Installing SQL Server Using Desired State Configuration

(Update: I’ve since discovered that SqlServerDsc has replaced xSQLServer.)

One of my growing passions is using PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) to automate all the things. I started out with simple configurations for testing but wanted to dive into more complex\useful situations for my day-to-day DBA life. To be honest, I was intimidated by the idea of doing a SQL installation. Configuring simple parameters or creating a directory are easy enough to wrap my head around, but something as complex as a DBMS installation gave me pause. I’m here to tell you that my worries were unfounded, and that you should have none as well.

The blessing and curse of DSC is that it’s so new. It is without doubt a very powerful tool, but as of yet there isn’t a lot of documentation around the individual resources. Or worse yet, the pace of improvement moves so quickly that information from two years ago is now out of date. I plan on doing a separate post for how to approach DSC given these realities. With this post, however, I wanted to fill one of those documentation gaps. Specifically, how to install and configure an instance of SQL server. I based my file off of an example one provided by Microsoft in the “Examples” folder of the xSQLServer module named “SQLPush_SingleServer.ps1”. Pro tip: always look for example folders in the modules you want to work with. It should be noted that you can address much more complicated scenarios, such as setting up clusters or Availability Groups, but for simplicity this configuration will be creating a single instance on one node.

If you have experience with DSC or simply don’t want to listen to me drone on about the details, the full configuration is at the bottom. For those interested in the play by play, or just bored and looking for something to do, I’ll address each piece individually.

The script starts out with compulsory documentation on the script and what it does. Kidding aside, get into the habit of doing small sections like this. Your coworkers (and you years from now when you’ve forgotten what you did) will thank you.

############################################################################################################################
# SQL Server Single Instance Push
# Author: Landon Fowler
# Date 01/2018
#
# Based off of Microsoft example file
#
# Prerequisites: Unzip the SQL ISO to your file share
#                If required, copy the sxs folder to your file share for .NET Framework
############################################################################################################################

Next, we hard-code a couple of items specific to your individual run of the script. List the computer(s) that you want to deploy to as well as a local path for the configuration file that DSC will create.

#Computers to target
$computers = 'YourComputer'
#Local path on your computer to which the .mof file will be exported
$OutputPath = 'C:\Install\DSCLocal'

$cim = New-CimSession -ComputerName $computers

Following that, we will set how the Local Configuration Manager on the target nodes is to behave. We’re specifying that the configuration is being pushed to it, that it should automatically check every so often for compliance to this configuration and auto-correct anything that’s not aligned, that modules on the node can be overwritten, and that it can reboot if needed.

#Set LCM configuration for target nodes
[DSCLocalConfigurationManager()]
Configuration LCM_Push
{
    Param(
        [string[]]$ComputerName
    )
    Node $ComputerName
    {
    Settings
        {
            AllowModuleOverwrite = $True
            ConfigurationMode = 'ApplyAndAutoCorrect'
            RefreshMode = 'Push'
            RebootNodeIfNeeded = $True
        }
    }
}

#Apply the above LCM settings to each target node
foreach ($computer in $computers)
{
    $GUID = (New-Guid).Guid
    LCM_Push -ComputerName $Computer -OutputPath $OutputPath
    Set-DSCLocalConfigurationManager -Path $OutputPath  -CimSession $computer
}

Following that is the actual configuration details, where all the fun is defined. Mine is named “SQLSA”, but it really doesn’t matter what you name it. This is like defining a function; so as long as you call it by that same name later, little else is relevant. You’ll see at the top of this section there are three “Import-DscResource” lines. This tells the configuration which DSC modules will be needed to perform the actions we’re requesting.

#Detail the configuration that will be pushed
Configuration SQLSA
{
    Import-DscResource -Module xPSDesiredStateConfiguration
    Import-DscResource -Module xSQLServer
    Import-DscResource -Module xNetworking

    Node $AllNodes.NodeName
    {
        # Set LCM to reboot if needed
        LocalConfigurationManager
        {
            AllowModuleOverwrite = $true
            RebootNodeIfNeeded = $true
        }

The WindowsFeature item is one of the most handy in DSC. This allows us, as you might guess, to install Windows Features (in this case the .NET Framework).

        # Not necessary when using SQL 2016 on Windows Server 2016.
        WindowsFeature "NET"
        {
            Ensure = "Present"
            Name = "NET-Framework-Core"
            Source = $Node.NETPath
        }

Next I’ve created a firewall rule to make sure our instance’s port will be open (this is defined later under xSQLServerNetwork). It’s worth noting that there is a resource built into xSQLServer that allows you to configure firewall rules for SQL. However, I did not like the behavior of it and found that xFirewall from the module xNetworking provided a lot more flexibility.

        #Create firewall rule for our instance
        xFirewall Firewall
        {
            Name                  = 'SQL_Instance'
            DisplayName           = 'SQL Instance Firewall Rule'
            Ensure                = 'Present'
            Enabled               = 'True'
            Profile               = ('Domain', 'Private', 'Public')
            Direction             = 'Inbound'
            RemotePort            = 'Any'
            LocalPort             = $Node.SqlPort
            Protocol              = 'TCP'
        }

Up next is the actual meat of installing SQL Server. The if($Node.Features) block is something I picked up from the example file. I’d say it’s redundant to check for whether you’re installing SQL when you came here to install SQL, but hey, it works well so I left it.

One way I’ve altered this section from the original is to parameterize everything. If you look further down there is a $ConfigurationData section. Having all of our customizable fields there allows us to easily change them for each deployment (dev, test, prod) without having to search through the code. You and your team will know exactly where to go and what to change for each situation.

I’ve also included some examples of basic SQL Server tasks like creating a database, disabling the sa account, disabling a feature like xp_cmdshell, and configuring the network port (referenced earlier). The naming on these items looks odd but makes sense. By adding in the node name we can ensure that they are unique should we deploy to more than one target node. And adding a friendly name to the configuration item, like “sa”, makes it easy to tell DSC which item depends on which. Speaking of which, note that each of the configurations depends on the base installation. That way DSC will not run those if there is nothing to actually configure.

