Monday, January 19, 2015

Encrypting Data In SQL Server

This article covers the use of Transparent Database Encryption (TDE) in SQL Server. First we need to create a database master key. This is a symmetric key created at the database level and used to encrypt certificates within the database.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Using The Command Line To Upgrade Windows Edition

There may come a time when you need to upgrade the edition of Microsoft Windows you are using. Typically you need to do do this to access more memory, say greater than 32GB of Ram, or access advanced Enterprise features of the operating system. In the past you would need to do a full re-install of the operating system. Thankfully things have changed and it's now as easy as running an command to upgrade the edition of Windows.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Windows Server 2012 Deduplication - Powershell Reference

Some key background points on deduplication on Windows Server 2012:

  • There is a scheduler which runs one deduplication job / operation at any point in time
  • Powershell and windows commands add jobs to the scheduler queue - only one job may run at a given point in time
  • Types of deduplication operations:
    • Optimization - deduplicates files on the filesystem. 
    • Scrubbing - performs an integrity check of the deduplication store
    • GarbageCollection - files deleted from the filesystem do not automatically free up space on the disk. A garbage collection must be run to clean up the dedupe store
  • You can configure the minimum age of files to deduplicate. Typically this should be set to a value greater than one day to ensure active files are not deduplicated.


Here are some handy powershell commands for managing deduplication on Windows Server 2012:


# Enqueue  Full integrity check of the dedup store
Start-DedupJob -Type Scrubbing -Full -Priority High -Volume D:

# Enqueue Garbage Collection of dedup store - deleted files won't reclaim space until GC is done
​Start-DedupJob -Type GarbageCollection -Full -Priority High -Volume D:

​# ​Get running / queued dedup jobs
get-dedupjob

# Get dedup summary status
get-dedupstatus

​# Enqueue the optimization job
​Start-DedupJob -Type Optimization -Full -Priority High -Volume D:


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Renew A Windows Server Group Membership Without Rebooting

A Windows computer account will determine it's group membership when the computer is started. If the computer account is added to another group the group membership will not take affect automatically. This is painful in some situations such as modifying group policy based on group memberships. These settings will not take affect until the computer is restarted. To work around this you can perform the following steps:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Setup SNMP On A Linux Host

This article will cover the basic setup of SNMP on a Linux host. Typically I enable this service to monitor the performance of a Linux host using Cacti.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Deploying A SQL 2012 AlwaysOn Cluster

This document will cover the design and deployment of a SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn cluster. SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn clusters are a high availability technology. They build mirrored database instances across a Windows cluster. This provides the benefits of both technologies with clustering providing a single point of access and the mirroring providing redundant copies of the databases.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Building A Windows Cluster Using Windows Server 2008 R2

Building a windows cluster is the first stage in deploying a high availability SQL Server 2012 Always On cluster. This document covers the design, installation, and configuration of a Windows Cluster on which a SQL Server 2012 HA Cluster can be deployed.