The Stored Procedure to Get the Instance Settings

The Stored Procedure to Get the Instance Settings

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SQL Server instances house databases containing the data for the backend stack of a business model, or configuration data for particular applications. Regardless of the use case, an instance has a set of values/settings that should be tuned to follow best practices.

The purpose of the Stored Procedure that I’m showcasing in this article is to present the DBA a set of important settings/values that shouldn’t be overlooked. Moreover, I will share a cool feature that help DBAs keep control of any particular setting/value that has been recently changed/modified.

The Stored Procedure to Get the Instance Settings

Initial Considerations

Make sure that the account which you will use to execute this Stored Procedure has enough privileges. I know that asking for a user with sysadmin privilege sounds like way too much, but it is the easiest way to get it going properly, since the SP uses xp_cmdshell and other special system stored procedures to get the job done. Or, you can tune the user’s rights to adhere to the least privilege principle.

How to Use the SQL Stored Procedure?

  1. Copy & paste the SP TSQL Code provided in this article.
  2. The SP expects 1 parameter only: @storeValuesInTable

Y is if the DBA desires to save the output in a target table, and N is if the DBA only wants to see the output directly.

Fields Presented and their Meanings

  • sql_version the current SQL Server version of the instance.
  • sql_edition the current SQL Server edition of the instance.
  • build_number the current build number of the instance.
  • min_server_memory the current value (in MB) assigned to the Min Server Memory.
  • max_server_memory the current value (in MB) assigned to the Max Server Memory.
  • server_memory the current value (in MB) that the server hosting the SQL Server instance has available.
  • server_cores the amount of vCPU cores that the server hosting the SQL Server instance has.
  • sql_cores the amount of vCPU cores that the SQL Server instance has assigned for its usage.
  • cost_threshold_for_parallelism the current value assigned for the Cost Threshold for Parallelism setting.
  • max_degree_of_parallelism the current value assigned for the Max Degree of Parallelism setting.
  • lpim_enabled 0 if Lock Pages in Memory setting is disabled and 1 if enabled.
  • ifi_enabled 0 if Instant File initialization is disabled and 1 if enabled.
  • installed_date the date and time when the SQL Server instance was installed.
  • sql_service_account the service account that will run the DB Engine service.
  • sql_agent_service_account the service account that will run the Agent service.
  • startup_time date and time value when the SQL Server instance has recently started.
  • data_collection_timestamp visible only if Y is passed to the SP. It is used to define when the SP was executed and successfully saved the information in the InstanceValues table.

Execution Tests of the Stored Procedure in SQL

I will demonstrate a few executions of the Stored Procedure so that you get an idea what to expect from it.

EXEC DBA_InstanceValues @storeValuesInTable = 'N'
Execution Tests
Execution Tests
Execution Tests of a Stored Procedure
EXEC DBA_InstanceValues @storeValuesInTable = 'Y'

For this particular execution, the output will be saved to a table called InstanceValues. It will be created in the target database if it doesn’t exist.

The table has almost the same structure as on the screenshot above, with atiny difference: it includes a field called data_collection_timestamp at the very end of the table.

The data_collection_timestamp field is helpful for several purposes:

  • to tell you when the SP was executed to collect the saved data (quite obvious).
  • To seek any differences within a particular range of time for any particular setting field.

To prove that it is useful, let me present a quick example.

I have executed the SP once, passing the Y parameter. The respective record has been inserted into the InstanceValues table. Then I change cost_threshold_for_parallelism value within my instance to 50, then execute the script again.

Execution Tests of a Stored Procedure

As you can see, the modification was successfully logged to the InstanceValues table. Now, how can this be useful?

If you create an Agent Job that executes this Stored Procedure on a daily basis, you can create an internal audit mechanism to keep track of when a particular setting value is modified, just like I demonstrated. Thus, you can keep full control over your SQL Server instance. If you ask me, it is something extremely useful.

The Complete Code of the Stored Procedure

At the very beginning of the script, you will see the default value. The Stored Procedure assumes it if no value is passed to the parameter.

SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO
-- =============================================
-- Author     : Alejandro Cobar
-- Create date: 2021-05-15
-- Description: SP to retrieve important instance settings/values
-- =============================================
CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[DBA_InstanceValues]
	@storeValuesInTable CHAR(1) = 'N'
AS
BEGIN
	SET NOCOUNT ON;
	DECLARE @sqlCommand VARCHAR(4096)
	SET @sqlCommand = ''

	IF(@storeValuesInTable = 'Y')
	BEGIN
		IF NOT EXISTS (SELECT * FROM dbo.sysobjects where id = object_id(N'[InstanceValues]') and OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N'IsTable') = 1)
		BEGIN
			CREATE TABLE InstanceValues(
			[sql_version]					[VARCHAR](32) NOT NULL,
			[sql_edition]					[VARCHAR](64) NOT NULL,
			[build_number]					[VARCHAR](32) NOT NULL,
			[min_server_memory]				[DECIMAL](15,2) NOT NULL,
			[max_server_memory]				[DECIMAL](15,2) NOT NULL,
			[server_memory]					[DECIMAL](15,2) NOT NULL,
			[server_cores]					[SMALLINT] NOT NULL,
			[sql_cores]						[SMALLINT] NOT NULL,
			[cost_threshold_for_parallelism][SMALLINT] NOT NULL,
			[max_degree_of_parallelism]		[SMALLINT] NOT NULL,
			[lpim_enabled]					[TINYINT] NOT NULL, 
			[ifi_enabled]					[TINYINT] NOT NULL,
			[installed_date]				[DATETIME] NOT NULL,
			[sql_service_account]			[VARCHAR](64) NOT NULL,
			[sql_agent_service_account]		[VARCHAR](64) NOT NULL,
			[startup_time]					[DATETIME] NOT NULL,
			[data_collection_timestamp]		[DATETIME] NOT NULL
			) ON [PRIMARY]
		END
	END

	CREATE TABLE #CPUValues(
	[index]        SMALLINT,
	[description]  VARCHAR(128),
	[server_cores] SMALLINT,
	[value]        VARCHAR(5) 
	)

	CREATE TABLE #MemoryValues(
	[index]         SMALLINT,
	[description]   VARCHAR(128),
	[server_memory] DECIMAL(10,2),
	[value]         VARCHAR(64) 
	)

	INSERT INTO #CPUValues
	EXEC xp_msver 'ProcessorCount'

	INSERT INTO #MemoryValues 
	EXEC xp_msver 'PhysicalMemory'

	CREATE TABLE #IFI_Value(DataOut VarChar(2000))

	DECLARE @show_advanced_options INT
	DECLARE @xp_cmdshell_enabled INT
	DECLARE @xp_regread_enabled INT

	SELECT @show_advanced_options = CONVERT(INT, ISNULL(value, value_in_use))
	FROM master.sys.configurations
	WHERE name = 'show advanced options'

	IF @show_advanced_options = 0 
	BEGIN
		EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1
		RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE 
	END 

	SELECT @xp_cmdshell_enabled = CONVERT(INT, ISNULL(value, value_in_use))
	FROM master.sys.configurations
	WHERE name = 'xp_cmdshell'

	IF @xp_cmdshell_enabled = 0 
	BEGIN
		EXEC sp_configure 'xp_cmdshell', 1
		RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE 
	END 

	INSERT INTO #IFI_Value
	EXEC xp_cmdshell 'whoami /priv | findstr `"SeManageVolumePrivilege`"'

	IF @xp_cmdshell_enabled = 0 
	BEGIN
		EXEC sp_configure 'xp_cmdshell', 0
		RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE 
	END 

	IF @show_advanced_options = 0 
	BEGIN
		EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced options', 0
		RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE 
	END