        #Begin actual SQL setup
        if($Node.Features)
        {
           xSqlServerSetup ($Node.NodeName)
           {
               DependsOn = '[WindowsFeature]NET'
               SourcePath = $Node.SourcePath
               SourceCredential = $Node.InstallerServiceAccount
               InstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
               Features = $Node.Features
               SQLSysAdminAccounts = $Node.AdminAccount
               InstallSharedDir = $Node.BinaryPath
               InstanceDir = $Node.InstancePath
               InstallSQLDataDir = $Node.SysDBPath
               SQLUserDBDir = $Node.UserDBPath
               SQLUserDBLogDir = $Node.UserDBLogPath
               SQLTempDBDir = $Node.TempDBPath
               SQLTempDBLogDir = $Node.TempDBLogPath
               SQLBackupDir = $Node.BackupPath
           }

           #Create a database
           xSQLServerDatabase ($Node.NodeName+"Diagnostics")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                Name = "Diagnostics"
                SQLServer = $Node.NodeName
                SQLInstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                Ensure = "Present"
           }

           #Disable the builtin sa account
           xSQLServerLogin($Node.Nodename+"sa")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                SQLServer = $Node.NodeName
                SQLInstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                Name = 'sa'
                Disabled = $true
           }

           
           #Disable an option such as xp_cmdshell
           xSQLServerConfiguration($Node.Nodename+"xp_cmdshell")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                SQLServer = $Node.NodeName
                SQLInstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                OptionName = 'xp_cmdshell'
                OptionValue = '0'
           }

           #Make sure TCP support is enabled and configured
           xSQLServerNetwork($Node.Nodename+"Network")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                InstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                ProtocolName = 'tcp'
	        TCPPort = $Node.SqlPort
	        IsEnabled = $true
	        RestartService = $true
           }
        }
    }

After the configuration definition we have the $ConfigurationData mentioned earlier. It’s a great idea to get in the habit of using sections like this. It will make your transition between various environments much easier.

#### Section to customize each DSC deployment ####
$ConfigurationData = @{
    AllNodes = @(
        @{
            NodeName = "*"
            PSDscAllowPlainTextPassword = $true
            PSDscAllowDomainUser =$true
            NETPath = "\\FileShare\Install\sxs"
            SourcePath = "\\FileShare\Install\SQL"
            InstallerServiceAccount = Get-Credential  -Message "Credentials to Install SQL Server"
            AdminAccount = "YourAccount"
            BinaryPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"
            InstancePath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"
            SysDBPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            UserDBPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            UserDBLogPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            TempDBPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            TempDBLogPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            BackupPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            SQLService = 'NT Service\MSSQLSERVER'
            SQLAgentService = 'NT Service\SQLSERVERAGENT'
            SqlPort = '1433'

        }
    )
}

The next section details what we’d like the instance name to be as well as what features should be installed. It’s very picky about the feature names, and they don’t line up exactly with a standard command line install. So be careful with what you place here. It won’t install anything incorrectly, just simply cause the configuration not to run and you to lose your mind.

Also in this section, we’re copying over the modules that each node will need in order to perform this configuration. This isn’t necessary when using DSC in pull mode, but that’s a story for a different post.

#Loop through each computer target, setting instance name, features to be installed, and also copying over necessary modules.
ForEach ($computer in $computers) {
   $ConfigurationData.AllNodes += @{
            NodeName        = $computer
            InstanceName    = "MSSQLSERVER"
            Features        = "SQLENGINE"

    }
   $Destination = "\\"+$computer+"\\c$\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules"
   Copy-Item 'C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\xSQLServer' -Destination $Destination -Recurse -Force
   Copy-Item 'C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\xNetworking' -Destination $Destination -Recurse -Force
}

I know you thought it’d never come, but at last it’s time to actually do something with all of this. We call our “SQLSA” configuration, passing in the $ConfigurationData and specifying to place the resulting .mof file in $OutputPath. After that, configuration is started on each node using Start-DscConfiguration and calling the .mof that was just created. Lastly, the node is tested to make sure it’s not out of compliance.

#Prepares the configuration's .mof file to be pushed.
SQLSA -ConfigurationData $ConfigurationData -OutputPath $OutputPath

#Push the configuration to each computer and start the configuration.
foreach($Computer in $Computers)
{

    Start-DscConfiguration -ComputerName $Computer -Path $OutputPath -Verbose -Wait -Force
}

#Make sure each node is now incompliance
foreach($Computer in $Computers)
{
    Test-DscConfiguration -ComputerName $Computer
}

If all goes well, your output will lack red and eventually will end in a message stating that the configuration tests as “True”.

And that’s all there is to it! Not so scary after all. I deployed my first DSC SQL Server while making tea and wondered why I’d been doing it any other way…

############################################################################################################################
# SQL Server Single Instance Push
# Author: Landon Fowler
# Date 01/2018
#
# Based off of Microsoft example file
#
# Prerequisites: Unzip the SQL ISO to your file share
#                If required, copy the sxs folder to your file share for .NET Framework
############################################################################################################################

#Computers to target
$computers = 'YourComputer'
#Local path on your computer to which the .mof file will be exported
$OutputPath = 'C:\Install\DSCLocal'

$cim = New-CimSession -ComputerName $computers

#Set LCM configuration for target nodes
[DSCLocalConfigurationManager()]
Configuration LCM_Push
{
    Param(
        [string[]]$ComputerName
    )
    Node $ComputerName
    {
    Settings
        {
            AllowModuleOverwrite = $True
            ConfigurationMode = 'ApplyAndAutoCorrect'
            RefreshMode = 'Push'
            RebootNodeIfNeeded = $True
        }
    }
}

#Apply the above LCM settings to each target node
foreach ($computer in $computers)
{
    $GUID = (New-Guid).Guid
    LCM_Push -ComputerName $Computer -OutputPath $OutputPath
    Set-DSCLocalConfigurationManager -Path $OutputPath  -CimSession $computer
}

#Detail the configuration that will be pushed
Configuration SQLSA
{
    Import-DscResource -Module xPSDesiredStateConfiguration
    Import-DscResource -Module xSQLServer
    Import-DscResource -Module xNetworking

    Node $AllNodes.NodeName
    {
        # Set LCM to reboot if needed
        LocalConfigurationManager
        {
            AllowModuleOverwrite = $true
            RebootNodeIfNeeded = $true
        }
        
        # Not necessary when using SQL 2016 on Windows Server 2016.
        WindowsFeature "NET"
        {
            Ensure = "Present"
            Name = "NET-Framework-Core"
            Source = $Node.NETPath
        }

        #Create firewall rule for our instance
        xFirewall Firewall
        {
            Name                  = 'SQL_Instance'
            DisplayName           = 'SQL Instance Firewall Rule'
            Ensure                = 'Present'
            Enabled               = 'True'
            Profile               = ('Domain', 'Private', 'Public')
            Direction             = 'Inbound'
            RemotePort            = 'Any'
            LocalPort             = $Node.SqlPort
            Protocol              = 'TCP'
        }
        
        #Begin actual SQL setup
        if($Node.Features)
        {
           xSqlServerSetup ($Node.NodeName)
           {
               DependsOn = '[WindowsFeature]NET'
               SourcePath = $Node.SourcePath
               SourceCredential = $Node.InstallerServiceAccount
               InstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
               Features = $Node.Features
               SQLSysAdminAccounts = $Node.AdminAccount
               InstallSharedDir = $Node.BinaryPath
               InstanceDir = $Node.InstancePath
               InstallSQLDataDir = $Node.SysDBPath
               SQLUserDBDir = $Node.UserDBPath
               SQLUserDBLogDir = $Node.UserDBLogPath
               SQLTempDBDir = $Node.TempDBPath
               SQLTempDBLogDir = $Node.TempDBLogPath
               SQLBackupDir = $Node.BackupPath
           }

