With the current pandemic enforced usage of Teams over chatting at the water machine I wanted a way to hide the background.
My wife’s a nurse, so the home ‘office’ is hers for patient confidentiality atm, which means I’m nomading around the house. This means my background varies a lot, so having something different than an untidy shelf of books, the kitchen counter or a blinding window glare behind me would be nice
There’s plenty of windows hints on having a custom Teams background on Windows, but not so much about having them on a Mac. With a bit of digging it turn out that if you want a custom Teams background on your Mac it’s quite simple after all.
Just drop the images you want Teams to use as a custom background into that folder and they’ll show up in the gallery.
It seems Teams isn’t picky about which file format you use for a custom background. I’ve tried png, jpeg and gif, and they all work fine. Unfortunately animated gifs don’t work, which is both a good and a bad thing depending on your personal love of gifs
With a number of the large in person Data Platform conferences and meetups having to cancel or take a hiatus due to the current Covid-19 outbreak, Matt Gordon (b | t) and myself decided to do something about it.
So we came up with Data Platform Discovery Day. A 2 day online event aimed at those people who are looking for a start in the Data Platform world or are wanting to learn some fundamentals about an aspect of it.
Each day with run alongside business hours across a different continent, and will feature ten 50 minute sessions. Each day will have different speakers, and if you want there’s nothing to stop you attending both if you fancy an early morning or late night
Day 1 is running during US daytime on 29th April. The first session will begin at 9am Eastern Time, and then a new session will being at the top of each hour
Day is running during European daytime on 30th April. The first session will begin at 9am BST (UTC+1), again with a new session starting at the top of each hour.
Registration for the events with start once we’ve finalised the speakers.
And talking of speakers, the Call for Papers for both events are open. You can submit to both events if you want. Please remember that sessions are 50 minutes, and content should ideally be Level 100 material.
However, I’m developing on my Macbook Pro as I want this module to be nicely platform agnostic. SQL Server is running nicely in docker and dbatools can connect to it happily. But I just can’t get sqlcmd to work, lots of TCP Provider: Error code 0x102 and TCP Provider: Error code 0x2AF9 messages no matter what I try. So being short on time I though I’d try something else, and hopefully this will work when I get Linux build running as well
The scripts I want to run create databases, users, schemas and whole lot more, so there’s lots of batch separators (; and GO) in them.Invoke-DbaQuery is a great function, but it doesn’t like working with batch separators (which is not through want of trying, it’s just really tricky). So time to drop back to some raw SMO to run the scripts in with ExecuteNonQuery()
I’ve added a variable to my builds that lets me pick when I want to run via SQLCMD or via SMO. At the minute I’m just using it on my machine, but if I run into problems later, it’s nice to now I can just toggle by looking at which platform it’s running.
I’m currently migrating a lot of SQL Server instances onto newer virtual machines. Quite a few of these instances talk to each other via Linked Server for various historical reasons. And a lot of that chat is done via distributed transactions, which means configuring MS Distributed Transaction Coordinator.
So one of the first things I need to do, is check that that DTC is working between the 2 boxes. This is dead simple with official PowerShell module for msdtc. It’s as simple as running Test-Dtc and then working through any errors. So, we just run this:
and as this is a post about fixing something, it won’t suprise you that I’m going to get an error message:
"The OleTx CID on SOURCE and DESTINATION is the same. The CID should be unique to each computer."
At C:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\MsDtc\TestDtc.psm1:266 char:13
+ throw ([string]::Format($Strings.SameCids, "OleTx", $Loca ...
+ CategoryInfo : OperationStopped: ("The OleTx CID ...each computer.":String) , RuntimeException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : "The OleTx CID on SOURCE and DESTINATION is the same. The CID should be uniqu
e to each computer."
But in much more fetching shared of red and yellow, announcing that “The OleTx CID on SOURCE and DESTINATION is the same. The CID should be unique to each computer.”
The cause is really simple to grasp. When the Distributed Transaction Coordinator is installed it registers a GUID to identify it, the theory being a GUID clash should be a vanishingly rare occurance.
That is, until someone’s cloning Virtual Machines. So I have a batch of shiny new VMs that all think they’re the same instance of DTC. That’s not so good. It used to be the accepted fix was to manually remove the the distributed transaction coordinator, clean the registry, restart and then reinstall everything. That sounds like a lot of work to me!
