The Multifunctioning DBA


May 29, 2009  2:41 PM

Powershell Plus

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I have been using PowerShell Plus for my PowerShell IDE. It is not free but I really think that it is the best IDE for PowerShell. They released version 3.0 not to long ago and it is even better. Along with the great code editor, debugger, and interactive window, they have added a learning center, and a nice little quick click library. this library is a side bar on the interactive Console that has some simple one liners that come in handy. Just click it to run it. They have them broken down into groups like computer managment, Printer managment, and Network Management just to name a few. Please check it out and support a great product. Try out the 30 day trial at least.

http://www.idera.com/Products/PowerShell/

May 29, 2009  2:36 PM

SQL Server Certs

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I have been talking about what I would like to do to further my education and my carreer as a DBA. I started reading the books in order to study for my MCITP DBA certification and the other members of my team decided that they would like to do the same. They both ordered the books as well and now we are going to attempt to get the certification as a team. We just started working as a group on this and we are doing a 3 hour study session per week and trying to get three chapters of the book done per week. We read the chapters on our own and then we can work the problems, case scenarios, and the examples in the book together. This is great since if any one of us has any questions we can talk about it and make sure that we all understand the concepts.

I think I will gain the most out of this arrangement since I am the new guy still and they have a lot more experiance than I do. I recommend trying to do this type of thing in a group for a couple of reasons.

1. For me this will really push me forward and I will be more driven to get it all done

2. I work better in a group and if I have others that understand concepts I learn best from them.


May 20, 2009  4:32 PM

Iris Pen

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

My wife is still in school and she wanted a way to scan lines from her book into some application in order to print notecards. She found the solution and it works really well. Thought I would pass it along to you all. It is called the Iris Pen.

http://www.irislink.com/c2-1056-189/IRISPen-Express—the-smart-handheld-scanner–.aspx?adwp=GGS-IP&gclid=COy5lY2oy5oCFRMUagodAHZK2g

This is a cool highlighter sized scanner with a pretty good OCR. It types what you have scanned into any application.  I have set it up on her Netbook and she is using Word 2007 with the Avery 5388 3X5 Index card template. It scans the text right in and then she can manipulate it in any way that she wants. Ie, bold, italic, hightlight, ….

If you are looking for a small handheld USB scanner that can scan directly into an application then this is it. I am sure that I will use it to make flashcards for me as well for the MCITP tests. I really think that it will help make my study faster as well.

Check it out.


May 20, 2009  4:27 PM

Oracle Upgrade Complete

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Last Sunday morning I came in to work at just after 2:00 AM and did the upgrade on our Production Oracle system. Since I had done this a few times on our test system I was ready for anything to happen. I had already installed the new version of Oracle and so I brought the DB Down changed my $ORACLE_HOME and went to work. Launched the DBUA and saw no instances available for upgrade. I closed DBUA and went to my oratab file and I saw that my current 9 version entry was in the file. Also had some commented out instances. I tried again and had the same result. Back to oratab and I deleted all the commented entries out. Now I can see my instance in DBUA.

Let DBUA do its thing and I was done in less than 2 hours. Since I was prepared for anything, almost nothing went wrong. We have been live with Oracel 10.2.0.4 since then and have had no issue.


May 20, 2009  4:26 PM

Wii Game

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Yesterday on my way home I stopped and picked up the new Punchout Game for the Nintendo Wii. I was a huge fan of Mike Tysons Punchout on the regular NES so I was pretty happy to see Punchout come to the Wii. I did not know that you can use the balance board with this game as well. I thought that was pretty cool. You use it for ducking and dodging. I found that it seems to be a bit slow to react so it is tough to get your timing down on it. It is a lot of fun though. If you were a fan on Mike Tysons, or any in the Punchout series I think that you will love this game. Some old familiar faces and some new ones appear in the game.

have fun and get a workout while doing it. Let me know what you think of the game.


May 19, 2009  10:10 PM

NO AC

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

We had a bit of fun today. The AC units in our secondary data center went out. This, as you can imagine, caused a bit of a panic. We have some DR stuff, Test, Dev, and some Production that runs from this facility and we certainly do not want to lose any hardware. We were in a mad rush to determine what we could shutdown and what had to stay up. We were able to get about 60% of the hosts at that location shut down before the temperature became hot enough to cause any damage. About 10 minutes after we started shutting down they were able to get the AC back on. It was out for less then 1 hour and the temperature climbed up to over 100 in the room. Within 30 minutes of it coming back up we were back down into the mid 80’s. Close call but it appears that we have made it out OK this time. I think we will leave most servers down until tomorrow just to make sure the AC is dependable overnight. All I can say is it is a good thing we have alarms on in that room. Just make sure that you do as well.


