The Multifunctioning DBA

Mar 18 2011   5:14PM GMT

Doing the Impossible

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I ran into a situation that I do not know that I have ever had before but it really turned out to be a lot of fun and I thought I would share.

So I know a company that uses a third party utility to handle backing up and restoring databases. They asked me to come in and look at the way things were running and make some recommendations about what should change, and what we can do to make things better. I came in and took a look. first I asked for a list of all SQL Server instances in the company and they could not provide. I asked for network segments and asked if I could run a discovery. After that I had a pretty good list. So I asked the person in charge of the backups if they could provide me a list of all the instances that the third party utility was backing up. They told me that was impossible!!!

While I was in discussions with them I was also running a script that touched all the instances that I found and checked the last backup date. I found a number that had not ever been backed up. I mentioned this to the person in charge of backups and he told me that he was 100% sure that ALL databases were being backed up.

Since my data and his assertions did not match up, and he told me it was not possible to get the list of instances I took that as a challenge. I accepted the challenge and after about 5 minutes of research and 30 minutes of scripting in powershell I was able to gather a list of instances that the tool was backing up. I found that over 50 instances in my discovered list are not in the tools list.

This just shows that just because a GUI does not give you a button to push to get information does not mean that you can not get it. Think outside of the box and you can almost always get what you need.

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