The msdtc module makes it very simple to do, so we’re staring off here:
So you’ve got the when, and you’ve got the who, now how do you precede? Remember you could be holding someone’s job or professional reputation in your hands.
As a long time DBA I’m well aware that applications are not always the best written things, and instructions don’t always spell out correctly what an option is going to do.
In the case I was writing about I withheld the name from general knowledge, a single senior manager was made aware that I knew and would be investigating. Why did I do this?
In the case of this particular third party application , there were a couple.
Deleting data within the app should write data to an internal audit trail, this hadn’t
Users cannot generate their own SQL queries, so this wasn’t an ad hoc query either
The single row delete was in it’s own transaction
This particular app is badly written. We’ve seen it fail to correctly write it’s own ini files on exit
It has a habit of crashing out for no reason
So a bit like a lot of applications out there. Now I had some time to investigate I started by going through logs on the client Windows machine and trying to replicate on my own.
Eventually I traced it back to a coding error in the application where they processed an Update as:
Delete old data
Insert new data
Write audit log
None of this happened in an encompassing transaction (from studying the Transaction Log). So when the app crashed just after step 1, the row was just left missing and nothing there.
To the user who was logged in at the time, they wouldn’t have been aware of the crash as the GUI doesn’t display app status. The crash also happened at 16:55, which is pretty much home time so they wouldn’t have looked at the record again
Now I had the evidence I could talk to the Senior manager and show that we needed to raise this with the supplier, and that the user was blameless, but that we should recommend to users that they should double check any updates to be sure.
Releasing the name to a less trusted source without this background information would have probably led to the user being blamed for something that wasn’t really their fault
So, just because you have the information it doesn’t mean it’s actionable with adding more context and knowledge around it.
It’s all been a bit quiet around here with lots on at work and training for a marathon. One piece of new I’ve not menitoned is that I’m now CISSP certified 👍. I sat the exam in December, but it’s taken a while for the paperwork and accreditation to get sorted and for everything to become official
The main thing I’ve taken away from studying for the certification is that process rules everything. As an in the trenches DBA we’re more worried about the specifics of SQL Server permissions or the Oracle auiting is correct. But why are we doing those things, and are we doing them correctly?
Correctly doesn’t just mean technically correct, we’re almost certainly doing them that way or things will break. What I mean is are we correctly implementing the processes and policies that drive the rest of the business?
For example, everyone loves backups (yeah, I know, this is my favourite thing as well). But how much should you be keeping? Do you really need 3 years of backups? Is that just increasing the amount of data you could loose in a breach? Are the older backups encrypted, and would restoring and encrypting them break the purposes they were kept for?
If you’re never going to use them why are you keeping them? If it’s just for a CYA audit reason, then why not just keep the audit logs? Less chance of leaking PII or Financial data if you’ve just got the bare bones of X did Y on Z.
This alignment with Organisational policy is a core reqiurement for doing SQL Server security correctly. It will allow you to concentrate on exactly what needs to be done and not just running around implementing ad-hoc fixes every time a hole appears.
We’ll be looking at what is required to ensure that the data stored SQL Server is secure, and that your organisation can trust that data in it’s mission.
This is more than just a technical workshop. We’ll be spendin time looking into how you can’t secure data without the organisation buying in to the process. To generate a working security policy you’re going to need approval from the top, if your CEO isn’t willing to enforce security then you’re fighting a losing battle. So you need to know how to present an argument at that level for the appropriate level of security and the resources to implement it.
So topics we’ll be covering will includer
Seperation of Duties
Policies and Responsibilities
Cost of Security
What is out of your hands
Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of techical content as well. We’ll be looking into
Cloud vs On Premise
Setting up the operating, system if you have one
Setting up SQL Server
Development best practices
and much more
The sessions is aimed at all levels of SQL DBA, Developer or anyone who has to ensure the security of data. No previous experience is expected. Any technical examples will be provided so you can work with them on your own time, or take them back to show your colleagues
Until 31st December the price for 2 full training days and 3 days of conference sessions is £999, moving up to £1199, and then £1499 from the 15 Febuary, so get in quick for a barging
If you’ve any questions then please drop me a comment, reply below, or get in touch via Twitter.
Sometimes you have to give people a little more access to an Azure environment than you might like, and then there’s the chance of someone accidentally deleting a resource.
A resource deletion may not sound like too much of a big thing if you’re deploying Infrastructure as code, hey we’ll just terraform apply again and it’ll pop backup.