           #Create a database
           xSQLServerDatabase ($Node.NodeName+"Diagnostics")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                Name = "Diagnostics"
                SQLServer = $Node.NodeName
                SQLInstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                Ensure = "Present"
           }

           #Disable the builtin sa account
           xSQLServerLogin($Node.Nodename+"sa")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                SQLServer = $Node.NodeName
                SQLInstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                Name = 'sa'
                Disabled = $true
           }

           
           #Disable an option such as xp_cmdshell
           xSQLServerConfiguration($Node.Nodename+"xp_cmdshell")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                SQLServer = $Node.NodeName
                SQLInstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                OptionName = 'xp_cmdshell'
                OptionValue = '0'
           }

           #Make sure TCP support is enabled and configured
           xSQLServerNetwork($Node.Nodename+"Network")
           {
                DependsOn = ("[xSqlServerSetup]" + $Node.NodeName)
                InstanceName = $Node.InstanceName
                ProtocolName = 'tcp'
	        TCPPort = $Node.SqlPort
	        IsEnabled = $true
	        RestartService = $true
           }
        }
    }
}

#### Section to customize each DSC deployment ####
$ConfigurationData = @{
    AllNodes = @(
        @{
            NodeName = "*"
            PSDscAllowPlainTextPassword = $true
            PSDscAllowDomainUser =$true
            NETPath = "\\FileShare\Install\sxs"
            SourcePath = "\\FileShare\Install\SQL"
            InstallerServiceAccount = Get-Credential  -Message "Credentials to Install SQL Server"
            AdminAccount = "YourAccount"
            BinaryPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"
            InstancePath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"
            SysDBPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            UserDBPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            UserDBLogPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            TempDBPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            TempDBLogPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            BackupPath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data"
            SQLService = 'NT Service\MSSQLSERVER'
            SQLAgentService = 'NT Service\SQLSERVERAGENT'
            SqlPort = '1433'

        }
    )
}

#Loop through each computer target, setting instance name, features to be installed, and also copying over necessary modules.
ForEach ($computer in $computers) {
   $ConfigurationData.AllNodes += @{
            NodeName        = $computer
            InstanceName    = "MSSQLSERVER"
            Features        = "SQLENGINE"

    }
   $Destination = "\\"+$computer+"\\c$\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules"
   Copy-Item 'C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\xSQLServer' -Destination $Destination -Recurse -Force
   Copy-Item 'C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\xNetworking' -Destination $Destination -Recurse -Force
}

#Prepares the configuration's .mof file to be pushed.
SQLSA -ConfigurationData $ConfigurationData -OutputPath $OutputPath

#Push the configuration to each computer and start the configuration.
foreach($Computer in $Computers)
{

    Start-DscConfiguration -ComputerName $Computer -Path $OutputPath -Verbose -Wait -Force
}

#Make sure each node is now incompliance
foreach($Computer in $Computers)
{
    Test-DscConfiguration -ComputerName $Computer
}

My First PowerShell Module – PSOraenv

Update (04/01/2019): We’ve hit over 100 downloads for PSOraenv! A big thanks to the PowerShell community. Please keep using it and let me know how I can make it better.

*******

Most of my experience with Oracle has been on Linux, but recently I began working with it on Windows as well. It came to my attention very quickly that oraenv, my beloved friend in Oracle administration, is not present on Windows installations. When you have more than one database installed on a single server, or perhaps ASM (which has its own Oracle home), manually swapping back and forth to work with the different pieces gets really old really fast. For this reason, and because I’ve been anxious to learn how to make my own PowerShell modules, I created PSOraenv. Its purpose is to closely mirror the capabilities of oraenv and allow a similar level of simple, yet powerful, command-line flexibility on Windows systems. Let me give you some examples.

By default, the necessary environment variables for Oracle aren’t set when you fire up PowerShell or Command Prompt. (It seems to default to the most recently installed product.) Using my cmdlet Get-OraEnv, we can verify that they start empty.

In order to see what options are available to us, we run my cmdlet Get-OraSID to pull back a list of the database SID’s and associated Oracle homes on the local machine.

Now that we know what SID’s are available to us, my cmdlet Set-OraEnv can be used.

Now, if we run Get-OraEnv again, we can see that the environment variables have indeed been set.

And, just to prove that actually matters, sqlplus can verify which database we are currently working with. (My sandbox system defaults to lkftest2.)

And there you have it! We have easily viewed which databases are on the local server and quickly swapped to the one that’s needed. It’s just as easy to swap back to the lkfowler2 SID if needed.

This module can be installed from PowerShell Gallery using Install-Module, like the example below.

Install-Module -Name PSOraenv

(You can also find the PowerShell Gallery page at https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PSOraenv/1.0)

If you’re interested to see what’s in the code, that has been placed below. I welcome any comments, feedback, and functionality requests. Hope you enjoy!

<# 
 .Synopsis
  Show a list of Oracle SID's.

 .Description
  Show a list of Oracle SID's and their associated ORACLE_HOME values, pulled from the registry of the local machine.

 .Example
  Get-OraSID
#>

function Get-OraSID 
{
    #Create an empty object for display
    $display = @()

    #Get a list of Oracle homes from the registry
    $homes = Get-ChildItem -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Oracle | where {$_.Name -match 'KEY_Ora'}

    #Loop through each home and add the desired information to the display object
    foreach ($path in $homes)
    {
        $dir = Split-Path $path.Name -Leaf
        $oraObject = Get-ItemProperty "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Oracle\$dir"
      
        $objDisplay = New-Object System.Object
        $objDisplay | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -name OracleSid -value $oraObject.ORACLE_SID
        $objDisplay | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -name OracleHome -value $oraObject.ORACLE_HOME

        $display += $objDisplay
    }

    #Display the completed display object
    $display
}

<# 
 .Synopsis
  Displays the current value of your Oracle environment variables.

 .Description
  Displays the current value of ORACLE_SID, ORACLE_HOME, and ORACLE_BASE.

 .Example
  Get-OraEnv

#>
function Get-OraEnv
{
    #If ORACLE_SID has a value, display it
    if ($env:ORACLE_SID -ne $null)
    {
        Write-Host "ORACLE_SID: " $env:ORACLE_SID
    }

    else
    {
        Write-Host "ORACLE_SID  is empty"
    }

    #If ORACLE_HOME has a value, display it
    if ($env:ORACLE_HOME -ne $null)
    {
        Write-Host "ORACLE_HOME: " $env:ORACLE_HOME
    }

    else
    {
        Write-Host "ORACLE_HOME is empty"
    }

    #If ORACLE_BASE has a value, display it
    if ($env:ORACLE_BASE -ne $null)
    {
        Write-Host "ORACLE_BASE: " $env:ORACLE_BASE
    }

    else
    {
        Write-Host "ORACLE_BASE is empty"
    }
}

<# 
 .Synopsis
  Sets the Oracle environment variables based on a provided SID.

 .Description
  Sets the Oracle environment variables based on a provided SID.
  Information is obtained from the registry to set ORACLE_SID, ORACLE_HOME, and ORACLE_BASE.

