You’re like the calmest failing job, I need you louder with a DPA alert…

I have an RDS instance that when backups are failing, we have no idea. We use DPA as one of our alerting systems, but with RDS, failing agent jobs are harder to find. I took the built in RDS status stored procedure and adjusted it enough to send me an alert through DPA so I can know that there are problems.

There are a couple of things I have already done, I have set up my RDS instance to talk to DPA, I have granted my DPA user access to run what it needs in RDS and I have set up a user in DPA that can email\call me when there is a problem. I used this post about DPA to help me get the basics done and then I did a lot of trial and error on my code to get the alert working just right.

This is the basic status stored proc that is telling me if my backups are working or not:

exec msdb.dbo.rds_task_status @db_name='MyDatabaseName';

I tried a few things and finally realized I needed to drop it into a temp table so that I could filter it down to only get what I need:

CREATE TABLE #tempAlert 
(task_id	bigint
,task_type	varchar(200)
,database_name	varchar(200)
,[% complete] int
,[duration(mins)] int	
,lifecycle varchar(20)
,task_info	varchar(8000)
,last_updated	datetime2
,created_at	datetime2
,S3_object_arn	varchar(2000)
,overwrite_S3_backup_file	int
,KMS_master_key_arn	varchar(200)
,filepath	varchar(200)
,overwrite_file int);

INSERT INTO #tempAlert
exec msdb.dbo.rds_task_status @db_name='MyDatabaseName';

FROM #TempAlert
WHERE task_type = 'BACKUP_DB_DIFFERENTIAL' AND last_updated > GETDATE()-1 AND lifecycle <> 'SUCCESS';

DROP TABLE #TempAlert;

This code is specifically looking for any diff failures in the last day, if I want fulls, I switch task_type = ‘BACKUP_DB_DIFFERENTIAL’ to task_type = ‘BACKUP_DB’.

In DPA, I go to ALERTS >>Manage Alerts and select “Custom” for my Alert Category and “Customer SQL Alert – Multiple Numeric Return” for my Alert Type then select “Create Alert”.

I gave it a name that was descriptive and changed my Execution Interval to once a day. I don’t want it to be firing all the time against my RDS instance and running up my bill. I could run it more often if I wanted. I added some text to my “Notification Text” box that will be helpful to anyone that gets the alert. I selected my Database instances that I wanted this alert to execute against. In the “SQL Statement” I pasted the bit of code above that creates the temp table, runs the stored procedure and inserts the results into that temp table, then filters the results and finally drops the temp table.

Finally, in the Alert Level and Notifications section, I set the “High” row of “Min” to a value of one and the “Max” I left empty, then added my Notification Group. I tested it to make sure all the connections were working properly and then I saved it. “I am the backup, I am the failure and I am the alert”.

The song for this post is Matt Maeson – Mr. Rattlebone

Load quick, got a list of files that need to be in a table…

Yes, I am trying to do a version of log-shipping that doesn’t require linking any servers and allows them to be in different domains. I also know I am crazy.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me show you some of the stuff I am doing! Loading a table from multiple file locations using Powershell. It will go and read what is in the directories and load them into a table for me (Oh my goodness, I knew Powershell was cool, but it took me so long to figure this out, that I was super proud with how fast it loaded).

First, the housekeeping. Create two tables in a DBA Database:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[LogshippingFile](
	[FileName] [varchar](500) NULL,
	[FileLocation] [varchar](1000) NULL,
	[FileType] [char](1) NULL,
	[Origin] [varchar](50) NULL,
	[ForDatabase] [varchar](50) NULL,
	[CreatedDate] [datetime2](7) NULL,
	[Applied] [bit] NOT NULL

ALTER TABLE [dbo].[LogshippingFile] ADD  CONSTRAINT [DF_LogshippingFiles_Applied]  DEFAULT ((0)) FOR [Applied]
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Config](
	[Origin] [varchar](50) NULL,
	[FileLocation] [varchar](500) NULL,
	[Type] [char](1) NULL

In the Config table, I am going to put the common name for the database I am restoring so the rows will look like this:

Batman J:\FullBackups\Batman B
Batman J:\LogBackups\Batman L
Superman J:\FullBackups\Superman B
Superman J:\LogBackups\Superman L

Yay! Now we can get to the fun stuff. This is how I set up the Powershell:

# Credentials for connection to SQL Server. 
$username = 'Batgirl'
$password = '!Pennyworth54'
#Connecting to the SQL Server and Query to get FileLocation and Origin from the Config table. 
$DS = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "BatCave01" -Database "DBAStuff" -Username $username -Password $password -Query "SELECT FileLocation, Origin FROM Config" -As DataSet

#Magic that puts my two columns into variables
$data = $DS.Tables[0].Rows
ForEach ($Row in $data) {
$FileLocation = $Row.FileLocation 
$Origin = $Row.Origin

#Build my insert statement so Powershell knows what to expect. 
#gets all the filenames and loads them into the table. 
INSERT INTO LogshippingFile

Get-ChildItem -Recurse $FileLocation  | 
select Name,FullName, 
    Expression={($FileLocation.Substring(10,1))}}, @{
    Expression={($Origin)}}, @{
    Expression={'Gryphon_'+($Origin)}} |
   # @{Label="Length";Expression={$_.Length / 1024KB -as [int] }}  |
ForEach-Object {
          $SQL = $sqlstatement -f  $,$_.FullName, $_.FileType, $_.Origin, $_.ForDatabase #,  $_.Length		
    Invoke-sqlcmd -Username $username -Password $password -Query $SQL -ServerInstance “BatCave01” -database “DBAStuff” -Querytimeout 0

Now we have all this data in the table, what do we do with it? Guess you will have to tune in again to this same Bat channel.

The song for this post is Matt Nathanson’s Kiss Quick

It was the coldest night of the year a query with a lot of columns had me in tears…

Yesterday I was working with Jason so super big thank you to him for this script.  We were writing an insert statement and it had a lot of columns.  I was getting ready to script out the table when he showed me this little bit of code.  If you enter your database name and table name it will give you all your columns with commas.  You can even toss your alias in the query so you don’t have to spend a bunch of time adding it.

Declare @DBName as varchar(100)
Declare @tablename as varchar (100)

Set @DBName = 'MyDatabaseName'
Set @tablename = 'MyTableName'

, Stuff(
Select ', ' + C.COLUMN_NAME
For Xml Path('')
), 1, 2, '') As Columns
and T.TABLE_NAME=@tablename

I hope you enjoy it too!