In theory that’s a great idea, just with one big problem. The new resource isn’t the old resource!
For an example, an Azure SQL Database server is a unique resource. If you delete one you lose any backups you’ve taken as they’re hosted on the server. Spinning up a new one isn’t going to get them back! A phone call to MS Support may if you’re quick and lucky
To avoid this you want to be user Azure Resource Locks. Think of these as the Azure version of child proof locks on your kitchen drawers. Yes, they may occaisonally mean you’ve got an extra step to get a knife out, but the little on can’t get their hands on it.
Auzre Resource Locks
First thing about Azure Resource Locks is that they apply to everyone and every role. Even if you’ve the Owner role on a Resource Group via RBAC, if there’s an Azure Resource Lock on that Resource Group you’re going to be blocked until you’ve removed the lock
This is great because it prevents those “oh ****, that was the wrong subscription” moments
Locks apply downwards from the resource they’re applied to. So if you apply one on a Resource group then it’s lock applies to every resource within that resource group. Apply it to an Azure SQL Database server, and it will apply to all of the Databases on that server.
Azure Resource Lock Types
Resource locks come in 2 flavours
CanNotDelete does what it says on the tin. Once this lock is applied the resource (and it’s children) can not be deleted, even if you use -force
ReadOnly implements CanNotDelete and also prevents any modification of the locked resource and it’s children
Setting Azure Resource Locks
You can set Azure Resource Locks via the Azure Portal, Azure CLI, Azure Powershell or ARM Templates. Below are how you can set the same CanNotDelete lock on the Lock Resource Group using each of the 4 options:
So now we’ve seen how to create a resource lock, what are going to see if we try to delete the resourcegroup, just to prove it works and also so we know what to look out for when we bump into one we didn’t expect to see
As you can see the Resource Locks will stop you deleting the resource, which is nice. The errors messages are also nice and informative, so you know the resource is locked and at which scope the lock is placed. Which makes it easier to find the lock to remove it. Talking of removing locks:
Removing Azure Resource Locks
You can remove locks with any of the methods you can use to create them, so you’re free to mix and match how you do things.
az lock delete --name LockGroupNotDelete --resource-group Lock
Pleased to announce that we’ve now added Azure storage support to all the dbatools commands that copy databases around. This is part of our march towards full support for migrating on premise SQL Instances to Azure SQL Managed Instances
These changes also make it much much simpler to copy or migrate databases across SQL Server instances in different Active Directory domains.
The features in this post are available in dbatool’s main production branch from version 0.9.807 onwards
You’ll need an Azure Storage account set up, previous blog posts on doing that can be found at:
All the other parameters you’d use with Copy-DbaDatabase other than ReuseSourceFolderStructure are available. That one’s not used as Managed Instances don’t allow user to specify paths
You may still get errors when copying certain databases. At the moment we’re not checking all the internal features of a database to make sure they are compatible with Azure SQL Managed Instances.
Start-DbaMigration with Azure Managed Instances
With Copy-DbaDatabase now supporting Managed Instances we can also start making Start-DbaMigration supporting them as well.
This is a preview of where we’re going as this particular command has more moving pieces that we need to make sure are properly compliant with the differences between on premise instances and Managed Instances as linked to above.
The sections working so far are:
Copy-DbaDatabase, as explained above
Copy-DbaLogin, this will copy SQL Server logins across but not Windows logins as they are not supported in MI yet
Bonus news for cross domain transfers
A common query on the #dbatools channel on SQL Community is how to copy a database or migrate an instance between 2 SQL Instances in different Active Directory domains with no trust relationship. The SQL Server connection is fairly simple as we can use SQL Server Logins, but the shared storage is trickier.
Permissions have to be very loose, and deciding how to sort the networking out can take a while
The good news is that using Azure Storage get’s around all of those issues. Create yourself an account, create the credentials on the source and destination instances and you’re good to go.
It’s all secure. The backups are encrypted on Azure Storage, and are only accessible to those people you allow (even Microsoft can’t see them unless you give them your keys). All the file transfer is done under 2048 bit SSL encryption. Which makes it safer than having a non domain joined sever with a share opened up to everyone/everyone
This is iteration one in a process that we hope will make migrating to a Managed Instance as easy as we’ve made migrating across SQL instances in your own Data Centres.
Please feedback any errors or issues you come across, and we’d love to hear you feedback and ideas for improvements..
