Automating Lab Environments with LabInaBox on Prem or in the Cloud.

Today building out repeatable demo/lab environments quickly has become a necessity.  Previous this year I released LabInaBox which provided for a quick way to build out lab environments on a Windows 10 machine using Hyper-V.  As more and more customers are looking at Azure I wanted to provide a similar experience for cloud lab deployment….


Utilizing Key Vault to create credentials for automation.

Working with PowerShell I often find myself doing demos which require me to have some form of credentials or other sensitive data.  In the past I’ve used really generic passwords which are easy to work with but always leave a bad taste in your mouth because the passwords are stored in plain text.  Azure has…


Automation with Azure? How to securely script login?

Do you have a need to login to azure securely without being prompted?  Often times I am doing demos or writing automation routines which interact with Azure.  Typically you will see one of two things: Get-Credential $PlainPassword = “P@ssw0rd” $SecurePassword = $PlainPassword | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force The first one is painful because it requires input from the user running the script and the…


Creating a SQL container that’s always the Latest build

Want to stay current with the latest SQL server builds so you can test new features?  Or want the ability to have a quick SQL instance up and running as a development environment?  Now with Docker for Windows and Windows 10 there is a quick and easy way to do both.  In this blog post…


Automating installation of SSMS with DSC

Over the past few months I’ve had a couple of customers ask me, “Now that SQL 2016 doesn’t include SSMS how am I supposed to automate the installation?”.  Typically my response is you shouldn’t be installing it on your servers as its just an additional item that will require patching.  However there are times its…


Introducing LabInaBox

Do you have a need to spin up a sandbox lab environment quickly to test DSC configurations, updates or really anything?  In writing DSC configurations over the last year I have found the need to do this often.  To simplify things I put together a few configurations and scripts to assist going forward.  The solution can…


Introducing DSC Data Driven Deployment

Working with customers over the past year, many have asked: How can we manage SQL Server configurations at scale in a large enterprise?  PowerShell DSC provides a configuration framework out of the box, however, there isn’t a way to quickly build SQL deployment templates and provision in a DevOps fashion without using a third party product. A colleague and I took on the…


SQL DSC Encrypted Configuration

Following up on my last post about new changes coming to xSQLServer. Today I want to talk about two additional Example scripts which have been provided with the new updates. The first script is DSCSqlBuild.ps1. This new script adds a couple of items SQLPush_SingleServer.ps1 doesn’t have. DSCSQLBuild.ps1 like DSCClusterSQLBuild.ps1 adds a timer to the configuration…


SQL DSC AlwaysOn Support

New updates are coming to xSQLServer, they should be available shortly after this post, and will provide support for AlwaysOn Availability groups. Along with the updates are three new example scripts. The three scripts are the following: DSCSQLBuild.ps1, DSCClusterSQLBuild.ps1, and DSCSQLBuildEncrypted.ps1. This blog post will talk specifically about DSCClusterSQLBuild.ps1. This example shows how to leverage…


Desired State Configuration(DSC) for SQL Server

  Many people are not familiar with DSC yet so lets first start with what is DSC and why we as DBA’s should care.  DSC is a management framework in PowerShell.  DSC allows us to deploy and manage configuration data. Some examples of practical applications would be the following: Enabling/Disabling server roles and features Managing…