 .Example
  # Set the current environment for the database DB1.
   Set-OraEnv DB1

#>
function Set-OraEnv 
{
param(
    [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)]
    [string]$oraSid
    )
    
    #Get a list of Oracle homes from the registry
    $homes = Get-ChildItem -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Oracle | where {$_.Name -match 'KEY_Ora'}

    #Loop through each home to find the one we're working with based on the provided SID.
    #Then use the key's values to set our environment variables.
    foreach ($path in $homes)
    {
        $dir = Split-Path $path.Name -Leaf
        
        $oraObject = Get-ItemProperty "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Oracle\$dir"
        
        if ($oraObject.ORACLE_SID -eq $oraSid)
        {
            $oraHome = $oraObject.ORACLE_HOME
            $oraBase = $oraObject.ORACLE_BASE
            
            Write-Host "Changing environment to:"
            Write-Host "ORACLE_SID : " $oraSid
            Write-Host "ORACLE_HOME: " $oraHome
            Write-Host "ORACLE_BASE: " $oraBase

            $env:ORACLE_SID = $oraSid
            $env:ORACLE_HOME = $oraHome
            $env:ORACLE_BASE = $oraBase
        }
    }  
}

#Make our functions available for use
export-modulemember -function Get-OraSID
export-modulemember -function Get-OraEnv
export-modulemember -function Set-OraEnv

 

Windows Server Core Jumpstart

Recently I’ve been looking into the potential that Windows Server Core holds for our environment. Like most eager new Core users, I imagine, I jumped in with grand visions of spinning up a VM quickly and being off to the races administering it from my desktop. The reality wasn’t quite the same, as I ran into a chicken and egg situation wondering how I could set up the machine when I could not yet connect to it. To complicate the issue, I couldn’t find a concise list of information on exactly what is needed to simply make the machine available so that I could begin to work with it.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled the following information in hopes of saving others the same headache. There’s nothing earth shattering here, but hopefully it will allow people to get started with Server Core quickly so that they can move on to more important things, like how the server will actually be used.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Hope it’s a help to you.

  • Ports to request from your firewall team.
    •  TCP
      • 5985, 5986 (WinRM)
      • 445 (SMB) –This is up to you. I wanted to be able to move files to/from the server.
      • 135
  • Local firewall rules to allow remote administration.
    • Enable Remote Management groups
      (Note: If you enable “Remote Service Management” on the host first, then you can do the others via PowerShell remoting. This can be helpful since copy/paste in things like VMWare console doesn’t always work.)
Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Service Management","Remote Event Log Management","File and Printer Sharing","Performance Logs and Alerts","Remote Volume Management","Windows Firewall Remote Management","Remote Desktop"

Default outbound traffic to allow

Set-NetFirewallProfile -Name Domain,Public,Private  –DefaultOutboundAction Allow

Enable Ping (optional)

Enable-NetFirewallRule -Name FPS-ICMP4-ERQ-IN
  • Remote management tools
    • Add the remote computer to Server Manager (available on Windows desktop and server versions).
      • Once added, you can easily launch Computer Management and PowerShell for that specific machine by right-clicking it.
    • Connect via PowerShell remoting.
      New-PSSession -ComputerName YourRemoteComputer | Enter-PSSession
      • Cross-domain PowerShell Remoting (ie Dev or Test domains)
        • If remoting isn’t enabled on your local machine, enable it.
          Enable-PSRemoting -Force
        • Add machines to the TrustedHosts list. (Depending on your setup, you might have to substitute IP addresses for the machine names in -Value.)
          Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value 'machineA,machineB'

          Verify with:

          Get-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts
        • Use PSSession to connect
          New-PSSession -ComputerName machineA -Credential (Get-Credential) | Enter-PSSession
      • IIS management (run on remote machine)
        Install-WindowsFeature Web-Mgmt-Service
        
        Set-Service wmsvc -startuptype "automatic"
        
        Start-Service wmsvc
        • Set HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WebManagement\Server\EnableRemoteManagement to 1.
          (This can be achieved using the local regedit tool and connecting it to the remote machine.)
        • Restart the WMSVC service.
          Restart-Service wmsvc
        • Connect from local IIS Manager for Remote Administration with the local administrator credentials of the remote machine.
      • You can either use sconfig or the following remote PowerShell commands to allow Remote Desktop. (This is especially helpful for quickly getting to sconfig and other commands that do not operate properly with remote PowerShell.)
        set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server'-name "fDenyTSConnections" -Value 0
        set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp' -name "UserAuthentication" -Value 1
  • Common configuration tasks
    • The utility “sconfig” can be used for most setup items.
    • For a more speedy and scriptable setup, below are some common configurations via PowerShell.
      • Change date\time
        Set-TimeZone -Name "Eastern Standard Time"
      • Change computer name
        Rename-Computer -NewName "machineA" -Restart
      • Add to the domain
        Add-Computer -DomainName "Contoso.com" -Restart

         

 

The Final Push – CRM 2016 is Live

After months of ups and downs, plans built and destroyed, and countless hours invested, CRM 2016 is live. (Actually, it’s been live since Easter weekend. But keeping a blog up to date is obviously not one of my talents.) For the last installment in this series I’d like to go over how we went about the upgrade and highlight some successes. Before I get into that, though, there is one essential thing that needs to be understood about this entire project. From the moment we really got started, it was placed in the hands of Jesus Christ. From planning to implementation, and everything in between, it was submitted to Him. I don’t say that to be cheesy or legalistic, but rather to give credit where credit is due.

As I’ve mentioned before, we were attempting to go from our production Dynamics CRM 2011 environment all the way to the latest Dynamics CRM 2016. That environment has a database that exceeds 1.5TB and numerous integration points with systems like our dialer. During planning we reached out to a vendor, who shall remain nameless, for their advice. The overview of their plan looked something like this:

Following this approach, the migration would flow as such:

  • Shut off the PROD 2011 servers.
  • Back up the PROD 2011 organization database.
  • Restore the PROD 2011 database to the temporary CRM 2013 environment.
  • Import the PROD 2011 database to CRM 2013.
  • Back up the upgraded CRM 2013 database.
  • Restore the upgraded CRM 2013 database to the temporary CRM 2015 environment.
  • Import the upgraded CRM 2013 database to CRM 2015.
  • Back up the upgraded CRM 2015 database.
  • Restore the upgraded CRM 2015 database to the temporary CRM 2016 environment.
  • Import the upgraded CRM 15 database to CRM 2016.
  • Back up the upgraded CRM 2016 database.
  • Restore the upgraded CRM 2016 database to PROD 2016.
  • Import the upgraded CRM 2016 database to PROD 2016.

We built out the “hop” environments as this plan suggested and began to test the theory. Aside from multiple technical challenges, some of which I’ve addressed in other posts, even when it worked the timeline was simply too long. End to end it took 1.5 weeks or more, and that’s not counting any additional steps such as importing our customizations or the work for our data warehouse. Taking down a tier zero application for one to two weeks was NOT an option for us.