Feel free to leave them in the comment below, or drop them in to the #dbatools channel on SQL Community, or raise an issue on Github
If you’re in a panic there’s a TL;DR version at the bottom of the page
We’ve all done it. Working for ages tracking down that elusive bug in a project. Diligently committing away on our local repo as we make small changes. We’ve found the convoluted 50 lines of tortured logic, replaced it with 5 simple easy to read lines of code and all the test have passed. So we push it backup to github and wander off to grab some a snack as a reward
Halfway to the snacks you suddenly have a nagging doubt in the back of your mind that you don’t remember starting a new branch before starting on the bug hunt.
Snack forgotten you hustle back to your desk, mistype your password twice as you try to login, and there it is. You’ve pushed directly into the main branch!
Fear and embarassment kick in. Hell, how am I going to fix this! And how much of an idiot am I going to look!
Been there, done that, got enough T-Shirts I really don’t need to buy clothes.
First off, don’t panic. You aren’t the first, and you won’t be the last. We’ll walk through some simple steps to recover from this moden faux pas (I don’t think Debrett’s cover this situation yet, but if they’d like to I’m happy to syndicate)
First off, jump on Slack/Teams/Email or whatever you use to communicate across the project to let everyone know what you’ve done. It’s much less embarrassing to do it now that when someone’s forked off of your unchecked code, or checks something in and merges with it
Now you need to get your commits out of main branch. As these have been committed there’s 2 git options to look at, revert or reset. As this is a public SNAFU then revert is the correct way to do this
A git revert creates a commit that undoes the commits you’re reverting so everything is logged in the history.
git reset will remove the evidence it ever happened from the commit history, which makes it hard to pinpoint errors if you don’t get it perfectly right
This doesn’t mean a git revert isn’t without it’s issues or potential pitfalls. But, because you alerted everyone in step 1 (you did fess up didn’t you?) you’ve got some breathing space, so take it slowly and don’t screw it up again
First you need to work out how far back you need to revert to. Your options are to revert a set number of commits or to revert to a specific commit
To revert a x commits, you’d use this syntax
git revert HEAD-x
So to revert 2 commits you’d use:
git revert HEAD-2
But how would you know how many commits to revert? That leads into the next bit, working out which commit to revert to. There are 2 options here, github or git log
Getting Commit ID from git log
git log is the more complex way of doing this, but is much more flexible. And if you’re like me and spend most of your git time on the command line then it saves finding the mouse and a different window. We’ll look at 2 command line options that should be enough to sort out anything but the worst messages
Running git log on it’s own produces a lot of verbose output:
That’ll keep paging through as much history in that branch as has been kept. To exit just hit q
For some brevity we use the –oneline switch to just return the basic facts:
This is much easier to read, but still returns everything in the history. So let’s reduce that with the -x parameter, where x is an integer saying how many lines you want returning:
Hopefully if you’ve caught the issue quickly and warned everyone else of the issue you won’t have too many commits you need to scan. For the revert you need enough of the Commit ID to be unique, which –oneline gives you
Getting Commit ID from Github
As you’ve pushed the commits to github, github offers a nice way to see the commit history. Below is a snapshot of a repository I’ve just had to revert because I wasn’t paying attention.
To get the commit history, click on the highlighted number of commits.
This pops up a history list of all the commits with their commit hash:
There’s a handy clipboard button next to each commit to grab the Commit ID for the revert
Reverting the Commits
Now we need to revert the unwanted commits. There are 2 options. You can revert a specific number of commits from the current HEAD of the branch. For example, to revert the last 2 commits in the branch you’d use:
git revert HEAD-2
or you can revert to a specific commit id
git revert 93cd242
Personally, I always go with the commit hash. When you’re in a bit of a panic the first thing that goes for me is counting, so having an exact value to revert to saves a lot of double checking
And you can revert commit by commit if you wanted. In the example I’ve been using here I wanted to make sure exactly what was being taken out of files as I went along. So if you look a the git history from after I’d fixed things you can see 2 reverts at the top of the history
So now you’re reverted your local repository, the next thing you need to do it to push the changes back up to the github repository. I know you know how to do this as that’s what caused this issue in the first place!
Finally, let everyone know that they can use the main branch again and make a not to check in future
Let everyone know the branch is not right to stop any pulling/pushing/branching from it
Then get the commit history:
git log --oneline -20
Then revert to the CommitID before the wrong commits:
git revert <CommitID>
Finally push everything back to the origin:
Let everyone know the main branch is safe to use again.