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Category: Administration

What to Use Instead of Get-EventLog

Emin Atac gets a scary message:

When you type the following

Get-EventLog-SourceMicrosoft-Windows-Kernel-General-Newest20-LogNameSystem-InstanceId1 | Select-ExpandPropertyMessage

You get

Possible detection of CVE: 2023-01-09T09:08:23.5000000Z
Additional Information: 2023-01-08T19:56:29.1492612Z
This Event is generated when an attempt to exploit a known vulnerability (2023-01-09T09:08:23.5000000Z) is detected.
This Event is raised by a User mode process.

Read on to learn what this error message means, why it pops up, and what you can do to avoid it in the future.

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App-Consistent and Crash-Consistent Snapshots in SQL Server

Andrew Pruski talks snapshots:

When we talk about snapshots of SQL Server there are two types, application consistent snapshots and crash consistent snapshots.

Application consistent snapshots require freezing IO on a database allowing for a checkpoint to be performed in order to write all dirty pages to disk.

In the past, application consistent snapshots relied on the third party software to call the SQL Writer service but now with SQL Server 2022 T-SQL snapshot backups we have the ability to use T-SQL commands to freeze IO on a database in order for us to take an application consistent snapshot of the database.

Read on for more detail on the topic. With SQL Server 2022, I’ve softened a bit on using snapshots for data retention—prior to that, I was not a fan of the idea.

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PostgreSQL Sans Superuser in v16

Robert Haas doesn’t wear a cape:

As I’ve written about before, a PostgreSQL superuser always has the ability to take over the operating system account in which PostgreSQL is running, but sometimes you’d like to have a role that can administer the database but not break out of it. In existing releases, there’s no good way to accomplish that. You can either make a new role so weak that it can’t perform ordinary administration tasks, or you can make it so strong that it can easily break into the operating system account and thus take over the superuser role as well. Unless you hack the source code, which some people have done, there’s no real way to set up an account that has enough power to usefully administer the database in meaningful ways but yet not enough power to take over everything. I’ve committed a number of patches to v16 to try to improve the situation, and I think that we can look forward to big improvements in this area once it is released.

Read on for some of the implications of this change.

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Tools for the DBA Jumpbox

Tracy Boggiano has a script:

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about the tools I use on my jumpbox you can read here.  Since then, I have automated most of the install with Chocately and so I’ll have the script later I’m going to blog it here.  First, we need to install Chocately on the jumpbox by opening PowerShell as the adminstrator.

Read on to see how to do that, the installation of a slew of tools via Chocolatey, and then several Powershell modules.

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Finding a Scalar Function Caller

Matthew McGiffen searches for the root of the problem:

In this post we look at a method using Extended Events (XE) to identify what parent objects are calling a given SQL function and how often.

The background is that I was working with a team where we identified that a certain scalar function was being executed billions of time a day and – although lightweight for a single execution – overall it was consuming significant CPU on the server. We discussed a way of improving things but it required changing the code that called it. The problem was that the function was used in about 700 different places across the database code – both in stored procedures and views – though the views themselves would then be referenced by other stored procedures. Rather than update all the code they’d like to target the objects first that execute the function the most times.

Read on to see how Matthew did it, as well as some caveats along the way.

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Well-Architected Framework for Oracle in Azure

Kellyn Pot’vin-Gorman has a new tool for us:

This invaluable framework provides clear guidance on the recommended practices to assess, architect and migrate Oracle workloads to the Azure cloud.  This should be the first place for answers to success for Oracle on Azure!

A special thanks to my teammate, Jessica Haessler for working so hard to help me get this to the finish line, as I would have never been able to get this done on my own!  

Click through for a link to the guide. There isn’t a Well-Architected Framework assessment for this yet but the WAF articles themselves have quite a bit of detail to them.

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Building a Power BI Audit Log

Reza Rad analyzes Power BI logs in Power BI:

Power BI dashboard and reports come with a usage metric, which you can see how users used this content. There is another report for usage metrics across the entire tenant, which you can see if you have access to the Power BI Administrator account under Admin Panel in the Power BI Service. However, what if you want to create your own detailed usage metrics report across the entire tenant? How if you want to see across all workspaces in the tenant, how was the consumption of reports and dashboards? Who created reports, who are users of them, in which workspace these are located and etc. This information is not easily accessible in the Power BI Service. In this article and video, I will show you how to extract the Audit log from Office 365, export it into text files, and create a Power BI report from it, or in other words, How to create your custom usage metrics report across the tenant. If you like to learn more about Power BI, read the Power BI book from Rookie to Rock Star.

Click through for a video as well as the full blog post.

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Using Power BI Powershell Cmdlets

Reza Rad explains the value of the Power BI Powershell cmdlet set:

Power BI has a set of PowerShell Cmdlets that help automate part of the operations with Power BI. However, PowerShell is not a commonly familiar technology. In the world of Power BI, we are used to working with graphical options and settings provided in the tools and the service. However, using commands provided for Power BI in a command/scripting tool such as PowerShell can be an excellent asset for a Power BI administrator, architect, and developer. In this article and video, you will learn about the PowerShell Cmdlets for Power BI, what they are, how they can be helpful, and examples of using them.

There are more modules than I expected there to be and Reza does a good job of walking through them.

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Setting CPU Affinity (Correctly)

Taiob Ali does something out of the ordinary:

Setting CPU affinity in SQL Server is not a task you do every day. Rarely are there use cases when you need to do that. I had a recent requirement to do it. We plan to replace a physical server with half of its current CPU. Primarily due to faster CPU and workload moved off of SQL Server to other cloud services. To test, we needed to set the CPU affinity mask in one of our non-production servers. In the research, I learned about the side effect of setting CPU affinity mask, which is nicely explained in this ( by Klaus Aschenbrenner) and this (by Adam Denby) blog post.

Click through to learn more about the process.

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Reviewing the Power BI Admin Portal

Reza Rad looks at administrative options:

In the world of Power BI, there are some configurations in the Desktop tool and some on the Service. One of these critical configurations is the Tenant Settings of the Power BI administrator panel. Tenant settings have a list of highly important configurations across your Power BI tenant. If you miss configuring the settings properly, it may result in leaking the data, authorizing people who should not be authorized to see reports and many other catastrophic scenarios. In this article and video, you will learn the configurations available in Tenant settings and the recommended options for each. If you want to learn more about Power BI, read the Power BI book from Rookie to Rock Star.

Click through for a video, as well as a detailed description of what’s available in the admin portal.

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