Russ.Johnsonville.net My take on databases

1Sep/140

Postgresql for the SQL Server DBA: Backups, copy that file

So the next method of backup we will discuss is a file system level backup.  The file system backup involves shutting down the postgresql server and then creating a tar of the directory containing all the data files for the database.  It's a very simple but inconvenient method to backup the database because the server must be down for the backup to be created.  On the SQL Server side, the most similar option is detaching and attaching databases.

Postgresql documentation also recommends a variation on this process where you take a frozen snapshot of the data directory and the WAL files.  This would eliminate the need to shutdown the database server.  However, in this scenario, Postgresql will assume that the database server was not properly shutdown and perform recovery.  This is the reason you need the WAL files available. You can reduce the recovery time by performing a checkpoint prior to the backup.

So lets see how the file copy backup works.

First, find the OID (similar to the database_id in sys.databases) as this is the name of the directory in the data directory where data files are stored.

Query window to find the OID number using query: SELECT oid,datname FROM pg_database.

You can place the data directory anywhere depending on the database setup but common locations are /usr/local/pgsql/data or /var/lib/pgsql/data.  Here you can see the directory for dvdrental, which is 16399.

Directory listing of the base data directory.

You can then stop the postgresql server.

Stopping the posgresql server service.

Now that the server is down,  you can run the tar command to create the tar file of the database files.

Creating a tar of the database data directory: tar -cf /root/Downloads/backup.tar /var/lib/postgresql/9.1/main/base/16399.  16339 is the OID for the database.

Finally, restart the postgresql server.

Start the postgresql server service.

See my future post about how to perform archiving of WAL files for point-in-time restores.

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1Sep/140

Postgresql for the SQL Server DBA: Backups, taking a dump via GUI

In my article Postgresql for the SQL Server DBA: Backups, taking a dump, I talk about how to perform a dump via the command-line.  In this article, I'll show how to perform this backup with a GUI tool pgAdmin in Linux.  pgAdmin is available for Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and more.  So let's get started and create a backup.

Start backup with pgAdmin

Now you can enter the file name and choose any options you want to change.  Here I'm staying with the default options for this example.

Backup options screen in pgAdmin

Now you see the results as the backup completes.

pgAdmin backup output screen.

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1Sep/140

Postgresql for the SQL Server DBA: Backups, taking a dump.

One of the most important tasks DBAs are responsible for is backups. It is critical that we protect our data and the first defense is having a good, reliable backup.  In SQL Server, we can perform this work within SSMS, PowerShell, or via the command line tools (e.g. sqlcmd).  These are all tools that come with SQL Server.  Postgresql does not come with a GUI but there are free ones available.  In this article, I'll be discussing the process using a native command-line tool.  So let's get started.

Basic backups via dump

The most basic backup method available for Postgresql  is the dump tool called pg_dump.  This tool allows you to take a back up of the database schema and data while the database is online.  The backup will be consistent to when the backup was started.  Additionally, this tool can be used to extract just the schema.  There are many options you can use to change the default behavior of the dump command.  Although the pg_dump tool does allow for backups while the database is online, it does not allow for point-in-time restores.  Additionally, there is nothing included with the pg_dump command to encrypt backups.  And, depending on the size of the database, the backup times can be significant with pg_dump. Also,  pg_dump opens a transaction when it starts that can effect other transactions on the system needing to take locks.

Below is an example of a basic dump of the database.  First we issue the pg_dump command with the username (postgres), database name (dvdrental), and the dump file name:

The pg_dump command: pg_dump -U postgres dvdrental > /root/Downloads/dvdrental_backup_nogui.sql

If you look at the file created by the dump utility, you will see that the file is just a plain text file with all the commands to create the schema and insert the data into the database.

A view of the script file created by the dump command.

You can also compress your dumps to conserve on backup space.

Dump command with compression: pg_dump -U postgres dvdrental | gzip > /root/Downloads/dvdrental_backup_nogui_compressed.sql

As you can see, the size with compression is much smaller compared to the uncompressed version:

command_line_backup_3

Please see my future topics on using free GUI tools for backups, file system level backups, and performing WAL archiving to provide point-in-time restores.