The more I thought over the proposed plan, our past CRM experiences, and the options we had available to us, a new plan came into view. I wasn’t sure it would even work, but decided to do a “mock migration”, if you will, and test it out. The new approach looked like this:

The smaller database symbols represent the config database for each temporary environment. The temporary 2016 servers were eliminated altogether since our final (PROD) hop was 2016 anyway. Basically, I just made the 2011 organization database a central upgrade spot on a new SQL instance and pointed all the app servers there.

Following this new plan, the work flow became:

  • Shut off the PROD 2011 servers.
  • Remove the PROD 2011 organization database from our PROD Availability Group.
  • Detach the PROD 2011 organization database and reattach it under the new PROD 2016 instance.
  • Import the PROD 2011 database to CRM 2013.
  • Remove the organization from CRM 2013.
  • Import the upgraded CRM 2013 database to CRM 2015.
  • Remove the organization from CRM 2015.
  • Import the upgraded CRM 2015 database to CRM 2016 (using PROD App servers).
  • Remove the other copy of the CRM 2011 database and sync the upgraded 2016 database to the other Availability Group node.

This had a profound affect on our timeline. Each of our backup and restore operations had cost us around six hours each, for a total cost of around 48 hours. By pointing all of the app nodes at one central SQL server, that was completely eliminated. It also allowed us to utilize the beefier PROD hardware. Instead of 1.5 weeks our tentative database upgrade timeline became 31-36 hours, very doable for a weekend maintenance window. And that was on slower storage that had been provisioned only for the mock migration tests. In the end our actual time for full migration was less than 24 hours. That includes not only the database upgrade portion but also importing customizations, changing our data warehouse structure, reconfiguring connected systems, and troubleshooting issues.

There was truly a fantastic team that worked on this project and I’m honored to have shared in the adventure with them. There is a great deal more work not detailed in these blog posts because I didn’t have direct insight into those portions. I’d like to call out a few of them at a high level though.

  • Our development team spent months updating old code, much of which predated their employment here. They also developed innovative new ways of approaching old problems and bringing everything into compliance with CRM 2016. With the amount of customization we have, this is more than commendable.
  • My co-upgrader, Matt Norris, put in many long hours and handled with stride any challenge thrown at him. He was new to CRM when we started but I now refer to him as “battle-hardened”.
  • My fellow DBA, Bret Unbehagen, single handedly worked out the difference in table structures between CRM 2011 and 2016, determined how that would affect streaming data to our Oracle data warehouse, and created a process to mitigate those issues for the go-live weekend. I can’t even begin to describe to you how impressive this is because I don’t even fully understand it myself.
  • Our networking and storage teams were indispensable in preparing for and carrying out the upgrade. I asked for terabytes upon terabytes of space for various tests and mock migrations, as well as innumerable firewall requests, and they delivered every time. The compute guys also gave me additional resources on the app server virtual machines, to which I credit much of our surprisingly small timeline.

It’s a blessing and a privilege to have been a part of such a successful effort. There is nothing more satisfying than doing good work to God’s glory.

If you have any questions about how we approached the upgrade, mock migrations, etc please feel free to ask. I’ll be glad to answer anything that doesn’t put my job at risk 😉

Technical Details

App Server Versions at Upgrade Time

  • 2013: 6.1.0001.0132
  • 2015: 7.0.0001.0129
  • 2016: 8.1.0000.0359

SQL Server Version

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP2

Dynamics CRM Install\Import “The SQL Server {sqlserver_name} is unavailable”

My apologies for the significant gap between my last post on our CRM 2016 Upgrade Adventure and this one. My time has been consumed with preparing for go-live, but I’ve been keeping track of the roadblocks and caveats we encounter as I go so that I can post about them at later dates.

One of the challenges with this deployment that we did not encounter with the last is a significant increase in firewall and context configuration. LU has, to their credit, made great efforts over the last several years to ensure our network is as secure as possible. With an increase in security, however, comes an increase in complexity.

While setting up CRM you might expect to open a port for the SQL instance (ie 1433). It might also occur to you that UDP 1434 should be opened for the SQL Browser Service. Now your app server has a clear line open to the SQL instance. Everything should be ready, so you go to create or import your organization only to encounter “The SQL Server {sqlserver_name} is unavailable”.

You might also encounter a message about not being able to verify that the SQL Agent is running. Being a thorough Sys Admin\DBA you check the SQL services for these and confirm both are up. You also use telnet or another utility to confirm that the ports are indeed open, so what on earth could CRM need in order to reach SQL?

TCP 445… that’s right. Because of the unique setup of CRM it requires TCP 445 to do any kind of setup. What is TCP 445 you ask? “Active Directory service required for Active Directory access and authentication.” (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699823.aspx). Why an app server would need an AD authentication port opened to the SQL server is anybody’s guess, but it cleared our issue right up. All system checks passed and it happily imported our database.

It should be noted, if you’re using an Availability Group setup then this port will need to be opened to the other servers in the AG as well. I have had the most success when opening it to the AG listener name as well as all nodes.

Bonus Round

If none of this helps you, here are some other things I’ve found are necessary to appease the install\import wizards.

  • Make sure you’re in the local Administrators group on the app servers as well as every node in the SQL cluster or AG (added explicitly, not through a group) .
  • Make sure your account has the sysadmin role on the SQL instance.
  • Specify the SQL server name using the backslash notation, even if the AG name doesn’t contain it. For instance, if your AG is normally accessed as SQLAGINSTANCE,50000 you would use SQLAGINSTANCE\SQLAGINSTANCE,50000 in the wizard. It seems to be hard-coded to only accept it in that manner.

Dynamics CRM Import Fails on “Upgrade Indexes”

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m taking you through our adventure in upgrading the existing on-premise Dynamics CRM 2011 environment to 2016 (and eventually 2016 cloud). Previously I discussed the first show-stopper error we received, “Must declare the scalar variable “@table”.” Following that resolution the import continued past the stage “Metadata xml upgrade: pass 1” but then failed at “Upgrade Indexes”.

Through the use of trace logs obtained by using the CRM diagnostic tool, we discovered that the import wizard was marking a number of indexes to be dropped and then recreated. However, as observed through a SQL Profiler deadlock trace, it was trying to drop and add indexes on the same table at the same time. As I mentioned in my previous post, our database is in excess of 1.5TB. One of the largest tables is ActivityPointerBase, and it’s also one on which many index operations were being executed by the import wizard. The result is that some of the index operations would be chosen as the deadlock victim, causing the import wizard to throw an error and exit. Also, if you restarted the import it would process the entire list again, not taking into account any that it had dropped and recreated already.

My coworker, and local wizard, Bret Unbehagen used the trace logs to determine which tables the import wizard was using to store its index operation information. He then created the query below to produce a list of indexes that it was trying to recreate as well as generate a drop statement for each of those.

select BaseTableName, i.Name, 'drop index ' + i.name + ' on ' + BaseTableName + ';'
from EntityIndex i
join EntityView v
on (i.EntityId = v.EntityId)
where i.RecreateIndex = 1
AND I.IsPrimaryKey = 0
AND I.NAME IN (SELECT NAME FROM SYS.indexes)
order by name;

So, the basic workflow is 1) let the import wizard proceed until it fails at “Upgrade Indexes”, 2) run the script above against your organization database to list the indexes that it wants to rebuild, 3) use the generated drop statements to preemptively drop those indexes, 4) restart the import so that it continues were it left off (feature of 2013+).

