Support Center

Quick Start

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2017 02:54PM CST

To get, set up, and configure Minion Enterprise: 

  1. Check the system requirements (below), then set up a standalone virtual machine or server, with SQL Server. This is your "repository" server, where you'll install Minion Enterprise.
  2. Sign up and download Minion Enterprise, providing the VM or server name.
    Note: We generate your license key based of this server name!
  3. Run Minion Enterprise setup.
  4. Install the license key.
  5. Configure mail and initial servers.
Install and configuration take about five minutes!

System Requirements and Installation

Minion Enterprise has a few system requirements for the central (“repo”) server.  (Note that these do not all apply to the managed servers.) We recommend that you install Minion Enterprise on a dedicated instance of SQL Server; a modest virtual machine is the ideal scenario.

System requirements:

  • A default instance of SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014. (Managed instances can be SQL Server 2005 or above.) Note: For named instances or clusters, see the "Obtain and install a license key" section below.
  • If you want to monitor Azure SQL Database, you must install Minion Enterprise on SQL Server 2016 or above. 
  • SQL Server cannot be installed as case sensitive.
  • The SQL Agent service account requires sysadmin rights on all managed SQL Server instances.
  • The SQL Agent service account requires access to run system-level WMI queries on all managed servers (which can be accomplished by granting the SQL Agent service account local administrator rights on each managed server). Note: Check your company's security policies for compliance.
  • PowerShell 2.0 or above; execution policy set to RemoteSigned.
System recommendations:
  • Install on a dedicated server, or dedicated virtual machine
  • 6-8GB memory
  • 4 CPU
  • 200-300 GB of disk space
  • Windows 2012 R2

Installing Minion Enterprise - run the setup EXE

  1. Sign up for the Minion Enterprise download, and download it!
  2. Extract and run MinionEnterprise2.2Setup.exe.
  3. Click Next. Review and agree to the license, click Next.
  4. Click Next again. A command window will open and ask for the name of the server; enter the name of the server on which you are installing Minion Enterprise, and hit Enter.
  5. Wait for the script to complete. Click Finish.
  6. Once installation is complete, set the Minion database recovery model to BULK_LOGGED: 
  7. IMPORTANT: Once ME is installed, download and run this update:

Obtain and install a license key

Obtain a license key:
  1. If you didn't provide the server name when you signed up for the download, email us at with the number of servers you’d like to manage, and the name of your Minion server. (This is the name of the server on which ME will be installed, not the names of the servers to be managed.)
  2. When you receive your license key, install the license:
    1. Rename the License.txt file to License.dll.
    2. Save the License.dll file to C:\MinionByMidnightDBA\Collector\
    3. Run the following from a command prompt: C:\MinionByMidnightDBA\Collector\License.exe Install
For named instances or clusters, you must change the configuration file: In the installation root folder, under Includes\, edit the file UserConfig.ps1 to change the $Server parameter from localhost to your servername\instancename (or, for clusters, to the cluster name).

Set up mail

  1. Add your email to the dbo.EmailNotification table:
    INSERT  INTO dbo.EmailNotification ( EmailAddress, Comment )
    SELECT '' , 'DBA';
  2. Edit and run the mail setup script:
    1. Open the mail setup script for editing: C:\MinionByMidnightDBA\MinionMail.sql
    2. Set the @MailServer variable to your SMTP address.
    3. Optionally, you can change the various @display_name values.
      Note: You do not have to change the @Email… and @ReplyTo… variables, as you don’t reply to alert emails.
    4. Run the edited MinionMail.sql script.

Configure initial servers and settings

The initial configuration is remarkably simple: Just enter servers to be managed in the dbo.Servers table.

To set up managed servers in Minion Enterprise, enter server information into the dbo.Servers table in any way you choose: INSERT statements, an Excel file import, with an Active Directory lookup, or any other method of pulling data into a table.

Each server only requires you to set three pieces of information and two flags in the dbo.Servers table to begin. The information you must configure is:
  • ServerName – The name of the SQL Server instance; or, if it is a cluster, the name of the SQL Server virtual instance. Note that Minion Enterprise can monitor Windows servers that do not have an instance of SQL Server installed. Examples: “Server1”, “Server3\NewInstance”.
  • ServiceLevel – All servers must be assigned a service level. Minion Enterprise comes configured to use service levels Gold, Silver, and Bronze. However, you may choose any set of service levels that you like. For information on service levels, see the sections “Service Levels” in Architecture Overview, and “Change the service level structure”.
  • Port – If your SQL Server instance is not on the standard port (1433), you must enter the port number. If your port is 1433 then leave this NULL.

The flags to configure are:

  • IsSQL – Whether this is a SQL Server server or not. Minion Enterprise can perform certain kinds of monitoring (for example, disk space) on non-SQL Server servers.
  • IsActive – Whether this server should be actively managed or not. For example, you may set isActive to 0 to stop managing a single instance that is no longer in use. Minion Enterprise still retains the server information in dbo.Servers, but no longer collects or alerts for that server.
  • CollectionZone - For a "normal" (non-scaled-out) installation of Minion Enterprise, CollectionZone must be 0. For more information, see Collection Zones.

So for example, we could configure ‘YourServer’ like this:

INSERT  INTO dbo.Servers
        ( ServerName ,
          Port ,
          ServiceLevel ,
          IsSQL ,
          IsActive ,
SELECT  'YourServer' AS ServerName ,
        NULL AS Port , --Only change if NOT 1433
        'Gold' AS ServiceLevel ,
        1 AS IsSQL ,
        1 AS IsActive ,
        0 AS CollectionZone ;

Note: Remember to insert the instance name of SQL Server on which ME is installed, especially if there are other, existing databases on the instance. Minion Enterprise can and should monitor itself!
Once this data is entered, Minion Enterprise will automatically:

  • Collect additional information about each server, from the managed servers themselves.  For more information, see the documentation for jobs CollectorServerInfoGet-GOLD, CollectorServerInfoGet-SILVER, and CollectorServerInfoGet-BRONZE.
  • Begin collections on each of the listed servers. See the “Quick Tour of the Modules” section below for more information.
  • Begin alerting for each of the listed servers.  For more information, see the documentation for “Alert” jobs.
  • Begin scripting out all schemas for “Gold” level servers on a daily basis. This is a massively useful feature, as a safeguard against schema level mistakes (such as an incorrectly modified view, or a mistakenly dropped index, or almost any schema object that is modified or dropped). By default, schema are scripted out to the Collector.DBObjectScripts table. You can also choose to script to files (Default file location is C:\MinionByMidnightDBA\DBScriptBackups\.  For more information, see the section titled “Change the Default Location for Scripted Objects”.)  

Optional: Jump Start your Collectors

All of the Minion collectors have their own schedules. However, if you'd like to get certain collectors running right away, first run the "CollectorServerInfoGet-..." collector jobs - Gold, Silver, and/or Bronze, as appropriate. This will populate necessary fields in dbo.Servers.

Then you can run any collector job you like!
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