TSQL scripts against the instances you target but there are some added complications with Invoke-SQLCmd that you need to be aware of

  • BE CAREFUL. Test and understand and test before you run any script on a live system especially using a script like this which enables you to target ALL of your servers. You must definitely check that your $ServerNames array contains only the instances you need before you make any changes. You need to be ultra-cautious when it is possible to do great damage
  • Write scripts that are robust and handle errors gracefully. I use Jason Wasser @wasserja Write-Log function to write to a text file and wrap my commands in a try catch block.
  • Include comments in your scripts to assist either the future you or the folks in your position in 5 years time. I would also add one of my bug bears – Use the description block in Agent Jobs. The first place any DBA is going to go to when that job fails is to open the properties of the job. Please fill in that block so that anyone troubleshooting knows some information about what the job does or at the very least a link to some documentation about it
  • Finally in my list, don’t overdo the alerts. Alerting is vital for any DBA it is a brilliant way to ensure that you quickly know about any issues affecting your estate but all alerts should be actionable and in some cases you can automate the action that you can take but the message here is don’t send messages to the DBA team email for every single tiny thing or they will get swamped and ignore the vital one. This holds for whichever alerting or monitoring system that you use

This is but a small sub-section of things that you need to consider when responsible for a large SQL estate but if you need help and advice or just moral support and you don’t already interact with the SQL community then make today the day you start. Maybe this post by Thomas La Rock is a good place to start or your nearest User Group/Chapter or the #sqlfamily hashtag or give me a shout and I will gladly help.

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Following my post about using Power Bi with my DBA Database I have been asked if I would share the PowerShell scripts which I use to populate my database.

In this post I will show how to create the following report

1

2

Although you will find so many items of data that I expect that you will want to create different reports for your own requirements. You will also want to put the report onto PowerBi.com and explore the natural language querying as I show at the end of this post

You will find the latest version of my DBADatabase creation scripts and PowerShell scripts here.

The SQLInfo table is created using this code

CREATE TABLE [Info].[SQLInfo](
	[SQLInfoID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
	[DateChecked] [datetime] NULL,
	[DateAdded] [datetime] NULL,
	[ServerName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[InstanceName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[SQLVersionString] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[SQLVersion] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[ServicePack] [nvarchar](3) NULL,
	[Edition] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[ServerType] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[Collation] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[IsHADREnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[SQLServiceAccount] [nvarchar](35) NULL,
	[SQLService] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[SQLServiceStartMode] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[BAckupDirectory] [nvarchar](256) NULL,
	[BrowserAccount] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
	[BrowserStartMode] [nvarchar](25) NULL,
	[IsSQLClustered] [bit] NULL,
	[ClusterName] [nvarchar](25) NULL,
	[ClusterQuorumstate] [nvarchar](20) NULL,
	[ClusterQuorumType] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[C2AuditMode] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
	[CostThresholdForParallelism] [tinyint] NULL,
	[MaxDegreeOfParallelism] [tinyint] NULL,
	[DBMailEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[DefaultBackupCComp] [bit] NULL,
	[FillFactor] [tinyint] NULL,
	[MaxMem] [int] NULL,
	[MinMem] [int] NULL,
	[RemoteDacEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[XPCmdShellEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[CommonCriteriaComplianceEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[DefaultFile] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[DefaultLog] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[HADREndpointPort] [int] NULL,
	[ErrorLogPath] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[InstallDataDirectory] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[InstallSharedDirectory] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[IsCaseSensitive] [bit] NULL,
	[IsFullTextInstalled] [bit] NULL,
	[LinkedServer] [nvarchar](max) NULL,
	[LoginMode] [nvarchar](20) NULL,
	[MasterDBLogPath] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[MasterDBPath] [nvarchar](100) NULL,
	[NamedPipesEnabled] [bit] NULL,
	[OptimizeAdhocWorkloads] [bit] NULL,
	[InstanceID] [int] NULL,
	[AGListener] [nvarchar](150) NULL,
	[AGs] [nvarchar](150) NULL,
 CONSTRAINT [PK__SQL__50A5926BC7005F29] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
(
	[SQLInfoID] ASC
)WITH (PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY] TEXTIMAGE_ON [PRIMARY]

