Category Archives: SQL 2005

Where is the key to the LOCK?

This past Friday evening, a simple data import process (that has been working for several months), decided to not work correctly.  Because there was no “early warning” type of notifications systems on the SQL 2005 server, the SQL Agent Job was actually running when Monday morning rolled around.

Using Idera’s SQL Check, I quickly noticed that there was a process that had a lock on a table that was causing some MAJOR problems.  Four different SQL processes was waiting on this lock.  And of course my supervisor was getting calls left and right from end users because their applications were not working.

I had to figure out what was going on.  I was able to get a list of processes and which one was causing all the problem with the sp_who2 command.


However, this returned a “bias” HOST NAME.  I am not really sure why. But I confirmed with networking that the returned hostname and IP address do not exist on our network, but that is for another day.

I needed to know an accurate way to get all the information I needed at that moment when a job wrongs long.  This code is probably providing way more information than I really need, but sometimes more is better.  Even though the “host_name” is returning a “bogus” host name; the client_net_address is not!  This valid IP address is very important to locating the culprit machine.

    ,db_name(R.database_id) AS [DB Name]
    ,(S.total_elapsed_time/1000) AS [Total Sec]
FROM sys.dm_exec_connections AS C
JOIN sys.dm_exec_requests AS R
    ON C.session_id=R.session_id
JOIN sys.dm_exec_sessions AS S
    ON C.session_id=S.session_id
ORDER BY session_id

Using Thomas LaRock’s  HOW TO: Find Currently Running Long SQL Agent Jobs, I setup up a simple 2 step SQL Agent job to check for 1) long running jobs and 2) session information (using the code above).  A simple “save results to txt file” allows me to export the results to and study them later.

USE [msdb]
/****** Object:  Job [job_WH_MonitorDatabase]    Script Date: 10/30/2012 13:57:18 ******/
SELECT @ReturnCode = 0
/****** Object:  JobCategory [xx] Script Date: 10/30/2012 13:57:18 ******/
IF NOT EXISTS (SELECT name FROM msdb.dbo.syscategories WHERE name=N'xxx' AND category_class=1)
EXEC @ReturnCode = msdb.dbo.sp_add_category @class=N'JOB', @type=N'LOCAL', @name=N'xxx'
IF (@@ERROR <> 0 OR @ReturnCode <> 0) GOTO QuitWithRollback


EXEC @ReturnCode =  msdb.dbo.sp_add_job @job_name=N'job_MonitorDatabase', 
        @notify_email_operator_name=N'xx', @job_id = @jobId OUTPUT
IF (@@ERROR <> 0 OR @ReturnCode <> 0) GOTO QuitWithRollback
/****** Object:  Step [Monitor]    Script Date: 10/30/2012 13:57:18 ******/
EXEC @ReturnCode = msdb.dbo.sp_add_jobstep @job_id=@jobId, @step_name=N'Monitor', 
        @os_run_priority=0, @subsystem=N'TSQL', 
        @command=N'exec usp_LongRunningJobs', 
IF (@@ERROR <> 0 OR @ReturnCode <> 0) GOTO QuitWithRollback
/****** Object:  Step [RecordProcesses]    Script Date: 10/30/2012 13:57:18 ******/
EXEC @ReturnCode = msdb.dbo.sp_add_jobstep @job_id=@jobId, @step_name=N'RecordProcesses', 
        @os_run_priority=0, @subsystem=N'TSQL', 
    sysp.spid AS [SPID]
    ,sysp.status AS [Status]
    ,sysp.hostname AS [Host Name]
    ,cn.client_net_address AS [Client IP]
    ,db_name(sysp.dbid) AS [DB Name]
    ,convert(sysname, rtrim(sysp.loginame)) as [Login]
    ,sysp.program_name AS [Program]
    ,sysp.cmd AS [CMD Status]
    ,sysp.cpu AS [CPU usage]
    ,sysp.physical_io [IO]
    ,sysp.blocked AS [Blocked By]
    ,sysp.waitresource AS [Wait Resource]
from master.dbo.sysprocesses AS sysp
INNER JOIN sys.dm_exec_connections AS cn 
    ON sysp.spid=cn.session_ID
WHERE sysp.dbid > 4 AND sysp.cmd <> ''AWAITING COMMAND''
ORDER BY sysp.hostname', 
IF (@@ERROR <> 0 OR @ReturnCode <> 0) GOTO QuitWithRollback
EXEC @ReturnCode = msdb.dbo.sp_update_job @job_id = @jobId, @start_step_id = 1
IF (@@ERROR <> 0 OR @ReturnCode <> 0) GOTO QuitWithRollback
EXEC @ReturnCode = msdb.dbo.sp_add_jobschedule @job_id=@jobId, @name=N'Daily', 
IF (@@ERROR <> 0 OR @ReturnCode <> 0) GOTO QuitWithRollback
EXEC @ReturnCode = msdb.dbo.sp_add_jobserver @job_id = @jobId, @server_name = N'(local)'
IF (@@ERROR <> 0 OR @ReturnCode <> 0) GOTO QuitWithRollback
GOTO EndSave