In our experience, this allowed the import wizard to continue through the “Upgrade Indexes” section without deadlocking and proceed with the import. Hopefully it can help you achieve success as well. If you have any questions please feel free to comment. Also, if you’d like to see more from Bret his information is listed below.

Bret Unbehagen (Twitter: @dbaunbe; Web: dba.unbe.org)

Dynamics CRM Import Error “Must declare the scalar variable “@table”

This post is the first in a new series I’m going to call “CRM 2016 Upgrade Adventure”. Summary: my organization has taken on the ambitious challenge of not only upgrading our existing Dynamics CRM 2011 environment to the 2016 version but  of moving it to the cloud service as well. Aside from getting the vanilla components through three versions (2013, 2015, 2016) there are all of the custom integrations that have been tied into CRM over the years that must come along too. That is why it is neither a joke nor hyperbole when I label this as an adventure. We are only in the initial months of this effort and I promise you that plenty of adventure has already been had.

Our first headache… I mean, adventure… was encountered while importing the 2011 database to 2013.  (In order to get to 2016 you have to “hop” your database through 2013, 2015, and 2016 by importing it to each version.) Initially we encountered some messages about incompatible components from the CRM 4.0 days, which our database started out in. That was no surprise. The developers quickly updated our current system and we went to import again assuming the path was clear. What I encountered instead was almost instant failure. Within 20 minutes the import had failed. Knowing this was a process that should take several hours (our database exceeds 1.5TB), I took a look at the logs to see what the issue was. During the stage “Metadata xml upgrade: pass 1” the following was listed:

System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. —> System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Must declare the scalar variable “@table”.

I’m sure you can appreciate my confusion since this is a closed-source application written by Microsoft in which I have no option to declare variables. Googling only returned articles about people writing their own applications. Feeling we had no other recourse, we opened up a support ticket with Microsoft. That in itself was quite an adventure that spanned two weeks, but I’ll give you the short version. (Props to my coworker John Dalton for his endless hours on the phone with Microsoft through nights and weekends.) In the end the culprit was a trigger that was on our database, but not just any trigger. This one is named “tr_MScdc_ddl_event” and is created by Microsoft when you enable CDC on a database. After scripting out that trigger to make sure we could recreate it later, then dropping it, the import continued past “Metadata xml upgrade: pass 1” successfully.

TLDR version

Microsoft’s database level CDC trigger tr_MScdc_ddl_event interferes with the Dynamics CRM import operation. Drop that trigger before the import it then add it back once it’s finished and you shouldn’t have issues with this error.

So that’s the end of the adventure right? Everything worked fine after that? Not even close! Stay tuned…

Using Powershell to Refresh a Test SQL Server Instance from Production

A project I’ve been wanting to work on for a long time is how to automate restores of our Production databases to the Test instance. There are a number of challenges associated with this. First, the restore has to be able to find which backup it needs to use. Secondly, many of our databases do not have their files configured in the same way (for example one may have a single .mdf and log whereas another may have multiple .ndf files). Third, restoring from a different instance causes the SQL Authentication users to be orphaned and therefore connections to the databases to fail. And this is just at the high level. There are many smaller complications along each of those roads. Because of these our restore model has typically been per-request, manually executed, and filled with many small and tedious steps. I wanted to replace it with one process that would restore all of the production databases from the proper backup, configure any “with MOVE” options dynamically, and fix any orphaned users. A secondary goal was also to make it as portable as possible so that I could easily reconfigure it for our other PROD/Test/Dev instances.

The result of this labor of love is copied below. You’ll notice that at the top you can configure the Source and Destination SQL instances to be used, as well as the Data\Log paths for both. This is the section that allows me to reconfigure it for other instances. You can make these parameters that are passed in if you want to call it manually. For my purposes it is a scheduled process that always runs against  specific instance. Following that section is an exclusion list, built to avoid system databases as well as any others you want to skip (use cautiously to avoid angering coworkers in the Development or Testing departments).

The only function is one called “FixOrphans”. If you’ve guessed that’s where the orphaned users are repaired, then you’re today’s winner! This works by pulling a list of available logins from the destination, creating a list of orphans, and using the Source to find which login users should be matched to.  It will also match “dbo” to a different login if that’s the way the Source database was configured. Of course, this breaks down if the logins are not named the same on both instances. This is the case for some of mine as well. In those cases I have a section at the bottom to take care of one-off scenarios by hard coding them. It isn’t ideal, but will have to do until I can change some policies in my organization.

A fun side note about the FixOrphans function. It started as a small section of the script, then quickly grew to become its own function. I became so interested in what could be done with it that I side-tracked for a while and wrote a stand-alone script just for repairing orphans. Being a faithful reader, you will remember it being covered in Fixing Orphaned SQL Users via PowerShell. So, the restore project was actually first and fixing orphans spun out of that. I then took that work and rolled it back into the restore script, so the code will be very similar to that first post.

After that function is declared we move on to the real work. A variable is created to store Source backup information so that we know which backup to use. It then loops through each of the objects stored in that variable. If the database is in the exclusion list it notes that and moves on. Otherwise, it sets a baseline for the restoration query and starts building on that. This is the portion that allows me to account for differing file configurations per database on the instance. For each database it will pull Source information about the files and dynamically build the MOVE statements. At the end it packages them all together and adds any remaining options, such as keep_cdc. After the full statement is built the script will set the database to single user, closing any connections. It will then drop the database and execute the restoration. Dropping isn’t entirely necessary, but our Test environment is often short on space. Dropping first allows me to free up room before starting the restore.

There are two things to note at this section. The first is that, while documentation will tell you that not specifying a timeout value for Invoke-Sqlcmd means that it’s unlimited, that simply isn’t true. Unless you specify one it will die after thirty seconds. Secondly, once the script successfully kicks off that restore command it will truck happily along its way to the next line, whether your restore finishes instantaneously or not (my wager is that it doesn’t). For that reason I built a Do…While loop to monitor for restore commands to finish and then allow the script to proceed. Otherwise it gets awkward trying to set your database to simple when it doesn’t actually exist yet. The commands to set that recovery option and shrink the log file are also both in the interest of saving space.

Once all of that is finished, it’s just a matter of resetting variables so that the next database has a clean run and calling the aforementioned FixOrphans function to give those SQL Auth users a home. After all of the elements in the array have been processed I write an error string that I’ve been compiling to a file and call it a day. Two files will be created. RefreshLog.txt contains all of the operational information, and Errors.txt contains, you guessed it, errors.

