Backup those keys, citizen

Periodically I back up the keys within my servers and databases, and when I do, I blog a reminder here. This should be part of your standard backup rotation – the keys should be backed up often enough to have at hand and again when they change. The first key you need to back up…

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Backup Meta-Data

I’m working on a PowerShell script to show me the trending durations of my backup activities. The first thing I need is the data, so I looked at the Standard Reports in SQL Server Management Studio, and found a report that suited my needs, so I pulled out the script that it runs and modified…

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Have you backed up your keys lately?

Did you know that you already have a Server Master Key (SMK) generated for your system? That’s right – while a Database Master Key (DMK) is generated when you encrypt a certificate or Asymmetric Key with code, the Server Master Key is generated automatically when you start the Instance. So you should back all of…

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The SQL Server Health Check

My friend Brent Ozar, who is a top-notch SQL Server Professional, mentioned on his blog (http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2007/04/sql-server-health-check/comment-page-1/#comment-17520) that he brought in Microsoft Support to do a “Health Check”. There were some questions about what this actually entails – so I thought I would post that description here. A SQL Server Health Check from Microsoft is an…

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Tracking SQL Server Time

In the past few blog posts I’ve showed you how to use several methods to track things in SQL Server. You can use the “tags” to the right of this post here at this site to list things like PowerShell, Performance Tuning and so on. Now that you’re armed with these tools, what should you…

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Listing the Central Management Servers Programmatically

I don’t normally advocate hitting the system tables in any database with direct queries, preferring instead to use views or functions that the vendor provides. But so far I haven’t been able to find the view or function that would return the list of servers in the Central Management Servers group on my "Central Management…

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Security Patches and the Conficker Worm

Well, the media has done their usual stellar job on computer technology subjects, so after this weekend you may have gotten some questions about the Conficker worm. Here’s a few pointers to hand out to the relatives and associates: Microsoft released an out of band security bulletin last October that deals with this. The bulletin…

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Check that database before you restore it…

I’m on my way to the city of Seattle this morning on the train and I ran across an issue with a database restore. I’ve been working with Service Broker and then put it out of my mind. I then backed up said database and restored it the same instance as a test. Then things…

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Versioning the Database

If you write apps that hit a database that you own, then you probably want version control on the database itself. I always script out the initial database, and version that script. I also script the changes, and version those, and then script the entire DB again and version that as well. That allows me…

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Have You Backed Up Your Database Master Key?

If you have encrypted columns in a database or certificates used to create them, you need to make sure that you back up the Database Master Key as part of your maintenance, and then protect that backup file. Here’s the short version of the command: BACKUP MASTER KEY TO FILE = ‘<complete path and filename>’…

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