GO

ALTER TABLE [Info].[SQLInfo]  WITH CHECK ADD  CONSTRAINT [FK_SQLInfo_InstanceList] FOREIGN KEY([InstanceID])
REFERENCES [dbo].[InstanceList] ([InstanceID])
GO

ALTER TABLE [Info].[SQLInfo] CHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_SQLInfo_InstanceList]
GO

The Powershell script uses Jason Wasser @wasserja Write-Log function to write to a text file but I also enable some logging into a new event log by following the steps here http://blogs.technet.com/b/heyscriptingguy/archive/2013/02/01/use-powershell-to-create-and-to-use-a-new-event-log.aspx to create a log named SQLAutoScript with a source SQLAUTOSCRIPT

To run the script I simply need to add the values for

$CentralDBAServer = '' ## Add the address of the instance that holds the DBADatabase
$CentralDatabaseName = 'DBADatabase' 
$LogFile = "\DBADatabaseServerUpdate_" + $Date + ".log" ## Set Path to Log File

And the script will do the rest. Call the script from a PowerShell Job Step and schedule it to run at the frequency you wish, I gather the information every week. You can get the script from here or you can read on to see how it works and how to create the report and publish it to powerbi.com

I create a function called Catch-Block to save keystrokes and put my commands inside a try catch to make the scripts as robust as possible.

function Catch-Block
{
param ([string]$Additional)
$ErrorMessage = " On $Connection " + $Additional + $_.Exception.Message + $_.Exception.InnerException.InnerException.message
$Message = " This message came from the Automated Powershell script updating the DBA Database with Server Information"
$Msg = $Additional + $ErrorMessage + " " + $Message
Write-Log -Path $LogFile -Message $ErrorMessage -Level Error
Write-EventLog -LogName SQLAutoScript -Source "SQLAUTOSCRIPT" -EventId 1 -EntryType Error -Message $Msg
}

I give the function an additional parameter which will hold each custom error message which I write to both the event log and a text message to enable easy troubleshooting and include the message from the $Error variable by accessing it with $_. I won’t include the try catch in the examples below. I gather all of the server names from the InstanceList table and set the results to an array variable called $ServerNames holding the server name, instance name and port

 $Query = @"
 SELECT [ServerName]
      ,[InstanceName]
      ,[Port]
  FROM [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList]
  Where Inactive = 0 
    AND NotContactable = 0
"@
try{
$AlltheServers= Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $CentralDBAServer -Database $CentralDatabaseName -Query $query
$ServerNames = $AlltheServers| Select ServerName,InstanceName,Port
}

I then loop through the array and create a $Connection variable for my SMO connection string and connect to the server

foreach ($ServerName in $ServerNames)
{
## $ServerName
 $InstanceName =  $ServerName|Select InstanceName -ExpandProperty InstanceName
 $Port = $ServerName| Select Port -ExpandProperty Port
$ServerName = $ServerName|Select ServerName -ExpandProperty ServerName 
 $Connection = $ServerName + '\' + $InstanceName + ',' + $Port

 try
 {
 $srv = New-Object ('Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server') $Connection

Even though I place the creation of the SMO server object in a try block you still need to an additional check to ensure that you can connect and populate the object as the code above creates an empty SMO Server object with the name property set to the $Connection variable if you can’t connect to that server and doesn’t error as you may expect
The way I have always validated an SMO Server object is to check the version property. There is no justifiable reason for choosing that property, you could choose any one but that’s the one I have always used. I use an if statement to do this ( This post about Snippets will show you the best way to learn powershell code) The reference I use for exiting a loop in the way that you want is this one In this case we use a continue to carry on iterating the loop

 if (!( $srv.version)){
 Catch-Block " Failed to Connect to $Connection"
 continue
 }

If you wish to view all of the different properties that you can gather information on in this way you can use this code to take a look. (This is something you should get used to doing when writing new Powershell scripts)

$srv = New-Object ('Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server') $Connection
 $srv | Get-Member