May 19, 2009  10:05 PM

Frog Puzzle

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Here is a fun puzzle that a friend sent to me. I thought that all you geeks might like it as much as I did. This is a bit of a challenge but it is very possible. Took me about 5 minutes to solve it, see if you can do better. Good Luck

http://funstufftosee.com/frogleaptest.html


April 30, 2009  9:15 PM

Powershell Ping (Cont)

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Earlier this month I posted about SQL Ping Servers Script that I was working on to notify different groups if a server was down or just SQL Server was down or just the agent was down. Well here is the next part. This is the Ping_Interface Function of the script. This goes out and does a normal dos ping and looks at the return value. Sends only 1 packet and checks for 0% loss to be in the return value. Anything but that and it fails. If it fails it checks the ping_failure variable. If that is 0 then it knows to send the notification out and it puts the touch file on the filesystem so that on the next run it knows that it sent the notification out on the last run. Windows team did not want to be overtly notified that a server was down. Not my idea. So here is the function and if you have any questions head to http://sysadminsmith.com and click the ‘Submit a Question’ link.

##Ping_Interface

function
Ping_Interface

{

echo
“nt users are $ntusers”

$pingresult
=
ping
$machine
-n 1

if ($pingresult
-like
“*(0% loss*”)

{

## Server Interface is responsive

## Remove Ping Failure file from monitoring folder if ping is successful and file exists.

$pingfail
= 0

if (test-path
“i:\$folder\ping_Failure.txt”)

{

del
“i:\$folder\ping_Failure.txt”

}

echo
“Ping Interface is succseful for $machine” >> “i:\OUT\ping_with_service_check.txt”

Check_Services
## Check to see if the SQL Server and the SQLAgent are running via WMI

}

else

{

## Server Interface is non-responsive

$pingfail
= 1

if (!(test-path
“i:\$folder\ping_Failure.txt”))

{

New-Item
-force
-itemType
file
-path
“i:\$folder\ping_Failure.txt”

}

## Check if this is first time and if it has been more than 6 hours since notification was sent.

if (($pingfail
-eq 1) -and ($pingnoemail
-eq 0))

{

$users
=
get-content
-path
“i:\$folder\email”
|
Sort-Object
|
Get-Unique

$users
=
$users
+
$NTusers

$Subject
=
“Unable to Ping $machine”

$body
=
“$machine is not responding to Ping. $pingresult.”

echo
“Ping interface failed for $machine, Sending notification to Systems Team and DBA Team” >> “i:\OUT\ping_with_service_check.txt”

Notify

}

else

{

echo
“Ping interface failed for $machine, notification has already been sent.” >> “i:\OUT\ping_with_service_check.txt”

}


}

}


April 29, 2009  9:26 PM

SQL Server Training Kit

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I received my SQL Server 2005 Certification Training kit in the mail and have started on the first book. I am trying to do a chapter a day so that I will be able to take the test in a month or less. So far I have only done two chapters in two days but the book is not bad to read and has good explanation. I am doing all the practices, questions, and case studies. So far nothing has been to hard and it has been stuff that I already have a good understanding of with the exception of the bit of encryption that it got into. Nothing to hard though. I am looking forward to Chapter 3 to learn more about the configuration options on the server. I am hoping to be able to help performance on some of my instances once I get a feel for what all the options really mean and how they affect the server.


April 29, 2009  7:27 PM

Error while installing SQL Server 2005 SP 3

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

I have installed SP3 on a few SQL Servers with no issue at all. The other day I go to install it on a production instance and it fails with the following error:

A Recently Applied Update, KB955706, failed to install.

The update failed with that error for the following services:

Database Services

Notification Services

Integration Services

Client Components

I then went and looked into the log files for each that failed and I noticed some interesting things. Here are the highlights:

Warning: Local cached package ‘C:\WINDOWS\Installer\8510ea.msi’ is missing.

Couldn’t find local patch ‘C:\WINDOWS\Installer\549bc1bf.msp’. Looking for it at its source.

MainEngineThread is returning 1635

This patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer patch package.

D:\SQL Installer\Disk 1\Setup\SqlRun_SQL.msi

So I started googleing like crazy and I was just about ready to call MS to open a case when I found the best writeup ever on this problem.

http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlserverfaq/archive/2009/01/30/part-1-sql-server-2005-patch-fails-to-install-with-an-error-unable-to-install-windows-installer-msp-file.aspx

I followed the instructions here on a clone of the server and everything worked perfect. Now I just need to make sure that no one ever touches the c:\Windows\Installer directory when trying to free up disk space.


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