SQL Server 2012 : Using SQLdiag Configuration Manager (part 4) - Adding Your Own Custom Collectors,Saving and Using a SQLdiag Configuration

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Adding Your Own Custom Collectors

Now that you have looked at the myriad of pre-configured data collectors for various scenarios and features, you might be wondering what happened to the specific data collection that was required for an issue you were troubleshooting in your SQL Server environment. If the previously described custom collectors do not satisfy your data collection requirements, then you can configure your own custom collector using the _MyCollectors custom collector.

Consider an example in which you needed to collect the space usage of the folders in the default data folder of SQL Server. This information was to be collected during startup of the data collection using a PowerShell script. The following PowerShell Script will capture the disk space usage for all the folders in the folder specified below:

$startFolder = 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA'
$colItems = (Get-ChildItem $startFolder | Measure-Object -property length -sum)
'$startFolder -- ' + '{0:N2}' -f ($colItems.sum / 1MB) + ' MB'

$colItems = (Get-ChildItem $startFolder -recurse | Where-Object
{$_.PSIsContainer -eq $True} | Sort-Object)
foreach ($i in $colItems)
$subFolderItems = (Get-ChildItem $i.FullName |
Measure-Object -property length -sum)
$i.FullName + ' -- ' + '{0:N2}' -f ($subFolderItems.sum / 1MB) + ' MB'

Assume that the preceding code was saved into a file called space.ps1. Then you would right-click on _MyCollectors and add a Utility task as shown in Figure 9.



When data collection is completed, a file named <Machine Name>__MyCollectors_Get_Disk_Space_Shutdown_DiskSpace.OUT would appear in the output folder. If you looked at the configuration file after saving the settings using Diag Manager, you would find that the XML node that has the custom collector configuration would look like the following code snippet:

<CustomGroup name=’_MyCollectors’ enabled=’true’ />
<CustomTask enabled=’true’ groupname=’_MyCollectors’ taskname=’Get Disk
Space’ type=’Utility’ point=’Shutdown’ wait=’OnlyOnShutdown’ cmd=’powershell.exe -File
&quot;.\space.ps1&quot; -NoLogo -NonInteractive &gt; &quot;PShell_DiskSpace.OUT&quot; ’
pollinginterval=’0’ />

NOTE Before saving the package configuration, you must add your custom scripts (in the preceding example, space.ps1) to the C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Pssdiag\CustomDiagnostics\_MyCollectors folder.

Saving and Using a SQLdiag Configuration

Now that you know how to configure the SQLdiag collection based on the data you need to collect, this section describes how to save the configuration package, as this tool was released to work with SQL Server 2008 R2, 2008, and 2005 versions. When you click the Save button, the dialog shown in Figure 10 will appear, providing the location of the cabinet (.cab) file and the XML configuration file. You can change the path of the two files as appropriate.



When you click OK, the dialog shown in Figure 11 will appear for selecting either SQL Server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2008, in case you were configuring the data collection using the SQL Server 2008 tab in the Diag Manager.



NOTE The preceding configuration steps work for all releases of SQL Server 2005 and later. Because we are discussing data collection configuration for SQL Server 2012 instances, you should select the SQL Server 2008 tab when you start your configuration. When the dialog is provided for choosing the SQL Server version while saving the cabinet file, choose the SQL Server 2008 R2 option.

By default, the cabinet file generated is located at C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Pssdiag\Customer with the name This cabinet file stores all the necessary supporting files required to collect the data for all the enabled data collectors configured by you. The file can now be copied to the target machine from which you want to collect the diagnostic data.

When you extract the cabinet file, you will find a pssdiag.cmd file, which calls the SQLdiag executable to collect data using the PSSDIAG.XML configuration file. Before you start the data collection, you need to modify the PSSDIAG.XML file, changing the ssver value to 11 from 10.50, as shown in the following example. This directs the SQLdiag utility to collect diagnostic data from a SQL Server 2012 instance.

<Instance name='MSSQLSERVER' windowsauth='true' ssver="11" user=''>

Now you are all ready to collect diagnostic data using SQLdiag by executing the pssdiag.cmd , which is a DOS batch command file, to start the data collection.

WARNING If you had a SQL Server instance from a release earlier than SQL Server 2012 already installed on the machine before the RTM version of SQL Server 2012 was installed, then you need to do one of two things. Either edit your environment PATH variable to ensure that the SQL Server 2012 SQLdiag path precedes any other directories containing older versions of the SQLdiag executable, or modify pssdiag.cmd and hard-code the SQL Server 2012 SQLdiag path.
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Native File Streaming - Storing and Retrieving FILESTREAM Data
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Native File Streaming - Creating a FILESTREAM-Enabled Database
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Native File Streaming - Enabling FILESTREAM
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Native File Streaming - Traditional BLOB Strategies, Introducing FILESTREAM
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Consolidating Data Capture with SQLdiag - Getting Friendly with SQLdiag (part 2) - Using SQLdiag as a Service
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Consolidating Data Capture with SQLdiag - Getting Friendly with SQLdiag (part 1) - Using SQLdiag as a Command-line Application
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Consolidating Data Capture with SQLdiag - The Data Collection Dilemma, An Approach to Data Collection
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Troubleshooting Methodology and Practices - Data Analysis, Validating and Implementing Resolution
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Troubleshooting Methodology and Practices - Data Collection
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Troubleshooting Methodology and Practices - Defining the Problem
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