Sunday, August 3, 2014

How do I get started with PowerShell?

My co-workers recently asked me how to get started with PowerShell.  
Many of them are still writing VBScript and I am VERY willing to help them stop writing VBScript.

So, I sent the following to them. Most of which is FREE.

Windows PowerShell Scripting


FREE E-books:


The VBScript-to-Windows PowerShell Conversion Guide

Don Jones’ "Learn 'Something' in a Month of Lunches" books are very good. 
I have this one.

For real world examples, I recommended:
Finally, The Stairway to SQL PowerShell looks like one of the easiest ways to start.
This is not meant to be a complete list because I didn't want to overwhelm them. You can always find more with your favorite search engine.
I'm hoping this post will help someone else get started with PowerShell. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Checking for SQL Server AlwaysOn patches for Windows Server 2008R2...

Time moves slower in a big company's data centers.

Meaning, you might not get to run SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability groups on Windows Server 2012. If not, you'll have to check several patches are applied for it to work correctly on Windows Server 2008 R2.

This excellent resource provides a list of the needed patches in the FREE AlwaysOn Setup Checklist PDF.

I think the easiest way to determine if all the required patches are installed is by using the PowerShell cmdlet get-hotfix with the -computername and -id parameters.

Beware, the example below is a single line.

get-hotfix -computername YourServerNameHere -id KB2494036, KB2494162, KB2520235, KB2524478, KB2531907, KB2550886, KB2552040, KB2578103, KB2578113, KB2582281, KB2616514, KB2654347, KB2687741, KB976097, KB980915


If any of the patches are found, a five column result set is returned. 

If all the patches are found, you'll see fifteen rows. 

If none of the patches are found, the command throws an error and you'll see red.
White beats red any day.
While writing this post, Windows Server 2012 was approved for PRODUCTION deployment at my big company. 

Does that mean time moves faster when you blog? ;-D


Thursday, July 3, 2014

My PASS Summit 2014 Abstract Feedback

I've just received my feedback from the review committee for the 2014 PASS Summit.  

I'm thrilled with this feedback even though my session was not accepted. 



This is the kind of feedback all potential speakers need going forward.

Thank you to the PASS leadership and the #sqlpass community for making this happen.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Tell me more...

I submitted one session for the 2014 PASS Summit.
I knew it was a long shot because...

It was a "Security" topic. 
I am not an MVP.
I am not a Consultant.
I am not an MCM.
I don't travel to SQL Saturdays outside of Florida. 

The only feedback I got was...

Session not accepted - allocated number for track filled based on session rating and topic coverage

Do I need to stay at a Holiday Inn Express to get accepted?

I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express when I spoke at SQL Saturday #298 in Jacksonville, FL.

Seriously, I've spoken at THIRTEEN SQL Saturdays so far and to my local user group a handful of times.

I have a regular job as a Lead DBA at an insurance company. Insurance companies don't get to the latest stuff as fast as other companies. I've talked about my own real world experience regarding automation and security hoping that it can help people in similar situations.

It's a good feeling to say you've submitted for PASS Summit.

The response when you are not accepted needs to provide more information. 

How did I score? 
Where did I rank among the other abstracts? 
Did I just miss?

I've played sports all my life. Sometimes, I've tried out for teams and didn't make the cut. It's a character building experience when you don't make the team but without additional feedback I've got nothing to build on.

I simply want to know how I scored and what the cutoff was.

Congratulations to all of you who did get accepted!








Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SQL Saturday #298 - I'm speaking!

I'll be speaking at SQL Saturday #298 in Jacksonville, FL on May 10, 2014.

If you work in an organization that is finding it increasingly difficult to allow SQL Server DBAs 24x7x365 sysadmin access to your Production servers, then I think you will find my session "SQL Server Security Easy Button" very interesting.

Attendees will learn how to define a permission set with a single script that allows database administrators to do routine work without sysadmin permission and how to elevate permissions quickly to respond to production emergencies. 

Attendees will leave this session with a complete script that provides the minimum necessary access database administrators require to maintain the database server without granting access to business data. 
In addition, I’ll talk about our real world experience with reduced permissions.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

SQL Saturday #273 Recap

I attended and spoke at SQL Saturday #273 on February 22, 2014.


Selfie in @aboutsqlserver session

My presentation "SQL Server Security Easy Button" went off without a hitch. My presentation files can be found here.

This was the first time the event was held at the University of South Florida's College of Business Building on the main campus in Tampa, FL.  It was an excellent facility for a SQL Saturday. No crowding, no bottlenecks, great classrooms. The atrium in this building provided the perfect place for vendors to setup and for people to network. As usual, an excellent lunch was provided by Latam's. A college campus is the perfect venue for a SQL Saturday. They have well-equipped classrooms and it gives students a chance to interact with people who are working the real jobs for which they are studying. 

Our event provided another public service. We were able to thaw out several people from the Great White North. Tom LaRock, Allen White, Grant Fritchey to name only a few were successfully thawed. Thank you for coming. ;-)

The sessions I attended were:
"Eternal story on temporal objects" by Dmitri Korotkevitch.  Dmitri reviewed all the possible temporal objects that SQL Server used and demonstrated the best way to use them. Afterwards, Dmitri told me that his Twitter account gained 25 followers after myself and Grant Fritchey tweeted during his session. He said, he now has more followers than tweets! I told him that he had to be capable of one epic tweet per day. The pictures he used to illustrate tempdb amusingly demonstrated his talking points.





Allen White's "Managing SQL Server Efficiently with PowerShell Remoting". Allen did an excellent job demonstrating how remoting makes it much easier to manage multiple machines and describing the maturation of PowerShell. It's much easier to build and configure a new database instance on Windows Server 2012 with the V4 cmdlets.




Chris Skorlinkski's "Your Best Interview Ever"
I was familiar with most of the material that Chris covered. The main concept I took away from this session was to have an "elevator speech" ready to describe yourself to potential employers. I loved the example he used for it. It accomplishes all the goals of an elevator speech. Identify yourself, describe what you can do, and what your objective is.




Thank you to Pam Shaw, Leigh Freijo, sponsors, speakers, and volunteers for putting on a great event! I especially appreciated that the volunteers printed and cut up the SpeedPass for the speakers!

Also, thank you to Brian Mitchell and Jonathan Keyahias for answering some questions I had related to projects I have in progress at work.

Finally, the best juggler at SQL Saturday #273 was Eric Wisdahl.


video








Saturday, February 8, 2014

SQL Saturday #273 Tampa - I'm speaking!








I'll be speaking at SQL Saturday #273 in Tampa on February 22, 2014.

If you work in an organization that is finding it increasingly difficult to allow SQL Server DBAs 24x7x365 sysadmin access to your Production servers, then I think you will find my session "SQL Server Security Easy Button" very interesting.

Attendees will learn how to define a permission set with a single script that allows database administrators to do routine work without sysadmin permission and how to elevate permissions quickly to respond to production emergencies.
Attendees will leave this session with a complete script that provides the minimum necessary access database administrators require to maintain the database server without granting access to business data.
In addition, I’ll talk about our real world experience with reduced permissions.

I'm looking forward to SQL Saturday #273 in Tampa.

Hope to see you there!