	IF (SELECT CONVERT(INT, (REPLACE(SUBSTRING(CONVERT(NVARCHAR, SERVERPROPERTY('ProductVersion')), 1, 2), '.', '')))) > 10
	BEGIN
		IF(@storeValuesInTable = 'Y')
		BEGIN
			SET @sqlCommand = '
			INSERT INTO InstanceValues
			'
		END
		SET @sqlCommand += '
		SELECT 
			v.sql_version,
			(SELECT SUBSTRING(CONVERT(VARCHAR(255),SERVERPROPERTY(''EDITION'')),0,CHARINDEX(''Edition'',CONVERT(VARCHAR(255),SERVERPROPERTY(''EDITION'')))) + ''Edition'') AS sql_edition,
			CONVERT(VARCHAR,SERVERPROPERTY(''ProductVersion'')) AS build_number,
			(SELECT CONVERT(DECIMAL(10,2),[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%min server memory%'') min_server_memory,
			(SELECT CONVERT(DECIMAL(10,2),[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%max server memory%'') max_server_memory,
			(SELECT ROUND(CONVERT(DECIMAL(10,2),server_memory/1024.0),1) FROM #MemoryValues) AS server_memory,			
			server_cores, 
			(SELECT COUNT(*) AS ''sql_cores'' FROM sys.dm_os_schedulers WHERE status = ''VISIBLE ONLINE'') AS sql_cores,
			(SELECT CONVERT(SMALLINT,[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%cost threshold for parallelism%'') AS cost_threshold_for_parallelism,
			(SELECT CONVERT(SMALLINT,[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%max degree of parallelism%'') AS max_degree_of_parallelism,
			(SELECT CASE locked_page_allocations_kb WHEN 0 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END FROM sys.dm_os_process_memory) AS lpim_enabled,
			(SELECT COUNT(1) FROM #IFI_Value WHERE DataOut LIKE ''%SeManageVolumePrivilege%Enabled%'') AS ifi_enabled,
			(SELECT create_date FROM sys.server_principals WHERE sid = 0x010100000000000512000000) AS installed_date,
			(SELECT service_account FROM sys.dm_server_services WHERE servicename = {fn CONCAT({fn CONCAT(''SQL Server ('',CONVERT(VARCHAR(32),ISNULL(SERVERPROPERTY(''INSTANCENAME''),''MSSQLSERVER'')))},'')'')}) AS sql_service_account,
			(SELECT service_account FROM sys.dm_server_services WHERE servicename = {fn CONCAT({fn CONCAT(''SQL Server Agent ('',CONVERT(VARCHAR(32),ISNULL(SERVERPROPERTY(''INSTANCENAME''),''MSSQLSERVER'')))},'')'')}) AS sql_agent_service_account,
			(SELECT login_time FROM sys.sysprocesses WHERE spid = 1) AS startup_time'
		IF(@storeValuesInTable = 'Y')
		BEGIN
			SET @sqlCommand += '
			,GETDATE() AS data_collection_timestamp
			'
		END
		SET @sqlCommand += '
		FROM #CPUValues
		LEFT JOIN (
			SELECT
				CASE 
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''8%''    THEN ''SQL Server 2000''
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''9%''    THEN ''SQL Server 2005''
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''10.0%'' THEN ''SQL Server 2008''
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''10.5%'' THEN ''SQL Server 2008 R2''
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''11%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2012''
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''12%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2014''
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''13%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2016''    
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''14%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2017''
					WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''15%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2019'' 
					ELSE ''UNKNOWN''
				END AS sql_version
		) AS v ON 1 = 1
		'
		EXECUTE(@sqlCommand)
	END

	ELSE
	BEGIN
		DECLARE @instanceName VARCHAR(100)
		SET @instanceName = CONVERT(VARCHAR,SERVERPROPERTY ('InstanceName'))
		IF (@instanceName) IS NULL
		BEGIN
			DECLARE @agentAccount NVARCHAR(128);
			EXEC master.dbo.xp_regread
			'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE',
			'SYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesSQLSERVERAGENT',
			'ObjectName', 
			@agentAccount  OUTPUT;

			DECLARE @engineAccount NVARCHAR(128);
			EXEC master.dbo.xp_regread
			'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE',
			'SYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesMSSQLSERVER',
			'ObjectName', 
			@engineAccount  OUTPUT;
		END
	ELSE
	BEGIN
		DECLARE @SQL NVARCHAR (500)
		SET @SQL  = 'EXEC master.dbo.xp_regread ''HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE'', ''SYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesSQLAgent$'+@instanceName+''',''ObjectName'', @serviceAccount OUTPUT;'
		EXECUTE sp_executesql @SQL,N'@serviceAccount NVARCHAR(128) OUTPUT',@serviceAccount=@agentAccount OUTPUT

