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Welcome

A blog about Cloud Computing, Data and DevOps

⚠ Careful with Maintenance Window

Maintenance Window now in Preview (at the time of writing) On 2nd March 2021, Microsoft announced a long-awaited feature, at least by me, to give choice over when OS and SQL patching occurs behind-the-scenes in Azure SQL Managed Instance. Before this feature, Microsoft would patch the Virtual Cluster supporting Managed Instances outside of regular business hours in the region your Managed Instance is located. You now get two additional options:

EXECUTE denied on Managed Instance

The problem I came across an interesting (!) issue with an Azure Sql Managed Instance today. One of our users came across this error when trying to SELECT from a view in a database where they are not a member of the db_owner database role or any elevated server-level permission by right clicking the view in SSMS 18.8 and choosing Select Top 1000 Rows. Select Top 1000 Rows in SSMS" Select Top 1000 Rows in SSMS EXECUTE denied on xp_instance_reg_read in mssqlsystemresource"

Az.Sql Module won't load

Today, the Az.Sql module would not load on my machine when attempting to manually fail over a SQL Managed Instance with this error: module could not be loaded" module could not be loaded I followed the advice of the error message and tried to import the module to get further information. module is already loaded" module is already loaded Hmmm 🤔 I decided to uninstall the Azure PowerShell from my machine using the Windows 10 Settings App.

Loving Hugo

Hugo is great Even though I’m late to the party, having not blogged for a while (see my older posts here), I came across a bug in Hugo today. To get a little bit more performance from my site I decided to use the --minify option in the hugo command for the production build on netlify’s build server in netlify.toml as you can see here. My navbar didn’t have icons in it before, and I thought it would look nicer with some icons added.

New Blog

Built with Hugo I’ve moved away from Wordpress as it was getting bloated, complicated to manage and expensive to host. I wanted something that was fast easy to use cheap to host source controlled I can now write blog posts in markdown in vscode and then push my changes to GitHub which lets me have a history, I can edit from anywhere by pulling and pushing from any machine, even my phone.

Using a Cloud Witness for Clusters

On a client site recently a question was asked about the file share witness in a SQL Server failover cluster on-premises, and where to put it if you only have two sites. As always, it depends! Let’s look at some scenarios. Bear in mind that use of the Azure Cloud Witness requires Windows Server 2016 or later. Topology 1 Three node cluster with 2 nodes at primary and 1 at disaster recovery (DR) Most people want high availability at their “primary site” and are happy to have standalone capability at the business continuity (DR) site.

Hardening Sentry One for Security

If you have an environment where you need to lock down Sentry One as much as possible, then this article should help. It is well known that the Sentry One service account needs to be a member of the Local Administrators group in each server it monitors, and also a member of the sysadmin role for each SQL Server instance. At the moment this is still a requirement, but if you can live without the Windows metrics, then you could run Sentry One in Limited Mode which will only gather SQL Server specific metrics.

Automating Sql Server Performance Testing

You run performance tests as well as functional tests when deploying new code changes to SQL Server, right? Not many people do, I think you should, and this article will show you how to do it by harnessing an existing performance tool, rather than writing your own monitoring infrastructure from scratch. Any good performance monitoring tool that records information to a database will do fine, and we prefer to use Sentry One.

Running a Sql Server Workload Using Powershell

In February 2018, myself and Paul Anderton gave a presentation on how to correlate database deployments with performance issues within the context of a DevOps pipeline. We used Sentry One as our monitoring tool in a Performance Test environment so that we could catch badly performing deployments before they got to production and caused havoc. If you would like to see the recorded video, then you can download it from here: http://info.

Visual Studio Code Extensions and Settings

I primarily work in Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio Code, using VS2017 for SSDT work, and VS Code for pretty much everything else. VS code is highly configurable, and as it’s a rainy Sunday, I thought I’d share my settings with you in case you are interested. A few colleagues at work have asked me what extensions and settings I have so, here they are as of Feb 2018.