As you can see from the screenshot below on my SQL2014 server there are 184 properties. I havent chosen to gather all of them, only the ones that are of interest to me, our team or others who request information from our team such as auditors and project managers etc

3

You can choose to use any or all of these properties as long as you ensure you have the columns in your table with the correct data type and that you have the correct knowledge and logic to stop the script from erroring if/when the property is not available. Here is an example

if ($srv.IsHadrEnabled -eq $True)
 {$IsHADREnabled = $True
 $AGs = $srv.AvailabilityGroups|Select Name -ExpandProperty Name|Out-String
 $Expression = @{Name = 'ListenerPort' ; Expression = {$_.Name + ',' + $_.PortNumber }}
 $AGListener =  $srv.AvailabilityGroups.AvailabilityGroupListeners|select $Expression|select ListenerPort -ExpandProperty ListenerPort
 }
 else
 {
 $IsHADREnabled = $false
 $AGs = 'None'
 $AGListener = 'None'
 }
 $BackupDirectory = $srv.BackupDirectory

I check if the property IsHADREnabled is true and if it is I then gather the information about the Availability Group names and the listener port and if it doesn’t exist I set the values to None.

You will find that not all of the properties that you want are at the root of the Server SMO object. If you want you max and min memory values and you want to know if remote admin connections or xp_cmdshell are enabled you will need to look at the $Srv.Configuration object

 $MaxMem = $srv.Configuration.MaxServerMemory.ConfigValue
 $MinMem = $srv.Configuration.MinServerMemory.ConfigValue
 $RemoteDacEnabled = $srv.Configuration.RemoteDacConnectionsEnabled.ConfigValue
 $XPCmdShellEnabled = $srv.Configuration.XPCmdShellEnabled.ConfigValue

You can look for the property that you want by using the Get-Member cmdlet as shown above or use MSDN to find it starting from here or by GoogleBingDuckDuckGo ing “Powershell SMO” and the property you wish to find.

The rest of the script follows exactly the same pattern as the previous post by checking the SQL Info table for an entry for that instance and updating the table if it exists and inserting if it does not.

There are other uses for gathering this information than just for reporting on it. You can target different versions of SQL for different scripts. You can identify values that are outside what is expected and change them. If xp_cmdshell should not be enabled, write the TSQL to gather the connection string of all of the servers from the DBADatabase where the SQLInfo table has XPCMDShellenabled = 1 and loop through them exactly as above and change the value of $srv.Configuration.XPCmdShellEnabled.ConfigValue to 0 and then $Srv.Alter()

It is a very powerful way of dynamically targeting your estate if you are looking after many instances and with great power comes great responsibility.

ALWAYS TEST THESE AND ANY SCRIPTS YOU FIND OR SCRIPTS YOU WRITE BEFORE YOU RUN THEM IN YOUR PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT

Yeah, I shouted and some people thought it was rude. But its important, it needs to be repeated and drilled in so that it becomes habitual. You can do great damage to your estate with only a few lines of PowerShell and a DBA Database so please be very careful and ensure that you have a suitable test subset of servers that you can use to test

The other thing we can do is report on the data and with Power Bi we can create self service reports and dashboards and also make use of the natural language query at powerbi.com so that when your systems team ask “What are all the servers in X data center?” you can enable them to answer it themselves or when the compliance officer asks how many SQL 2005 instances do we have and which clients do they serve you can give them a dashboard they can query themselves.

This is how I create the two reports you see at the top. I start by connecting to the data source, my DBA Database

