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Quick Tour of the Modules

Last Updated: Aug 04, 2017 02:00PM CDT

Minion Enterprise gathers data from all managed servers into tables in the Collector schema. The moment you configure an instance in the dbo.Servers table, Minion Enterprise begins pulling in a stunning array of service status, disk space, backups, database properties, logins and users, table sizes, and on and on. All of this data from across your enterprise is now updated and available in one central repository, ready for alerts, and reporting, and planning for the future.

One module in Minion Enterprise contains all of the objects and processes needed to address a logical area of SQL Server management. So for example, the Instance Config Module is made up of scripts, procedures, tables, jobs, and reports that:

  • collect and store sp_configure data from managed servers
  • supply reporting functionality
  • provide alerting alerting
  • allow for centralized management of sp_configure values

In addition, Minion Enterprise has a growing set of utilities which make use of data (collected by actual modules) to provide extra functionality. For example, the Login Password Strength utility uses the data collected by the Logins module, and data from its own (essentially static) table dbo.PasswordDictionary.

Here in the Quick Start, we briefly review each Minion Enterprise module and utility, grouped into the following general categories:

  • Server environment data
  • SQL Server environment data
  • Database information
  • Maintenance and backups
  • Security and encryption
  • Replication latency

Server Environment Data

OS Details: The OS Detail module collects information about each server’s memory, OS version, install date, and more. Use the view Collector.ServersOSDetailCurrent for the latest data.

Drive Space: To view the latest disk space usage data, query the view Collector.DriveSpaceCurrent. It provides the latest InstanceID, server name, drive name, drive capacity, drive free space, service level, and more.

Service Properties: The ME Service Properties module collects information about service properties, including the service account, the status, and the start mode. You can use this information to see the impact of an account password change, and to alert on stopped services. See the latest collection of service account data using the Collector.ServicePropertiesCurrent view.

SQL Server Environment Data

Instance Config: Retrieve up-to-date sp_configure settings via Collector.InstanceConfigCurrent.

Error Log Searches: You can set up specific error log search terms in the dbo.ErrorLogSearch table.  The ME Error Log module gathers any matches and logs them in the Collector.ErrorLog table. See the Collector.ErrorLogCurrent view for the latest results.

Wait Statistics: The Collector.WaitStatsCurrent view shows the latest collection of wait stats data, including the percentage of the WaitType for each collection period. 

Jobs: The Collector.Sysjobs% tables (and their associated Current and Previous views) provide information on jobs, steps, history, schedules, and more.

Database Mail: The Collector.SysMail% tables provide data on all aspects of DBmail, including accounts, items, attachments, configuration, profiles, and more.

Database Information

Database Properties:  For each database, the Database Properties module collects a significant amount of data, including the database name, id, and owner; last full, log, or diff backup; which databases have auto-shrink enabled; database collations; case sensitivity; database size on disk; and more. To see the most recent collection of database properties, query Collector.DBPropertiesCurrent.

Database Files: For current information on database file properties and growth rates, see Collector.DBFilePropertiesCurrent and Collector.FileGrowthRateCurrent. The view Collector.LogspaceCurrent shows the latest log space usage.

Script Schemas: This module scripts out all schemas for “Gold” level servers on a daily basis. By default, schema are scripted out to the Collector.DBObjectScripts table.

Objects: The ME Objects module collects sys.objects data from each database. This is extremely useful for determining when objects come and go from databases, and to investigate when an object might be missing from certain servers. Get the most recent collection from the Collector.SysObjectsCurrent view.

Tables: The Table Properties module gathers data space used, index space used, rowcounts, and much more for every table, in every database, in every managed instance. For the most recent collection of table data, query Collector.TablePropertiesCurrent.

Columns: The Collector.TableColumnsCurrent view shows the latest collection of table column data. You use this data to, for example, detect changes to tables over time, compare the data types for similarly named columns across your enterprise, or search for common issues (such as VARCHAR(1), or deprecated data types).

Index Stats: Get detailed index information from the Index Stats module. It collects all data from sys.indexes, plus the list of indexed columns (and included columns), and more. This allows you to perform detailed, enterprise-wide index analysis. Check the Collector.IndexStatsCurrent view for the latest set of index information.

Maintenance and Backups

Backups: Minion Enterprise can log the latest times for backups, whether they’re performed by Minion Backup, or by another solution. For the most recent collection of database properties – including latest backup times – query Collector.DBPropertiesCurrent. If you have integrated Minion Backup with Minion Enterprise, additional backup detail is available in Collector.BackupLogDetailsCurrent.

Index Maintenance: The Index Maintenance module pulls index maintenance records from managed servers where Minion Reindex is installed (and integrated with Minion Enterprise). Once Minion Reindex is integrated, you can find the most recent collection of index maintenance logs in the Collector.IndexMaintLogCurrent view.

CheckDB: Once Minion CheckDB is released (planned for early 2016), you will have the option to integrate it into Minion Enterprise.

Security and Encryption

Logins: See an up to date list of all logins across all servers using the view Collector.LoginsCurrent.

Server Role Members: The Collector.ServerRoleMemberCurrent view displays the latest collection of logins, by server role.

AD Group Members: The Collector.ADGroupMemberCurrent view expands the latest collection of AD groups into their constituent members (AD logins and sub-groups).

Database Users: The Collector.DBUsersCurrent view provides the latest collection of database users. Use it, together with the Collector.DBUsersPrevious view, to discover when users are added and deleted from specific databases. 

Clone Users: This module allows you to completely script and clone logins, with associated users and permissions, to one or more servers in the environment.

Utility - SID Server: Keep a central list of SQL Server logins, and their assigned ID number (“SID”). Standardizing login SIDs across your enterprise prevents the common orphaned users issue.

Utility - Login Access Method: This utility is an auditing feature that shows you how users are gaining access to SQL, and whether they are getting in through multiple methods.  This is an extremely powerful module; only Minion Enterprise brings you this type of functionality.

Utility - Login Password Strength: This utility allows you to check the password strength of your SQL logins, as well as additional login properties.

Replication Latency

Replication: Minion Enterprise gathers replication latency data for all subscriptions. The Collector.ReplLatencyCurrent view displays the latest collection.

Note that this is one of the few modules that requires some setup.

Availability Groups

Availability Groups: Minion Enterprise collects information on Availability Group replicas, listeners, groups, status, and read-only routing lists.

Next article: Automatic Collections and Alerts
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