Integrity checks have become more and more important over the years, as companies store more and more data. This data is absolutely critical, so when corruption happens, it can break a company.
But in all but the smallest shops, running any kind of integrity check is all but completely useless.
Integrity checks without management
DBCC CHECKDB was originally written without consideration of management. For a very long time, you could only output CHECKDB results to the client – meaning you had to run it by hand – or to the error log. Seriously, what good is that? Later, Microsoft added the ability to output CHECKDB results to a table, but that remained undocumented for years so very few people knew it even existed.
That’s not the only problem. A lot of DBAs don’t run CHECKDB at all, because large databases take a long time to process. CHECKDB takes an internal snapshot for its operations. For large databases, that snapshot can fill up the drive, killing the integrity check process entirely. So, you have nothing to show for your efforts. Some DBAs tried to get around this issue by moving to CHECKTABLE instead, but that process comes with the same issues, and is even harder to manage because there are so many more tables than databases.
Integrity checks without reporting
Another reason that running DBCC CHECKDB is useless is this: reporting is still very difficult. Let’s say you have 50 servers – yes, I know a lot of you may have many more than that – and CHECKDB is set to run through a maintenance plan, outputting results to the SQL error log. In this scenario, you have to mine the log for CHECKDB results. That means you not only have to know when the CHECKDB completes on each and every server, but you also have to know what the log entry will look like, and how to parse out the results so they’re readable…again, on every single one of 50 servers. There is simply no easy way to consume CHECKDB results on any kind of scale.
Minion makes integrity checks useful again
The whole goal of Minion CHECKDB was to transform these issues surrounding integrity check processing into simple settings. Now DBAs of every skill level can have a stable, standardized integrity check process for even their largest databases.
Minion CHECKDB has a huge number of groundbreaking features. MC solves the reporting problem by capturing integrity check results to our own log table, along with a huge amount of additional information. Now it just takes a simple query to get the results. Instead of the native raw CHECKDB results, the MC log table tells you how many corruption errors were encountered. Then you can drill deeper from there if you like.
We’ve also solved the problem of the large database that can’t be processed because it runs out of snapshot space. In fact, we’ve solved that a few ways, and I’ll discuss a couple of them here.
- You can create a custom snapshot on a different drive that has more space. MC manages those snapshots for you, so it’s literally a set and forget operation.
- Or, you can restore a recent backup of your database to a remote system and run CHECKDB against that instead. Remote CHECKDB even brings the results back to the primary server, so you don’t have to go hunting for them. Again, this is a setting; you configure it, and then MC manages the whole process for you.
Of course, there’s more
There are many more features in Minion CHECKDB that I didn’t mention. But since MC is completely free, you can download it and install it on as many instances as you want. Go explore!
Put MC on all your systems and start doing integrity checks again. We’ve taken away all the excuses. And when coupled with Minion Backup and Minion Reindex (both also free), you’ve got a maintenance suite that meets all your needs from planning to reporting, and everything in between.
*Without proper management and reporting!
Minion CheckDB is available for download as of February 1, 2017!
In celebration, we had Minion CheckDB webinars.
Done: And, we will be giving away 3 licenses of Minion Enterprise to one lucky winner* at each webinar. Must be present to win!
Minion CheckDB completes the MinionWare maintenance and backups suite in style. Each solution is plug-and-play for the busy DBA, and deeply configurable for those shops with in-depth needs.
This new module is MinionWare’s most ambitious free release yet, featuring all of the rich scheduling and logging functionality in previous products, plus remote CheckDB, multithreading, custom snapshots, rotational scheduling, and more.
In this webinar we’ll show you how this FREE tool by MinionWare can meet your needs with almost effortless management. You are going to LOVE it.
If you simply can’t wait, check out the Minion CheckDB tutorials!
*(Giveaway offer is not open to previous ME winners.)
Database snapshots have been available in SQL Server Enterprise edition in the last several versions. But if you’re lucky enough to have 2016 at work, go on and upgrade to SP1….you get extra-lucky special database snapshots in any version!
(Be sure to read the footnote for “Database snapshots” in that link.)
What are database snapshots for?
Oh what’s that? You don’t use snapshots? Well let’s see a couple of good use cases for them:
- Take a database snapshot before an upgrade, data load, or major change. It’s WAY faster than a backup, and you can roll back the changes if you need to, almost instantly.
- Customize integrity checks. When you run DBCC CheckDB or DBCC CheckTable, behind the scenes SQL Server creates a snapshot of the database to run the operation against. You can also choose to create a custom snapshot…among other reasons, so you can specify where the snapshot files are placed. This is especially useful for shops running tight on disk space.
Speaking of integrity checks and snapshots, Minion CheckDB is slated to come out on this coming February 1. Be on the lookout…it’s going to blow your mind.
Sign up for your trial of Minion Enterprise today, and sign up for our newsletter for updates!
MinionWare will release Minion CheckDB on Febuary 1, 2017!
Minion CheckDB 1.0
Minion CheckDB is the third piece of our free backup and maintenance tools, rounding out the list with Minion Backup and Minion Reindex. CheckDB will have the same native interface, the same configurability, and the same rich scheduling introduced in Minion Backup. And of course, it will have a the same kind of visionary features that users have come to expect from MinionWare products, like:
- Rich logging
- Automated rotating schedules for objects
- Automated remote CheckDB operations
- Automated choice of whether databases get a DBCC CheckDB operation, or a series of DBCC CheckTable operations
- And much more!
Minion Backup 1.3
What’s more, we will also release Minion Backup 1.3 on that date! New MB features include:
- Our new dynamic naming functionality (called named parts)
- Improved restore process
- Additional advances both for their own sake and to support Minion CheckDB
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Since we released Minion Reindex over a year and a half ago, we’ve had a ton of wonderful feedback, praise, questions, and best of all, custom made solutions to custom in-house problems.
You see, Minion Reindex and Minion Backup are both free, and completely open. Nothing’s encrypted, and all data and configuration options are in tables. Minion Enterprise also stores configurations and collected data in tables (and, provides views and functions for easy access). So it’s really easy for our target audience – that is, database administrators – to write their own queries, alerts, reports, and whatever else they could possibly need.
And now, they can share those solutions online at the MinionWare Community Zone.
Come meet Codex!
We’ve had many of you asking to be part of the Minion CheckDB beta and now is the time. We’re putting the finishing touches on the 1st beta and it’s looking great with some fabulous features.
So this is the open call for beta users. If you’d like to meet Codex before anyone else then send me an email.