4

And I use this query

SELECT 
	IL.ServerName
	,IL.InstanceName
	  ,IL.Location
	  ,IL.Environment
	  ,IL.Inactive
	  ,IL.NotContactable
	  ,SI.[SQLInfoID]
      ,SI.[DateChecked]
      ,SI.[DateAdded]
      ,SI.[ServerName]
      ,SI.[InstanceName]
      ,SI.[SQLVersionString]
      ,SI.[SQLVersion]
      ,SI.[ServicePack]
      ,SI.[Edition]
      ,SI.[ServerType]
      ,SI.[Collation]
      ,SI.[IsHADREnabled]
      ,SI.[SQLServiceAccount]
      ,SI.[SQLService]
      ,SI.[SQLServiceStartMode]
      ,SI.[BAckupDirectory]
      ,SI.[BrowserAccount]
      ,SI.[BrowserStartMode]
      ,SI.[IsSQLClustered]
      ,SI.[ClusterName]
      ,SI.[ClusterQuorumstate]
      ,SI.[ClusterQuorumType]
      ,SI.[C2AuditMode]
      ,SI.[CostThresholdForParallelism]
      ,SI.[MaxDegreeOfParallelism]
      ,SI.[DBMailEnabled]
      ,SI.[DefaultBackupCComp]
      ,SI.[FillFactor]
      ,SI.[MaxMem]
      ,SI.[MinMem]
      ,SI.[RemoteDacEnabled]
      ,SI.[XPCmdShellEnabled]
      ,SI.[CommonCriteriaComplianceEnabled]
      ,SI.[DefaultFile]
      ,SI.[DefaultLog]
      ,SI.[HADREndpointPort]
      ,SI.[ErrorLogPath]
      ,SI.[InstallDataDirectory]
      ,SI.[InstallSharedDirectory]
      ,SI.[IsCaseSensitive]
      ,SI.[IsFullTextInstalled]
      ,SI.[LinkedServer]
      ,SI.[LoginMode]
      ,SI.[MasterDBLogPath]
      ,SI.[MasterDBPath]
      ,SI.[NamedPipesEnabled]
      ,SI.[OptimizeAdhocWorkloads]
      ,SI.[InstanceID]
      ,SI.[AGListener]
      ,SI.[AGs]
        FROM [DBADatabase].[Info].[SQLInfo] as SI
  JOIN [DBADatabase].[dbo].[InstanceList] as IL
  ON IL.InstanceID =  SI.InstanceID

So that I can easily add any and all the data to the reports if I choose or query using them in powerbi.com

First I created 3 measures.

[code 1=”=” 2=”2="2="2="""SQL""""” language=”language”]
AG = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[AGs])
Instances = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[InstanceID])
Servers = DISTINCTCOUNT(Query1[ServerName])

I click on map

5

And drag the location column to location and the Instances measure to both the Values and Color Saturation

6

I then click on edit and format the title and change the colours for the data

7

Next I created I heat map for Instances by Edition. The picture shows the details

8

And a column chart for Instances by Version

9

I also add a table showing the number of instances in each location and a slicer for environment.

Even though you have added one slicer, you are able to slice the data by clicking on the charts. If I click on Developer Edition I can quickly see which versions and locations they are in

10

This works for the map and the column chart as well. This has all been created using live data as a base with all identifying information altered, Bolton is where I was born and the other locations are chosen at random, all other figures and rollups have also been altered.

11

To create the other report I create two donut charts for Instances by version and by location using steps similar to my previous post and then add some tables for location, edition and xp_cmdshell enabled as well as some cards showing total numbers of Servers, Instances and Availability Groups and a slicer for environment to create a report like this, you can use the donut charts to slice the data as well

12

But there are so many different points of information gathered by this script that you get extra value using the natural language query on powerbi.com.

Click Publish and enter your powerbi.com credentials and then log into powerbi.com in a browser and you will see your report and your dataset. (Note, you can easily filter to find your dashboards, reports and data sets)

13

Click the plus sign to create a new dashboard and click the pin on any of the objects in your report to pin them to the dashboard

14

Then you can view (and share) your dashboard

15

Once you have done this you can query your data using natural language. It will cope with spelling mistakes and expects the column names so you may want to think about renaming them in your report by right clicking on them after you get your data.

You can ask it questions and build up information on the fly and alter it as you need it. As a DBA doing this and imagining enabling others to be able to ask these questions whenever they want from a browser and as many times as they like, it was very cool!

16

17

18

19

20

Pretty cool, I think you and any of your ‘requestors’ would agree

You can get all of the scripts here

I have written further posts about this

Using Power Bi with my DBA Database

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Server Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – SQL Info

Populating My DBA Database for Power Bi with PowerShell – Databases

Power Bi, PowerShell and SQL Agent Jobs