As with my other scripts, much of this will be different in your environment than it is in mine. However, I hope that this will be easily adaptable for your use and, if nothing else, that you can find useful elements that can be incorporated into  your own scripts. As always, feel free to send me any questions, and I hope this helps.

P.S. I chose to use Invoke-Sqlcmd so that all versions of SQL, new or old, would be compatible. For newer instances feel free to use SMO.

 

#Save current working directory.
Push-Location

#Import only the Cmdlet we need from the SQL Module without warning about name checking.
Import-Module -DisableNameChecking -Name SQLPS -Cmdlet Invoke-Sqlcmd

#Return to working directory.
Pop-Location

#Set source and destination info.
$SourceSQLInstance = 'COMPUTER_NAME\INSTANCE_NAME'
$DestSQLInstance = 'COMPUTER_NAME\INSTANCE_NAME'

$SourceDataRoot = 'H:\PROD_INSTANCE_DATA'
$SourceLogRoot = 'H:\PROD_INSTANCE_LOG'

$DestDataRoot = 'J:\TEST_INSTANCE_DATA'
$DestLogRoot = 'J:\TEST_INSTANCE_LOG'

#Collection of errors to write to file.
$ErrMessage = @()

#List of databases to skip (ie system ones).
$DBExclusionList = "master", "model", "msdb", "tempdb", "TroubleMakerDatabase"

#List of current destination databases.
$CurrentDestDBs = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database master -query "select name from sys.databases
                                                                                            where name != 'master'
                                                                                            and name != 'model'
                                                                                            and name != 'msdb'
                                                                                            and name != 'tempdb'"



####################################################################################################################
# Functions
####################################################################################################################


#Function to fix orphaned users.
function FixOrphans ($db)
 {

    #Get list of available logins on the destination instance.
    $LoginList = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database master -query "select name from master..syslogins"

    #Get list of orphaned users on the destination instance.
    $OrphanList = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database $db -query "exec sp_change_users_login 'Report'" 

    #Check the orphan count, proceed if there are any.
    if ($OrphanList.Count -gt 0)
    {
        #Process each orphaned user.
        foreach ($Orphan in $OrphanList)
        {
            #Set database user pricipal name.
            $User = $Orphan.UserName

            #Set login name from source instance.
            $Login = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$SourceSQLInstance" -Database $db -query "SELECT S.loginname FROM $db.sys.database_principals as P 
                                                                                                join master..syslogins S on P.sid = S.sid where P.name = '$User'"
            #Make the login name a string for easy use.
            $LoginName = $Login.loginname
            
            #Test for whether the login exists on this instance. If it does, match it to the user.
            if ($LoginList.name -contains $LoginName)
            {
                
                #Handle orphand dbo users. These cannot be updated by sp_change_users_login.
                if ($User -eq "dbo")
                {
                    
                    $LogTime = Get-Date
                    $Message = "Changing owner to $LoginName for database $db."
                    #Log time and message.
                    $Message

                    Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database $db -query "EXEC sp_changedbowner '$LoginName';"     

                }

                #For all other cases outside of dbo, use sp_change_users_login.
                else
                {
                    $Message = "Matching user $User to login $LoginName for database $db on $DestSQLInstance."
                    $Message

                    #Update the user's login.
                    Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database $db -query "exec sp_change_users_login 'update_one', '$User', '$LoginName'" 
                }
            }


            #Give an informative message when the login is not in the list.
            else
            {
                
                $ErrMessage = $ErrMessage + "Failed to update user $User for database $db because there is no login on $DestSQLInstance."

            }
        }
    }
    
    #Inform if there are no orphans for this database. Happy day!
    else
        {
            $ErrMessage = $ErrMessage + "There are no orphans in database $DatabaseName."
            
        }


 }

####################################################################################################################
# End Functions
####################################################################################################################


#Get list of all database names and path to the most recent backup.
$FilePaths = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$SourceSQLInstance" -Database MSDB -query "SELECT msdb.dbo.backupset.database_name, msdb.dbo.backupmediafamily.physical_device_name 
                FROM msdb.dbo.backupmediafamily INNER JOIN msdb.dbo.backupset ON msdb.dbo.backupmediafamily.media_set_id = msdb.dbo.backupset.media_set_id 
                WHERE (CONVERT(datetime, msdb.dbo.backupset.backup_finish_date, 102) >= GETDATE() - 7) AND  msdb.dbo.backupset.type = 'D' 
                ORDER BY msdb.dbo.backupset.database_name"

#Loop through each database.
foreach ( $file in $FilePaths ) 
{
    #Set backup file path.
    $BackupName = $file.physical_device_name

    #Set database name.
    $DBName = $file.database_name
   

    #Check for database names in the exclusions list.
    if ($DBExclusionList -contains $DBName)
        {
            echo "Database $DBName in Exclusion List"
        }

    
    #Process databases that have not been excluded.
    else
        {
            
            #Set database file information.
            $FileInfo = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$SourceSQLInstance" -Database $DBName -query "SELECT name, physical_name FROM sys.database_files"

            #Set the foundation for the restore query.
            $RestoreQuery = "RESTORE DATABASE $DBName FROM  DISK = N'$BackupName' WITH "

            #Use the database file information to dynamically build the move file commands.
            foreach ($DBFile in $FileInfo)
            {
                #Build commands for data files.
                if ($DBFile.physical_name -like "*.mdf" -or $DBFile.physical_name -like "*.ndf")
                 {
                    $DataName = $DBFile.Name
                    $DataFile = $DBFile.physical_name.Replace($SourceDataRoot, $DestDataRoot)

                    #Append the move file command.
                    $FileCommand = $FileCommand + "MOVE N'$DataName' TO N'$DataFile', "
                
                 }
               
               #Build commands for log files.
               elseif ($DBFile.physical_name -like "*.ldf")
                 {
                    $LogName = $DBFile.Name
                    $LogFile = $DBFile.physical_name.Replace($SourceLogRoot, $DestLogRoot)

                    #Append the move file command.
                    $FileCommand = $FileCommand + "MOVE N'$LogName' TO N'$LogFile', "

                 }
            
            }
           
           #Add the completed move file commands to the overall query, and place remaining options on the end.
           $RestoreQuery = $RestoreQuery + $FileCommand + "REPLACE, keep_cdc"

           #$RestoreQuery >> C:\Users\lkfowler\Desktop\QueryOutput.txt

           echo "Restoring $DBName"

           #If database exists, set it to single user and drop it.
           if ($CurrentDestDBs.name -contains $DBName)
           {
                Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -query "ALTER DATABASE $DBName SET RESTRICTED_USER WITH ROLLBACK IMMEDIATE"
                Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -query "DROP DATABASE $DBName"
           }


           #Execute the restore command.
           Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database master -query "$RestoreQuery" -querytimeout ([int]::MaxValue)

           #Loop until restore is finished         
           DO
            {
              $Restoring =  Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database master -query "select count(*) from sys.dm_exec_requests where command = 'RESTORE DATABASE'" 
              Start-Sleep -s 5
            }
            WHILE ($Restoring -eq 1)
          

           #Set to simple.
           Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database master -query "ALTER DATABASE $DBName set recovery simple"

           #Shrink log file
           Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database $DBName -query "DBCC SHRINKFILE ($LogName, 1)"

           #Clear command-building variables so that they can be reused for the next database.
           Clear-Variable FileCommand
           Clear-Variable RestoreQuery

           #Call function to fix any orphaned users.
           FixOrphans -db $DBName

        }
}


#Write to error log after processing has finished.
Out-File Errors.txt -InputObject $ErrMessage

Using PowerShell to Perform Availability Group Failovers

In the past we’ve explored how to use PowerShell to automate failovers on SQL Failover Clusters for Windows Updates and other scheduled maintenance. But what if you’re using Availability Groups instead of the traditional cluster? Fear not, there is still a PowerShell option for that. Usually I would have our night team use SSMS to fail over instances, but recently I transitioned to having them use the PowerShell method below. There are two primary reasons for this. 1) The system administrator does not need to have SQL Server rights in order to carry out the failover and 2) having pre-written commands helps cut down on human error.