		SET @SQL  = 'EXEC master.dbo.xp_regread ''HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE'', ''SYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesMSSQL$'+@instanceName+''',''ObjectName'', @serviceAccount OUTPUT;'
		EXECUTE sp_executesql @SQL,N'@serviceAccount NVARCHAR(128) OUTPUT',@serviceAccount=@engineAccount OUTPUT
	END

	IF(@storeValuesInTable = 'Y')
	BEGIN
		SET @sqlCommand = '
		INSERT INTO InstanceValues
		'
	END
	SET @sqlCommand += '
    SELECT 
        v.sql_version,
        (SELECT SUBSTRING(CONVERT(VARCHAR(255),SERVERPROPERTY(''EDITION'')),0,CHARINDEX(''Edition'',CONVERT(VARCHAR(255),SERVERPROPERTY(''EDITION'')))) + ''Edition'') AS sql_edition,
        CONVERT(VARCHAR,SERVERPROPERTY(''ProductVersion'')) AS build_number,
        (SELECT CONVERT(DECIMAL(10,2),[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%min server memory%'') min_server_memory,
        (SELECT CONVERT(DECIMAL(10,2),[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%max server memory%'') max_server_memory,
        (SELECT ROUND(CONVERT(DECIMAL(10,2),server_memory/1024.0),1) FROM #MemoryValues) AS server_memory,
        server_cores, 
        (SELECT COUNT(*) AS sql_cores FROM sys.dm_os_schedulers WHERE status = ''VISIBLE ONLINE'') AS sql_cores,
		(SELECT CONVERT(SMALLINT,[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%cost threshold for parallelism%'') AS cost_threshold_for_parallelism,
        (SELECT CONVERT(SMALLINT,[value]) FROM sys.configurations WHERE name LIKE ''%max degree of parallelism%'') AS max_degree_of_parallelism,
		(SELECT CASE locked_page_allocations_kb WHEN 0 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END FROM sys.dm_os_process_memory) AS lpim_enabled,
        (SELECT COUNT(1) FROM #IFI_Value WHERE DataOut LIKE ''%SeManageVolumePrivilege%Enabled%'') AS ifi_enabled,
        (SELECT create_date FROM sys.server_principals WHERE sid = 0x010100000000000512000000) AS installed_date,
        (SELECT '+CHAR(39)+@engineAccount+CHAR(39)+' AS sql_service_account) AS sql_service_account,
        (SELECT '+CHAR(39)+@agentAccount+CHAR(39)+' AS sql_agent_service_account) AS sql_agent_service_account,
        (SELECT login_time FROM sys.sysprocesses WHERE spid = 1) AS startup_time'
	IF(@storeValuesInTable = 'Y')
	BEGIN
		SET @sqlCommand += '
		,GETDATE() AS data_collection_timestamp
		'
	END
	SET @sqlCommand += '
    FROM #CPUValues
    LEFT JOIN (
		SELECT
			CASE 
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''8%''    THEN ''SQL Server 2000''
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''9%''    THEN ''SQL Server 2005''
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''10.0%'' THEN ''SQL Server 2008''
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''10.5%'' THEN ''SQL Server 2008 R2''
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''11%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2012''
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''12%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2014''
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''13%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2016''    
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''14%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2017''
				WHEN CONVERT(VARCHAR(128), SERVERPROPERTY (''PRODUCTVERSION'')) LIKE ''15%''   THEN ''SQL Server 2019'' 
				ELSE ''UNKNOWN''
			END AS sql_version
	) AS v ON 1 = 1
	'
	EXECUTE(@sqlCommand)
	--SELECT @sqlCommand
	END

	DROP TABLE #CPUValues
	DROP TABLE #MemoryValues
	DROP TABLE #IFI_Value
END

Conclusion

The custom Stored Procedure presented in this article allows you to build an alerting mechanism to notify about changes of any values of a particular field over time.

You can deploy this SP in every SQL Server instance under your support and implement the audit mechanism across your entire stack of supported instances.

The primary importance of the presented information would be to check if the SQL Server instance has values that are adhered to the recommended best practices. It also helps you to check if any recent activity/change took place to update any of the settings (either intentionally, or by mistake).

The post The Stored Procedure to Get the Instance Settings appeared first on {coding}Sight.


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Author Of this post: Alejandro Cobar
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