Thanks for your time!  I will let you know how it turns out.

Back to the Basics (B2B: Intro)

On occasion, an IT personnel (non-DBA) is tasked with providing SQL support.  Either with installation, upgrading, backups, restores, moving databases or other tasks that normally would not fall under their “job description”.  Trust me I have been there.  We call these “Accidental DBA’s” and sometimes a strange thing happens, the person actually ENJOYS working with MS SQL.  At least that is what happened to me, I was a .NET developer in a corporation with no DBA and over 20 instances of MS SQL in our network.  As the developer, I did create databases, tables, views, etc.; but I didn’t lean SQL management until much later.

So if you are one of those accidental DBAs, where do you find more information on how to do DBA work.  I have always found,, and MS MSDN invaluable resources to find answers to questions.  I following some “gurus” of the industry on twitter and their blogs are never boring and always informative.  Some of my personal favorites, to just name a few:

  1. Brad McGehee
  2. Steve Jones
  3. Brent Ozar, PLF (which in reality you get 4, Brent Ozar, Jeremiah Peschka, Kendra Little, Jes Schultz Borland)
  4.  Penal Dave
  5. Thomas LaRock

Every non-DBA needs to know the simple and basic steps to manage MS SQL.  Although I am a fan of GUI interfaces, I will attempt to provide both T-SQL and GUI images to help along.  Yes, I know the evil GUI, most professionals will tell you that knowing and using T-SQL is the only proper way to manage a SQL instance.  However, for those of us that are used to a “point-and-click” environments sometimes learning the point-and-click methods is the quickest and easiest way, especially for those of us who are visual learners.  That being said, I encourage you to always script it out, so you can learn the T-SQL behind the GUI.

During this series I will hope to provide the following information:

  1. How to install SQL; standalone vs. network, there is a difference!
  2. Working with SQL Server Management Studio SSMS
  3. Documentation: Why, I can remember the name of the server? 
  4. Documentation Part 2: Didn’t realize the database was that big.
  5. Maintenance plans (they are not just for backups)
  6. Definition of and creating a Disaster Recovery plan

As of now these are the topic I plan to cover in my Back to Basics series.  Although I reserve the right to edit this, I believe if an “accidental” DBA would learn these, then they could probably drop the “accidental” form their title.

MS SQL Reporting Services 2005 and Host Headers

MS SQL Reporting Services is a very valuable and powerful reporting engine; however, “personalizing” or “branding” it is not the easiest task.  The following MSDN article was very helpful in configuring SSRS using a DNS Alias and a host header in an intranet domain.

The key to this is to create the Web Site first using the DNS alias, with port 80.  Then using RS Configuration Tool, create a new “Report Server Virtual Directory” Site and a new “Report Manager Virtual Directory” based off the new site you have created.  The RS Configuration will automatically create the necessary virtual directories for the Report Services to work.

Now that I had all the configurations done, I opened my web browser entered the new URL and….nothing.  Then I realized that the actual Report Server is a virtual directory of the website I just created, not the ROOT website.  So I then added a simple index.htm page to redirect to the virtual directory.

<SCRIPT language="JavaScript">

That did it!  Now my SQL Reporting Services worked using a DNS alias, mapped to a IIS website configured to use Host headers.

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