Another day at the SQL Bangalore UG Meeting

Another Saturday and another Bangalore SQL UG meeting completed! The turnout on a Saturday morning was really good. This time around the event was a bit different as we had a session on Photography by Vijay [T: @msigeek | B: iClickD]. This week’s User Group meeting was dedicated to SQL Server Tips and Tricks with Balmukund Lakhani [T: @blakhani | B: sqlserver-help] and me presenting on Management Studio and Power Pivot and Power View in Excel 2013.

Balmukund’s session as always was a superb hit where he demonstrated more than a fair share of SSMS tips and tricks. I am sure every one at the event learnt atleast a new thing about SSMS. There are multiple hidden options under the Tools->Options view in SSMS.

Vijay delivered a great session on photography which was very well appreciated by the audience!!

My session was around the the usage of Power View and Power Pivot in Excel 2013. I demonstrated how easy it was to build visualizations with Excel 2013 for administrators. I also demoed the Excel sheet that I had created using the System Health Session data. All my blog posts on this topic are available below.

PowerView and System Health Session–CPU health

PowerView and System Health Session–Scheduler Health

PowerView and System Health Session–SQL Memory Health

PowerView and System Health Session– IO Health

PowerView and System Health Session– System

The Excel file can be downloaded from Sky Drive using the link: http://sdrv.ms/10O0udO The presentation that I used for my session is available at SlideShare and also embedded below.

PowerView and System Health Session– System

Previous posts in this series:

PowerView and System Health Session–CPU health

PowerView and System Health Session–Scheduler Health

PowerView and System Health Session–SQL Memory Health

PowerView and System Health Session– IO Health

In the last post for this series, I had explained how to retrieve the I/O statistics from the System Health Session data. In this post, I will describe how to build a dashboard using the SYSTEM component of the sp_server_diagnostics output. This view will help DBAs track various errors which can get their blood pressure shooting to abnormal levels. The SYSTEM component tracks various errors like non-yielding conditions, latch related warnings, inconsistent pages detected and access violations for the SQL Server instance.

Armed with this information in a Power Pivot table, I created two calculated columns for DAY and HOUR on the time the event was reported. After that I created KPIs on the maximum number of non-yielding conditions, latch related warnings, inconsistent pages and access violations reported.

Now that I have my Power Pivot data, I created a new Power View sheet which tracks the created KPIs for each day and hour. The screenshot below shows the final view.

The first half is a 100% Stacked Bar graph showing the various errors that were reported each day. There is a slicer for Day available which allows to filter the data quickly.

The second half of the report is a matrix which shows the KPI status for which day with a drill-down capability for hour.

The third half of the report shows a card view with the actual number of issues reported for each event against a particular time.

As usual the Excel sheet is available on SkyDrive at: http://sdrv.ms/10O0udO

Issue Statistics

The query to fetch the data required to build this report is available below.


SET NOCOUNT ON

-- Fetch data for only SQL Server 2012 instances

IF (SUBSTRING(CAST(SERVERPROPERTY ('ProductVersion') AS varchar(50)),1,CHARINDEX('.',CAST(SERVERPROPERTY ('ProductVersion') AS varchar(50)))-1) >= 11)

BEGIN
-- Get UTC time difference for reporting event times local to server time

DECLARE @UTCDateDiff int = DATEDIFF(mi,GETUTCDATE(),GETDATE());

-- Store XML data retrieved in temp table

SELECT TOP 1 CAST(xet.target_data AS XML) AS XMLDATA

INTO #SystemHealthSessionData

FROM sys.dm_xe_session_targets xet

JOIN sys.dm_xe_sessions xe

ON (xe.address = xet.event_session_address)

WHERE xe.name = 'system_health'

AND xet.target_name = 'ring_buffer';

-- Parse XML data and provide required values in the form of a table

;WITH CTE_HealthSession (EventXML) AS

(

SELECT C.query('.') EventXML

FROM #SystemHealthSessionData a

CROSS APPLY a.XMLDATA.nodes('/RingBufferTarget/event') as T(C)

)

SELECT

DATEADD(mi,@UTCDateDiff,EventXML.value('(/event/@timestamp)[1]','datetime')) as [Event Time],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/text)[1]','varchar(255)') as Component,

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/system/@latchWarnings)[1]','bigint') as [Latch Warnings],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/system/@isAccessViolationOccurred)[1]','bigint') as [Access Violations],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/system/@nonYieldingTasksReported)[1]','bigint') as [Non Yields Reported],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/system/@BadPagesDetected)[1]','bigint') as [Bad Pages Detected],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/system/@BadPagesFixed)[1]','bigint') as [Bad Pages Fixed]

FROM CTE_HealthSession

WHERE EventXML.value('(/event/@name)[1]', 'varchar(255)') = 'sp_server_diagnostics_component_result'

AND EventXML.value('(/event/data/text)[1]','varchar(255)') = 'SYSTEM'

ORDER BY [Event Time];

DROP TABLE #SystemHealthSessionData

END

TroubleshootingSQL Bytes–CPU usage analysis with Excel 2013

A screencast showing the CPU usage statistics of a SQL Server 2012 instance retrieved using Power Pivot. The visualization has been built using Power View in Excel 2013. The nuts and bolts of how the visualization was created is available in the following blog post: PowerView and System Health Session–CPU health

TroubleshootingSQL–CPU usage analysis with Excel 2013

PowerView and System Health Session– IO Health

Previous posts in this series:

PowerView and System Health Session–CPU health

PowerView and System Health Session–Scheduler Health

PowerView and System Health Session–SQL Memory Health

The SQL Server support team does get a lot of calls regarding slow performance which on analysis leads to a slow performing disk sub-system. The IO_SUBSYSTEM component of the sp_server_diagnostics output in SQL Server 2012 tracks I/O related latch timeouts and long duration I/Os reported along with the filename and the longest pending I/O duration. This information can be very useful when looking at the trends of slow I/O reported on the SQL Server database files on an instance.

