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Category: Tools

sqltxls Now Supported Cross-Platform

Randolph West has made sql2xls work on Linux and MacOS:

Last year I released sql2xls, a free open-source tool which lets you throw a bunch of scripts into a folder, run them automatically against SQL Server and get the results back in a nicely-formatted Excel file, one tab per script.

A year later, I am happy to announce that the tool now runs cross-platform. You can compile and run it with .NET Core 3.1 LTS to run on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It uses the new Microsoft.Data.SqlClient library from NuGet, as well as the latest beta of ClosedXML.

Read on for a few more tips and go check the project out.

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Real-Time Replay with WorkloadTools

Gianluca Sartori shows us how to perform a real-time replay with WorkloadTools:

Before we jump to how, I’d better spend some words on why a real-time replay is needed.

The main reason is the complexity involved in capturing and analyzing a workload for extended periods of time. Especially when performing migrations and upgrades, it is crucial to capture the entire business cycle, in order to cover all possible queries issued by the applications. All existing benchmarking tools require to capture the workload to a file before it can be analyzed and/or replayed, but this becomes increasingly complicated when the length of the business cycle grows.

I’m not sure how frequently I’d use real-time replays, but it’s nice to know that it’s pretty easy to pull off with WorkloadTools.

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Disaster Recovery for Your Workstation

Randolph West explains that disaster recovery isn’t just for your servers:

I just completed a chapter for another book where I spoke about the Recovery Point Objective (how much data you are prepared to lose) and Recovery Time Objective (how long you have to bring your environment up again) after a disaster, and while I never get tired of repeating myself, that’s SQL Server. What happens if your development environment — or workstation — experiences a catastrophic failure?

Or what if, say, you’re on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean with Internet access and a phone (but no laptop) and your on-call person just died? (I’ll leave this as an exercise for the reader to decide if this really happened.)

The answer is, if we do a careful bit of planning using the same disaster recovery principles we already know, the impact could be minimal. Note that this post assumes that you have Internet access and are using Microsoft Windows as your environment.

Click through for some useful suggestions.

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Diagnosing and Resolving CPU Issues

Jeff Iannucci has a story to tell:

Anyhow, [Erik] Darling’s tool is designed to provide five data sets showing a quick view of memory and processor usage based on several dynamic management views (DMVs). It’s gives you a quick look into what’s going on when the CPU and/or memory of your SQL Server instance are feeling discomfort.

Why do I mention this? Because little did I know the very next day I would be presented with a fine opportunity to use this tool. And by opportunity I mean a server on fire. (Well, not literally, but still…)

Click through for a description of sp_pressure_detector and a testimonial of its utility.

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Creating a UI in Powershell

Michael Berthold walks us through a useful example of using POSHGUI’s UI editor:

Some time back, a customer and I were working with the SentryOne PowerShell Module. Our PowerShell Module lets you manage the targets you are monitoring with SentryOne using a script or command line rather than the UI. This is a great time saver when you’re administering performance monitoring for hundreds or thousands of database servers.

The customer and I worked together to type up the commands they wanted for their script. They mentioned how it would be great if there were a GUI for this. This seemed odd initially, because the reason we were doing this in the first place was to automate these actions outside of a GUI. We spoke on it for a bit, and their meaning become clear. They envisioned a simple GUI used to guide in defining the commands for the PowerShell Module. I agreed that this would be helpful in getting a head start on scripting automation. I decided to find a way to fill this need.

This post explores one way to create a GUI using PowerShell. I’m using the SentryOne PowerShell Module for this example, but this method can be used for any PowerShell script.

Click through to see the example.

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Undercover Catalogue 0.4

David Fowler announces a new release of the Undercover Catalogue:

The first major change that 0.4.0 brings is centralisation. With previous versions of the Catalogue, it’s been a requirement to have the Catalogue schema and procs installed on every server that you want to monitor.

0.4 changes that, there is now no need to have anything installed on any of the target instances. Simply install the Catalogue in one place, on your central configuration server and add any instances that you require monitored to the Catalogue.ConfigInstances table.

This makes it much easier to add in instances to the Catalogue.

There are a few other updates as well, so check them out.

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Tools for Using SQL Server on Linux

Kellyn Pot’vin-Gorman has a list of tools you can use to make working with SQL Server on Linux a bit easier:

Along with the above versions of Linux distributions, SQL Server 2019 is supported in a container scenario using a Docker image.  Running a SQL Server database inside a Docker engine with Linux offers more flexibility, faster recovery, and quicker deployments, including deployments into the Azure cloud. For those becoming familiar with Linux, Docker for Windows or Mac gives you the option to run a Docker engine on your workstation with SQL Server 2019 on Linux.

Along with Docker technology, orchestration can be achieved, both managing and deploying SQL Server containers on Linux using Red Hat Open shift or Kubernetes. This includes SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters (BDC), fully scalable clusters with SQL Server, Spark, and Hadoop File System (HDFS). BDCs provide the ability to read, write, and analyze big data with T-SQL or Spark, and you can combine big data and relational data, too.

The set of tools just happens to be almost exactly the same set of tools as for Windows, but there are a few differences.

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An Ode to the SQLCallstackResolver

Jonathan Kehayias really likes the SQLCallstackResolver project:

Lately, I have been doing a lot of work troubleshooting certain behaviors in SQL Server for workloads that are, to put it simply, designed horribly. As a part of this, I have found it necessary to collect callstacks with Extended Events and to materialize them using the debugger symbols for SQL Server to see where exactly certain types of issues are being encountered to better understand some of the internals of newer features in SQL Server 2017 and 2019. Years ago I blogged about how to use the package0.callstack action in Extended Events for this type of thing, and Paul also has a blog post that talks about how to download the PDB symbols for SQL Server as well as a post that also demonstrates using the package0.callstack action to determine what causes a particular wait type. Using the debugging tools to get the symbols is somewhat clunky and tedious, so when I happened on this amazingly simple method of getting symbol files I had to share it.

The SQLCallstackResolver on Github has to be one of the greatest things since sliced bread if you want to materialize callstacks from SQL Server. 

Arvind Shyamsundar deserves a lot of credit for putting it together; he did a great job with the project.

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SQL Undercover Inspector v2

Adrian Buckman announces version 2.0 of Undercover Inspector:

There is a new setting in the Settings table called ‘ReportDataDetailedSummary’ this setting is on or off (0 or 1) and will control the level of detail logged in the summary column. When set to a 1 you will get granular detail of Warning/Advisory counts per server per module, setting this setting to 0 will return it back to the original way of logging which was to summarize the entire report into Warning count and advisory count.

There are a lot of changes in here.

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