 

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1Sep/140

Postgresql for the SQL Server DBA Series

I have been a DBA for over 10 years and have worked with SQL Server and Oracle.  I spent the first 6 years doing both Oracle and SQL Server, and I have used SQL Server exclusively for the last 4 years.  As a DBA, I'm always reading and trying to learn.  This series is a learning process for me that I wanted to share with the community.  In this blog series, I'm going to be exploring Postgresql, an RDBMS platform that has been gaining interest in the DBA community.  Postgresql has been around for some time but, with the increased costs for Oracle and SQL Server licenses combined with Oracle's ownership of MySQL, there has been a greater acceptance of Postgresql.  In this series, I will  explore how the SQL Server DBA can perform DBA responsibilities in Postgresql.  I hope this series is both educational and interesting for the SQL Server DBA looking to expand his or her skillset or take on new projects with a different RDBMS.

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29Apr/140

Why is my database user disabled?

I recently had an issue where some databases that were created from a script the database user was disabled but in the system it was fine.  There is no way from the GUI to enable this.  After much searching I found my answer in an MSDN forum (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/sqlserver/en-US/5abd5b42-cd84-4fcc-9e3e-3dcac8814800/database-users-showing-disabled) where it was mentioned the CONNECT privilege is missing.  The command below will allow you to verify this is your issue replace the <username> with your effected username and run using the effected database:

SELECT * FROM sys.database_principals dprinc INNER JOIN sys.database_permissions dperm ON dprinc.principal_id = dperm.grantee_principal_id WHERE dprinc.name = '<username>'  AND dperm.permission_name = 'CONNECT'

The following script after replacing the <databasename> with your database name and <username> your effected username will fix this if the permission is missing:

/* Please replace the use <databasename> and the <username> */
USE < databasename >
GO

IF NOT EXISTS (
SELECT *
FROM sys.database_principals dprinc
INNER JOIN sys.database_permissions dperm ON dprinc.principal_id = dperm.grantee_principal_id
WHERE dprinc.NAME = '<username>'
AND dperm.permission_name = 'CONNECT'
)
BEGIN
GRANT CONNECT
TO [<username>]
END
GO

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Filed under: SQL Server No Comments
5Feb/140

Issues connecting to SQL Server 2012 with MultiSubnetFailover: Connection Timeout Expired.

Recently I was working on a migration to a SQL Server 2012 environment.  After we had created our performance environment where we had created an availability group listener (AGL) I received complaints from my developers that they could not connect.  Initially they were issues using the 2008 R2 client which was resolved by asking them to upgrade their client.   However they were receiving the following error from their application:

Connection Timeout Expired.  The timeout period elapsed while attempting to consume the pre-login handshake acknowledgement.  This could be because the pre-login handshake failed or the server was unable to respond back in time.  The duration spent while attempting to connect to this server was - [Pre-Login] initialization=21033; handshake=310;

I did some testing on my own and was not getting this error even when using a C# console test application.  The unfortunate situation here is that this error message is very generic.  Some initial investigating (searching Google) I did not find any solutions that applied to this case.  Many related to older versions of SQL Server.  The solution was finally found as there was an article from Microsoft's knowledge base (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2870437).   The issue is with a TDI driver issue.  Applying the hotfix the issue was resolved and I was now able to connect via the connection string that previously did not work.

Part of testing this was using a tool I created (AGLPing) that allows me to test multi-subnet response times.  Because this was an exe it makes the solution portable.  You can download the code for this tool and use it as you wish via Github: https://github.com/russ960/AGLPing

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2Oct/110

SQL Saturday Presentation

I had an awesome time today at SQL Saturday 97. My presentation was not with out it's challenges though as my laptop decided to take a crap and die. But thankfully Wes Brown the most super awesome MVP on the planet had a spare laptop and I used it to complete my presentation. I was able to enjoy time with my fellow DBAs and enjoy presentations by the MidnightDBA's Sean and Jen McCown as well as Joe Celko. I'm attaching my presentation for those that could not attend and welcome feedback.

Architecting no downtime databases.

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30Sep/110

Speaking at SQL Saturday #97

Well I've recently made a commitment to myself to start being a contributor to the SQL Server community to help encourage myself to grow as a database professional.  As part of this new commitment I've started this blog and I'm speaking at SQL Saturday #97 here in Austin.  I will be speaking on architecting no downtime databases.  I hope to see everyone there and look forward to my first speaking engagement.  I will update this site with my presentation and I will also publish it on the SQL Saturday site.

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