For the purposes of this example we have two nodes (AGNODE1 and AGNODE2), each having their own instances (SQLINSTANCE1 and SQLINSTANCE2) that are part of an Availability Group (AGINSTANCE). This will walk through the process of installing Windows Updates on each of those nodes. We will assume that at the outset AGNODE1 is the primary for AGINSTANCE.

  1. Install updates on AGNODE2 and reboot as necessary.
  2. Log into AGNODE2.
  3. Right-click PowerShell and click “Run as Administrator”.
  4. Make AGNODE2 the primary by running the following command: Switch-SqlAvailabilityGroup -Path SQLSERVER:\Sql\AGNODE2\SQLINSTANCE2\AvailabilityGroups\AGINSTANCE
  5. Confirm that the AG instance is now owned by AGNODE2 using this command: Get-ClusterGroup
  6. Install updates on AGNODE1 and reboot as necessary.
  7. Log into AGNODE1.
  8. Right-click PowerShell and click “Run as Administrator”.
  9. Make AGNODE1 the primary by running the following command: Switch-SqlAvailabilityGroup -Path SQLSERVER:\Sql\AGNODE1\SQLINSTANCE1\AvailabilityGroups\AGINSTANCE
  10. Confirm that the AG instance is now owned by AGNODE1 using this command: Get-ClusterGroup

A couple of key points to keep in mind are this: 1) you must run the command from the destination server and 2) all of the confusing syntax is simply specifying the node, instance name, and Availability Group name for that destination server.

I hope this helps, and as always feel free to send me any questions!

Fixing Orphaned SQL Users via PowerShell

In SQL Server, a login is an instance level object that is used for authentication. It is mapped to a database user, which controls permissions at the database level. These objects (login and user) are tied to one another via a SID. If the login is deleted and then recreated, or if you restore your production database to a test environment, those SID’s will no longer match and orphaned users will result.

Information on how to resolve this situation can be found on MSDN. However, if you need to fix more than one user this can be painful. It also does not work for the “dbo” user, requiring you to take additional steps in order to repair both. In the interest of handling refreshes to our development and test instances in a more efficient way I’ve created the script below. It takes two parameters, one for the source instance and another for the destination. It will cycle through the databases on the destination instance and query the source for login information pertaining to any orphaned users. Some informational messages have been built in to help you identify issues, such as a login not existing on your destination instance.

There are a couple of disclaimers. This script assumes that your logins will have the same name on both instances. If your production instance has an account named “sqlsvc” and the test instance equivalent is named “sqlsvc_test”, then it will not sync the user to that login. For the situation I’m working with there is no reliable standard in account names for me to rely on. If your environment is more standardized then please feel free to build in that additional logic.

I hope this will be of help to those out there fatigued by running sp_change_users_login one user at a time. You call the script as “./FixOrphans.ps1 -SourceSQLInstance YourSourceName -DestSQLInstance -YourDestinationName”. If you don’t provide the parameters up front it will prompt you for them.

As always, if you have any questions please let me know.

#Parameters passed in for source and destination instances.
Param(
  [Parameter(Mandatory=$True,Position=1)]
   [string]$SourceSQLInstance,
	
   [Parameter(Mandatory=$True)]
   [string]$DestSQLInstance
)

#Save current working directory.
Push-Location

#Import only the Cmdlet we need from the SQL Module without warning about name checking.
Import-Module -DisableNameChecking -Name SQLPS -Cmdlet Invoke-Sqlcmd

#Return to working directory.
Pop-Location

#Prompt for source and destination information. (Alternative to the parameter method at the top.)
#$SourceSQLInstance = Read-Host -Prompt 'Source Instance'
#$DestSQLInstance = Read-Host -Prompt 'Destination Instance'


#Get list of available logins on the destination instance.
$LoginList = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database master -query "select name from master..syslogins"

#Get list of databases on the destination instance.
$DatabaseList = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database master -query "select name from sys.databases"

#Process each database that was pulled.
foreach ($Database in $DatabaseList)
{
    #Make the database name a string for easy use.
    $DatabaseName = $Database.name
    
    #Get list of orphaned users.
    $OrphanList = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database $DatabaseName -query "exec sp_change_users_login 'Report'" 
    
    #Check the orphan count, proceed if there are any.
    if ($OrphanList -ne $null -or $OrphanList.Count -gt 0)
    {
        #Process each orphaned user.
        foreach ($Orphan in $OrphanList)
        {
            #Set database user pricipal name.
            $User = $Orphan.UserName

            #Set login name from source instance.
            $Login = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$SourceSQLInstance" -Database $DatabaseName -query "SELECT S.loginname FROM $DatabaseName.sys.database_principals as P 
                                                                                                join master..syslogins S on P.sid = S.sid where P.name = '$User'"
            #Make the login name a string for easy use.
            $LoginName = $Login.loginname
            
            #Test for whether the login exists on this instance. If it does, match it to the user.
            if ($LoginList.name -contains $LoginName)
            {
                
                #Handle orphand dbo users. These cannot be updated by sp_change_users_login.
                if ($User -eq "dbo")
                {
                    
                    $Message = "Changing owner to $LoginName for database $DatabaseName."
                    $Message

                    Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database $DatabaseName -query "EXEC sp_changedbowner '$LoginName';"     

                }

                #For all other cases outside of dbo, use sp_change_users_login.
                else
                {
                    $Message = "Matching user $User to login $LoginName for database $DatabaseName on $DestSQLInstance."
                    $Message

                    #Update the user's login.
                    Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$DestSQLInstance" -Database $DatabaseName -query "exec sp_change_users_login 'update_one', '$User', '$LoginName'" 
                }
            }


            #Give an informative message when the login is not in the list.
            else
            {
                
                $Message = "Failed to update user $User for database $DatabaseName because there is no login on $DestSQLInstance."
                Write-Host $Message -ForegroundColor Yellow

            }
        }
    }
    
    #Inform if there are no orphans for this database. Happy day!
    else
        {
            $Message = "There are no orphans in database $DatabaseName."
            $Message
        }
}