My largest client recently purchased BMC Control-M to use as our enterprise scheduler. Since this product went live in our environment I have been watching it displace other schedulers to become the centralized scheduler. As I have learned more about the capabilities of Control-M as well as becoming more alert to seeing references to the product in the market place I have become a huge fan.
Being a database professional I have become very attached to SQL Server Agent for scheduling anything SQL related. However I know the limitations of SQL Server Agent when it comes to the SQL task being one of many factors in a much larger process. Over the years I have seen very complex processes implemented to schedule a multi-process job. In cases where one process (non sql) creates a file that another process (sql job) ingests, manipulates, and outputs additional files that will be used by another process (non sql). Those three jobs have to run in a particular order so the IT admins have to get creative with scheduling.
What I have found with Control-M is that it can schedule each task to run in a workflow so each job becomes a task for a single process flow within Control-M. The design of the workflows in Control-M is much like SSIS. The major benefit with letting Control-M execute these processes is the ability for it to monitor each process, send notifications on success or failure and immediately kick off the next process in the workflow after successful completion of the previous task.
As a DBA giving up control over scheduling my jobs was an uneasy feeling, however if you are like me, many times you have a job fail due to a dependency. For me it is usually that a file my job is importing didn’t arrive. If this job was part of a Control-M process then my job would not have ran due to the dependency failure and whomever is responsible for the file I need would be notified.
Our most recent big success with BMC Control-M for Cloud was installing the module for VMware. We have virtual servers that need weekly reboots (mostly web servers) and using Control-M for Cloud has automated that process eliminating the need for a VMware Admin or someone in our Network Operations Center from having to issue these reboots. A good friend of mine blogged about his experience setting that up here >> ControlMWithBigAl.Wordpress.com
Andy Leonard (b | t | l | f) of Linchpin People, has announced a new training class called ‘From Zero to SSIS‘. The first class is being offered in Reston, VA, May 19-23 2014. Andy is one to the top guru’s of SSIS. If you are looking to improve your SSIS skills then you need to attend SSIS Training from the master!
“From Zero to SSIS! is designed to train technology professionals in the fine art of using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to build data integration and Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) solutions. The course is focused around labs and emphasizes a hands-on approach.
The target audience for this training is database professionals, application developers, and business intelligence practitioners interested in acquiring or expanding their existing SSIS skill set. No experience with SQL Server or SQL Server Integration Services is required before attending this training. It is helpful (but not required) that students possess some knowledge of and experience with relational databases. SQL Server knowledge/experience will be more helpful than experience and knowledge with other technologies.”
You can find more details here, if you plan to attend the register for the event at here. Why attend an in person class? Unlike proctored classes, this class is taught by an industry expert on the subject. Hundreds of hours have gone into perfecting this class so that you learn real world knowledge that you can immediately apply to your job. You get hands on experience and access to a true master.
Getting locked out of a SQL Server can happen in a number of ways. You could inherit a server that was managed by someone that left the company and only that person had System Admin rights for example. A recent encounter I had was were a database server was built and provisioned in one active directory domain and then moved and joined to another non trusted domain. All the accounts provisioned within the server include those for the DBA admins were basically useless since they couldn’t be authenticated. The built in SA account is locked down per policy so no one knows the password.
What do you do if you find that you are locked out of a SQL Server instance? The way I handle it is to start SQL Server in single user mode, launch SQLCMD and create a new user. I then still using SQLCMD grant the new user the system admin role. Once I have the new user created I restart SQL Server Service and log in using the new credentials. I can then clean up the instance by granting proper access.
If this was a newly inherited server I then take the time to do a health check of the instance to make sure that everything is to our standards. (Usually this means more work)
To start SQL Server in single user mode I open a command prompt as an administrator
I type the following minus the quotes (“ “)
“net stop mssqlserver” and press enter
“net start mssqlserver /m” and press enter
“sqlcmd” and press enter
“CREATE LOGIN security WITH PASSWORD = ‘Rec0very123’ “ and press enter
“GO” and press enter
“sp_addsrvrolemember ‘security’, ‘sysadmin’ “ and press enter
“GO” and press enter
“quit” and press enter
“net stop mssqlserver” and press enter
“net start mssqlserver” and press enter
You have now stop and restarted mssql in single user mode, created a new login called ‘security’ and given the user ‘security’ system admin rights. You then stopped and started mssql to put it back in multi user mode. I have included a screen shot of me completing the task on a development workstation so you can see the syntax and steps.
At this point you can connect to the server with SQL Server Management Studio with the new user and reset the SA password and or provision the proper people access.
I have had the pleasure of taking my son with me on a number of trips where I was a presenting at a technical conference. My son loves to travel with me and to get to see exciting new places. I have seen a big change in him from the experiences of getting to meet my technical community and even some of my friends kids.
I must say that his first trip probably spoiled him a bit since it took 4 flights to get us to our destination and back home. I took him with me to Curacao which is a little Dutch island in the Caribbean. We enjoyed getting to drive around the island, snorkel, swim and enjoy some great food. I thought that would be his favorite trip.
A few months later I took him to New York City for a SQL Saturday. For this trip I contacted the event organizers and stated I would be bringing my son and asked if others would be bringing any children as well. My friend Robert Pearl (blog | twitter) said he was bringing his son and a couple of vendors would have their kids there too. The nice folks in NY reserved a room dedicated for the kids to hang out in and they had a great time playing games, watching movies and shopping at the vendor booths. I was able to take my son sight seeing all over Manhattan so he could see the buildings, statues, parks and monuments he only gets to see on TV. My son came alive on that trip.
The same year SQL Saturday Washington DC came up and I was selected to speak along with my friends Mike Walsh (blog | twitter), Andy Leonard (blog | twitter) and Brian Moran (blog | twitter). We all brought one of our little ones with us and turned the Friday before the event into a sight seeing day. Our kids bonded immediately and had a great but exhausting time together. We saw so many monuments during the day and took hundreds of photos while getting in a lot of exercise. The day of the event the kids played xbox 360 at the Microsoft campus further embedding their friendship. This event again made room for the kids to have a private place to hang out.
Again for SQL Saturday Atlanta a few of us brought our kids to the event and worked in some sight seeing at the aquarium. The kids got to reunite, the adults got to bond some more all the while getting to share our professional life with our kids.
My most recent event was taking my son to SQL in the City in Atlanta. We had a camping trip that started that evening so it just made sense to allow my son to skip a day of school so he could come with me to SQL in the City. It helped that he already had a Red Gate shirt from some SWAG from a previous trip and he also wanted to meet the Scary DBA. He wanted to use red gel to spike up his mohawk and became the mascot of Red Gate for the day. I even snapped a photo of him and Grant Fritchey (blog | twitter). When my son first got his new hair cut I snapped a picture of him and posted to facebook. He was trying his hardest to make his mean face and was wearing his Red Gate shirt. Everyone instinctively starting tagging Grant.
I urge any of you that have kids to let them tag along with you to a technical conference. My son has grown and developed so much from being involved in my technical community. He has friends all over the world now and can’t wait until he can start working in technology. All of his teachers have shared with me how much he has advanced from these opportunities. It has also been a great bonding opportunity for me and my son. He can’t wait for his next trip and I am counting down the days until I can start taking my middle daughter with me.