Five minutes to freedom: Installing Minion Enterprise

Let’s take five minutes and get our entire enterprise in order.

Get your repo server, your Minion Enterprise download, and your license key (trial or permanent). Install and config take just five minutes.

02-Install1. Install

Extract the MinionEnterprise2.2Setup.exe and run it on your repository server.  Give the installation “localhost” for the instance name.

2. Configure email for alerts

Connect to the repo server and insert your alert email:

USE Minion;
INSERT INTO dbo.EmailNotification ( EmailAddress, Comment )
SELECT '' AS EmailAddress, 'DBA' AS Comment;

3. Configure servers

Insert (or bulk insert) server to the repo:

INSERT INTO dbo.Servers
 ( 'Prod01', 'Gold', 1433, 1, 1),
 ( 'Prod02', 'Gold', 1433, 1, 1),
 ( 'Prod03', 'Silver', 1433, 1, 1),
 ( 'QA01', 'Silver', 1433, 1, 1),
 ( 'Dev01', 'Bronze', 1433, 1, 1),
 ( 'Dev02', 'Bronze', 1433, 1, 1);

4. You’re done!

Jobs will begin kicking off to collect data within the next hour. Some jobs run hourly, some run daily or weekly or monthly. You’ll start getting tables full of useful data, and email alerts that actually mean something.

If you’re impatient to start getting some of the good stuff right away, kick off the CollectorServerInfo% jobs manually. These populate data in the dbo.Servers table, which other jobs need to run. You’ll start noticing data in the Collector.DBProperties, Collector.ServiceProperties, and Collector.DriveSpace tables first, as these jobs run most frequently.

While ME is taking care of your shop for you, you can get to know it better with the online documentation!

Download our FREE maintenance modules below:

  • Minion Backup: Free SQL Server Backup utility with world-class enterprise features and full lifecycle management.
  • Minion Reindex: Free SQL Server Reindex utility with unmatched configurability.
  • Minion CheckDB: Free SQL Server CHECKDB that solves all of your biggest CHECKDB problems.

A DBA’s first day on the job

minion-enterprise-01A DBA’s first day on the job

Newbie DBA: Okay, I’m ready to start. Tell me all about your environment!

Current DBA: Well, we’ve got a couple of test boxes, a few QA, and something like 40 production instances. I think most of the production instances are on SQL 2008 R2, but I’m not sure.

Newb: Ah. Okay, so which prod boxes are the important ones?

Curr: Oh, I guess Server3 and Server8 are some of our bigger ones. I’ll have to dig out my list. I put it together like a year or two ago, and a couple of things have changed since then…

Newb: Oh. Well, what do you guys use for backups around here? Third party, or home grown?

Curr: It’s a mix. Some boxes are still on maintenance plans, I’m pretty sure. Some have those free scripts from that one guy, you know, that free set. And we’ve got a couple of different versions of home grown scripts. I’m pretty sure most of that stuff works okay, but not all of it has alerts.

Newb: Not to criticize, but have you ever thought about changing all of that to one plan?

Curr: Yeah, but we don’t really have the time. We’ve got a lot of fires that spring up around here. Keeping up with disk space requests alone must take up several hours every month.

Newb: Gotcha. Well I know you wanted me to do some general index evaluations on the important prod boxes. When will my credentials be ironed out so I can get started?

Curr: Yeah, Bill’s got that on his plate. It usually takes him a few days to get a new hire’s SQL permissions worked out. Like I said, we have several dozen boxes.

Newb: ….

A DBA’s first day on the job, with Minion Enterprise

Newbie DBA: Okay, I’m ready to start. Tell me all about your environment!

Current DBA: Here, I’ve got the list of servers in the dbo.Servers table on the repository instance. Look, we have 4 test boxes, 14 QA, and 47 production. Each one of those is ranked for Gold, Silver, or Bronze level support. I’ll give you that support doc in a minute, but you get it: the gold ones are super important.

Newb: Looks like most of those servers are on SQL Server 2012.

Curr: Yeah, this software checks in on all the instances, so we always know what instances have been patched and which haven’t yet.

Newb: Awesome. What do you guys use for backups around here?

Curr: It’s a mix, but we’re moving to Minion Backup. It’s free, and ties in with this piece – Minion Enterprise. But even for the instances that haven’t moved over yet, we still get alerts from ME if a database hasn’t been backed up recently.

Newb: Okay, that’s pretty cool.

Curr: Oh yeah, you haven’t even seen the start of it. Minion Enterprise does so much that saves us heartache. Like, security audits are easy, we get reports and alerts on disk space, the thing scripts out database objects and jobs. Last month one of the managers decided to drop all of the synonyms on Server4; we didn’t even have to restore a backup. We just pulled all the synonym code from the DBObjectScripts table and ran it.

Newb: I really could have used that at the last job. Junior DBA altered a bunch of views. Okay, so I know you wanted me to do some general index evaluations on the important prod boxes. When will my credentials be ironed out so I can get started?

Curr: Oh it’s done. That’s another thing you can do with ME; I just cloned all of my permissions to your new account, across all the servers. You’re good to go.  Oh, and you should really start your index evaluations inside the ME repository; it gathers a ton of information about objects, usage, and indexes for ALL the boxes. There are stored procedures for index research, like the “clustered GUIDs” SP. You’ll see them when you get in there.

Newb: …wow.

This could be you

Download Minion Enterprise and enjoy free for 90 days. Your current team and newbies will thank you.

Minion Enterprise: SQL Version Number Update

From time to time MinionWare sends out updates to the SQL Server version table. This has no effect on the system as a whole, and is safe to run. The update is sent in clear text so you’ll be able to inspect the statements being run.

What is the SQL Version table?

Minion Enterprise gives you the ability to not only see what version of SQL Server you’re on, but also what version you should be on. We accomplish this by keeping an updated version table that contains the latest SQL Server CUs, security updates, service packs, and hotfixes. So now you can easily see how far behind you are on patches, and even setup alerts to let you know when you’re too far behind. This feature is a fabulous way to keep track of SQL Server patches across your entire enterprise, and not just a server at a time.

Download and more information

See the official SQL Version Number Update page for the SQL Version Number Update download, and for more information, including sample queries.

Giveaway wrap-up, plus a new user webinar

Update: The webinar is past. Watch the recording!

The birthday celebration giveaway idea was a good one, apparently…a lot better than we anticipated. Between friends of the company, SQL user group announcements, our friendly neighborhood SQL Server Central, Reddit, a surprise article over on ITWire, and more, we received several hundred requests for free licenses! We are absolutely thrilled with the response.

If you’re reading this, you’re a part of what makes MinionWare a real live company: interested people. So, thank you. Thanks for being a part of the party.


On July 20 at 11:00am Central time (1600 GMT) we’re holding we held a welcome webinar. This session is for all of proud new owners of ME, and anyone interested in a 90 day trial. Sean will introduce you to the product, show off some of the better features, and answer your questions.

Register now for the July 20 webinar. See you there!

The webinar is past. Watch the recording!