14 april 2014

How to Design a Backup Strategy in SQL Server

Designing a backup strategy is fairly straightforward, but it can get complicated when you’ve got a lot of moving pieces in your scenario.  Here we'll discuss some of the factors you’ll want to take into consideration when designing your strategy as well as some good practices.  Notice I stayed away from the phrase ‘best practices’. 

How to Plan SQL Server Database Files

One of the most important tasks you can do in SQL Server is to setup your data and log files.  Not getting these files setup correctly can be one of the biggest causes for production problems whether it’s disk contention, space usage, or something else.  And honestly this level of planning is often overlooked and by the time the problem is discovered the application and its users have already suffered.  So let’s get into some good discussion about how to setup your database files.

Changing SQL Server Job Owners with PowerShell

Changing a job owner in SQL Server is relatively easy in SSMS and in T-SQL, but when you need to change it several times, it becomes a bit more involved.  While making the change in T-SQL can be done more quickly than in SSMS, it can also be tricky to code and debug.  This is where PowerShell can make your life much easier.
Here we’ll start by right-clicking on ‘Jobs’ in SSMS and choosing ‘Start PowerShell’.

How to Connect CentOS Web Server to a SQL Server

Configuring SQL Server and Its Host
First, the SQL Server (and the appropriate database) must be configured for Windows and SQL Server Authentication. This requires a restart of the SQL Server service if changed. In addition, the server must also have TCP/IP connections enabled with a static port defined (for my example, I will be using the default of 1433), and the firewall on the host for the SQL Server must allow connections to SQL Server on the static port.
At this stage, the first thing to test from your CentOS system is whether you can telnet into the SQL Server host on port 1433. It is important at this stage to test this as you need to determine (a) whether the CentOS system is properly resolving the DNS name of the Windows system (if you are wanting to connect via hostname rather than IP address), and (b) if the Windows system is properly responding on port 1433.
Provided everything is working at this stage, we’re ready to get onto setting up the CentOS system to talk to the SQL Server.

Remotely Managing Windows 2008 Server Core Firewall

As you already know by now, in Windows Server 2008, Server Core installation does not include the traditional full graphical user interface (GUI). Therefore, once you have configured the server, you can only manage it locally at a command prompt, or remotely using a Terminal Server connection. A third management option is to manage the server remotely using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) or command-line tools that support remote use.
Read more about Server Core on my "Understanding Windows Server 2008 Server Core" article.
One of the major pains of managing such a GUI-stripped installation is the configuration of the Windows Advanced Firewall settings. Without properly configuring these rules, you will find it extremely difficult to remotely manage your server.

Anti Virus Exclusion Guidelines for Microsoft Products

Introduction

Running a good, constantly updated Anti-Virus program on your computers - server and workstations - is a must when looking into the potential risks in today's IT world. However, when installing Anti-Virus software on a computer, you also risk having issues with some of the services and applications that run on these computers, most specially with the server machines. Anti-Virus software scans and sometimes locks files on the computers, and when you scan these files, performance and operating system reliability problems may occur because of file locking.
This is why it is extremely important to properly configure the Anti-Virus software to exclude specific files, file type and/or folders on the computers (most importantly - server machines) with an anti virus exclusion.

Security and Privacy in Public Cloud Computing

Overview

There’s lots of confusion about the security of using public cloud computing. I hear questions about data security at rest, security in transit, and how secret a provider must keep stored data whenever I speak at a conference or teach a class.
The US government also hears these questions, both from inside and outside the government. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the US Department of Commerce, is typically responsible for issuing security guidance and has helped to create and publish guidelines on operating system hardening and secure data processing.

Basics of Cisco Switch Administration – Part 2

Introduction

In Basics of Cisco Switch Administration - Part 1, we covered some of the basics of Cisco switch administration – how to log in, how to show configuration, how to change interface speed & duplex, how to enable switch ports, and how to show switch port status. In Part 2, we will stick to the basics of switch administration by covering how to save your configuration, how to use the Cisco Network Assistant, how to speed up switch port startup, and basic VLAN commands.

Basics of Cisco Switch Administration – Part 1

Introduction

Perhaps you are asked to configure a switch port or see what MAC address is on what port. Maybe this isn’t something you do every day and need a refresher course on the most basic Cisco switch administration tasks. Let’s find out how to perform some basic Cisco switch administration tasks.

How to Configure a Cisco Router as a Terminal Server

Whether you have a rack of 3 Cisco routers and switches or 30, it is always nice to be able to easily and quickly get to the console of each device. This is especially true if you do much reconfiguration. By using a Cisco router with async ports as a terminal server, you can very quickly go to a single device and configure all your Cisco router and switches (in that rack) from a single device. Let's find out how to do it...