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Finding and Documenting SQL Server Instances

Tracy Boggiano continues a series on things to do at a new job as a DBA:

In my previous post, I expounded on my first 30 days I had at four jobs in the last four years. and how to setup your jobs box. I commented and got quoted on the fact that if it’s documented I don’t support it. So, these are methods of getting things documented, some including just having to have meetings, others running code.

One I believe in having a Central Management Server (CMS) where you can register your servers. Put them in as many groups as you desire but have core group such as Dev, Test, QA, UAT, Prod, Prod Sec, etc. The rest could be by application name if needed. I always have a set of names that are for the DBAs to use to do our work, other teams can have theirs for their work, i.e., deploying code.

If you aren’t using dbatools yet you should be. While not every shop can use to manage everything it is works every well for most tasks and that includes scanning the network for SQL Instances. Because unless you could into a well oiled machine there will be instances they don’t know about and one day someone will come knocking asking to fix it. Warn your security team before you run this.

Read on for examples of how you can find instances (assuming the security team is okay with it!), some of the information you’d want to document, and more. I would also recommend the most recent episode of the SQL Data Partners podcast, in which we talk to Jen and Sean McCown about documenting and managing your SQL Server inventory.