As shown earlier in the series, I used this data captured by the sp_server_diagnostics output present in the System Health Session ring buffers to build visualizations using Power Pivot and Power View in Excel 2013. The query available at the bottom of this blog post allowed me to fetch the information from the System Health Session ring buffer into a Power Pivot table.

After that I created a two calculated fields for Hour and Day using the Event Time field in the table. Then, I created two calculated fields for tracking the maximum number of Long IOs and IO Latch Timeouts reported. Then I assigned KPIs to each of these calculated fields. After that I got down to designing the Powershell sheet which finally looked like the image in the screenshot!

The slider enables you to see the KPI status for each day on an hourly basis and the table on the right gives you insights into every snapshot captured by the sp_server_diagnostics output for the hour that you are interested in.

As usual the Excel sheet is available on SkyDrive at: http://sdrv.ms/10O0udO

IO Statistics

Query to fetch the above data is available below:


SET NOCOUNT ON
-- Fetch data for only SQL Server 2012 instances

IF (SUBSTRING(CAST(SERVERPROPERTY ('ProductVersion') AS varchar(50)),1,CHARINDEX('.',CAST(SERVERPROPERTY ('ProductVersion') AS varchar(50)))-1) >= 11)

BEGIN

-- Get UTC time difference for reporting event times local to server time

DECLARE @UTCDateDiff int = DATEDIFF(mi,GETUTCDATE(),GETDATE());

-- Store XML data retrieved in temp table

SELECT TOP 1 CAST(xet.target_data AS XML) AS XMLDATA

INTO #SystemHealthSessionData

FROM sys.dm_xe_session_targets xet

JOIN sys.dm_xe_sessions xe

ON (xe.address = xet.event_session_address)

WHERE xe.name = 'system_health'

AND xet.target_name = 'ring_buffer';

-- Parse XML data and provide required values in the form of a table

;WITH CTE_HealthSession (EventXML) AS

(

SELECT C.query('.') EventXML

FROM #SystemHealthSessionData a

CROSS APPLY a.XMLDATA.nodes('/RingBufferTarget/event') as T(C)

)

SELECT

DATEADD(mi,@UTCDateDiff,EventXML.value('(/event/@timestamp)[1]','datetime')) as [Event Time],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/text)[1]','varchar(255)') as Component,

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/ioSubsystem/@ioLatchTimeouts)[1]','bigint') as [IO Latch Timeouts],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/ioSubsystem/@totalLongIos)[1]','bigint') as [Total Long IOs],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/ioSubsystem/longestPendingRequests/pendingRequest/@filePath)[1]','varchar(8000)') as [Longest Pending Request File],

EventXML.value('(/event/data/value/ioSubsystem/longestPendingRequests/pendingRequest/@duration)[1]','bigint') as [Longest Pending IO Duration]

FROM CTE_HealthSession

WHERE EventXML.value('(/event/@name)[1]', 'varchar(255)') = 'sp_server_diagnostics_component_result'

AND EventXML.value('(/event/data/text)[1]','varchar(255)') = 'IO_SUBSYSTEM'

ORDER BY [Event Time];

DROP TABLE #SystemHealthSessionData

END 

PowerView and System Health Session–SQL Memory Health

SQL Server Memory has been always a topic of discussion at most client locations that I visit. So, I thought I will dedicate the third post of my Power View and System Health Session series to Memory usage. SQL Server 2012 instances tracks some very useful information with the help of the sp_server_diagnostics output. I will be concentrating my efforts on the RESOURCE component’s output.

So get ready to have a plethora of information about your SQL Server instance’s memory usage available in a single Power View sheet in Excel 2013!

Continue reading

SQL Bangalore UG Meet

I had the opportunity to speak at the SQL Bangalore UG Meet on 22nd December 2012. A big thank you to Vinod Kumar (B | T) for organizing this meet!!

The topic that I presented on was the SQL Server System Health Session which has been there since SQL Server 2008 and has been further enhanced in SQL Server 2008.

The MSDN documentation on the System Health Session is available here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff877955.aspx

All the System Health Session articles that I have written are available in this summary post: https://troubleshootingsql.com/2012/09/24/system-health-session-and-beyond/ (The RDL files for the reports demoed can be downloaded from here)

System Health Session Custom Reports for management studio can be downloaded from here: https://troubleshootingsql.com/2011/09/28/system-health-session-part-4/ (Note that the custom SSMS reports only work for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 instances)

Presentation delivered at the meet is available above!

As usual it was good fun presenting at the session! And what I really like about such sessions is that I get to meet the #SQLFamily in person!!

DSC01328

Handling Deadlocked Schedulers is a piece of cake now

I had written walkthroughs (Part 1 | Part 2) on how to troubleshoot a Deadlocked Schedulers condition for SQL Server instances. Deadlocked Schedulers is a condition where all your SQL Server worker threads are exhausted and no new work requests are being picked up by the SQL Server instance.

Starting from SQL Server 2012, the System Health extended events session tracks deadlocked schedulers condition using the extended event (scheduler_monitor_deadlock_ring_buffer_recorded). The session tracks other useful events which makes it easy to trace back the series of events which led to the deadlocked schedulers condition!

I will be using the Extended Events UI in SQL Server 2012 management studio to show how the target file of the System Health session can be used to track deadlocked schedulers condition experienced by your SQL Server instance.

Continue reading