Republish: MY Data

As I noted, I’ve been ill. This is being republished to give me another day to get well: MY Data.

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Automation for Databases–T-SQL Tuesday #110

tsqltuesdayThis is the day for T-SQL Tuesday #110, a topic picked by Garry Bargsley. Automation has been a cornerstone of most of my career. As much as I work hard, and don’t mind putting time and effort into accomplishing tedious work, I also know that automation makes my life much, much easier.

And me a far more productive employee.

Automation is king, so here’s one place I’ve used this in the past.

Complying with Standards

One of the big items auditors want to have is proof that this thing happened or didn’t happen. That an employee actually performed some action, with some proof. At one point, we were being audited and I was asked if we checked that all backups were running for all databases.

Of course, most backups worked, some failed,  and we were aware. More importantly, I could prove it. In our Exchange Public folders, we had a folder for database actions. In here, for each day, was a report from each database server. If there was a question of compliance for any of our sensitive systems, we could give them a link. More importantly, anytime we ran a remediation, we posted a note and the scripts run for the system. That way any backups that failed and were manually run, or other changes, were logged.

This was a combination of a T-SQL querying system DMVs and DBMail to send out reports to our public folder (and DBAs). Today, if I needed something similar, I might move to PoSh, but likely lots of this is still easy to accomplish in T-SQL. However, I’d really rather not build any more monitoring systems. Too many things to manage, and my time is better spent.

Now I’d use SQL Monitor and if anything, build my own reports on top of that infrastructure. That way the data gathering, archiving, etc. isn’t something I need, and I can extract out the text reports for auditors, which they like. Plus, with automation, they know that the system is running as intended.

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Down for a week but keeping ahead

I work in a publishing business at SQLServerCentral, which means that I often have things written, edited, and scheduled out ahead of time. As much as we want the site to be dynamic, fresh, and changing in content, it takes a bit of work to keep a pipeline of things ready to go.

When I’m traveling, or the holidays are near, I try extra hard to be prepared, since I know that life will get in the way of things, I’ll be distracted, and I forget things. I often have a week to ten days worth of stuff ready and often scheduled.

This past week I was glad I had done that.

The weekend between Christmas and New Years I started to feel ill, which wasn’t what I wanted. Not that I ever want to be sick, but there are better and worse times. We had a trip planned to Steamboat Springs for a few days and as I packed skis, I knew it was unlikely I’d get on the slopes. I didn’t, and spent a couple days out of town, mostly in bed reading. Good for relaxing away from life, not what I wanted.

Basically I was in bed all last week, only at my computer Wednesday briefly when I returned from the mountains to schedule a few things before back in bed. I didn’t even leave my room Thur and Fri. I felt slightly better over the weekend, but wiped out again today.

I managed to go find a laptop and power cable, needing to schedule a few other things to get through another couple days, but this has been a rough time time on my body. Some flu bug, so I’m glad I a) work at home and b) don’t have to be working every day to survive.

Hope everyone else is well and had a good holiday season, and hope to be back and moving well soon.

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Pro SQL Server on Linux–Getting Started

As part of my learning goals for 2018, I wanted to work through various books. This is part of my series on Pro SQL Server on Linux from Bob Ward.

I purchased Pro SQL Server on Linux and started reading it in December. I’ve been playing with the Linux version of SQL Server 2017 for a few years, but very lightly. Mostly I’ve just tested stuff I do on Windows to see what works on Linux. After talking to Bob Ward at our SQL in the City Summit events, I decided to dive in deeper and work through some basics as my knowledge here is spotty.

I didn’t have a Linux machine handy in December while traveling, but I started to read anyway. This is a first look at what I got through.

Why SQL Server on Linux?

The opening chapter describes some of the history of SQL Server and how the version was built on Linux. Between MVP sessions, some online reading, and some other presentations, I’ve seen a lot of this, but it’s still neat to review it.

To me, this is one of the more impressive software ports I’ve seen, especially since the core engine really is the same, with the code being shared between Windows and Linux. Microsoft is easily maintaining two platforms here in a way that they couldn’t do with Windows.

Interesting to read.

Install and Config

I’ve done this a few times, but it’s good to go through. Bob covers some common Linux commands you’ll use, and it’s good to see these. While I read this without a VM, I vaguely remember some of this. Need to go through this when I get in front of a setup.

The install of SQL Server is done a few times, a very high level, and then a more detailed look. There are also some troubleshooting references to review with lots of links. We’ll check this later.

Chapter 3, 4, 5

I bundled these as they are SQL Server basics that aren’t really related to Linux. Chapter 3 is about building a database and some T-SQL fundamentals. I know most of these, so I skimmed this one.

Chapter 4 lets you build a basic Node.js app and connect. This also covers some advanted T-SQL structures. Again, for someone that’s used SQL Server for any length of time and tried new features, you’ll want to skip this.

Chapter 5 is tools. I know most of the tools, though I’ll review the linux variants later.

The First Half

This is what I got done before the end of the year, reading on planes and during downtime. This is almost the first half of the book, but it’s a lot of pages. I’m looking forward to digging into more parts of the book during the rest of January.

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