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SQL 2014 Hosting - ASPHostPortal :: Make Your SSAS Works Like a Private Jet!

clock December 10, 2015 19:54 by author Jervis

SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Tabular is a popular choice as an analytical engine for many customers. With its state-of-the-art compression algorithms, multi-threaded query processor and in-memory capabilities, SSAS Tabular can provide super quick access to data by reporting client applications. However, as a consultant, I have been called by many clients to resolve slow query performance when accessing data from SSAS Tabular models. My experiences have taught me most, if not all, of the performance issues can be resolved by taking care of the following five subject areas. 

Estimate Current Size and Growth Carefully

Tabular models compress data really well and on an average, you can expect to see 10x the compression rates (though it can be much more or less depending on the cardinality of your data). However, when you are estimating the size of your model as well as future growth, a rough figure like this is not going to be optimal. If you already have data sitting in a data warehouse, import a subset of that data — say a month — to find the model size for that and then extrapolate the value based on the required number of rows / years as well as the number of columns. If not, try to at least get a subset of the data from the source to find the model size. There are tools like BISM Memory Report and Vertipaq Analyzer that can further help in this process.

It is also important to record the number of users who will be accessing the system currently as well as the estimated growth for the number of users.

Select or Upgrade Hardware Appropriately

Everyone knows SSAS Tabular is a memory intensive application, and one major issue I have seen is only the RAM is considered when hardware selections are made. However, just focusing on the RAM is not enough and there are a lot of other variables. Suppose all the other variables are constant and there is an unlimited budget, these are the recommendations:

CPU Speed – The faster, the better, will help in computing results faster especially when there is a bottleneck on the single-threaded formula engine.

CPU Cores – In theory, the more the better as it helps in managing concurrent user loads. However, in reality, a rise in the number of cores usually corresponds to a decrease in the CPU speed due to management overload. So a balanced approach has to be taken when determining the CPU Cores and Speed. Also, licensing cost increases with the number of cores for many software.

CPU Sockets – The lesser, the better as SSAS Tabular is not NUMA aware till SQL 2014. However, this is expected to change in SQL 2016 where some NUMA optimization has been made. For large tabular models, it might be a challenge to go single socket as the amount of RAM that can be supported on a system will depend on the CPU sockets.

CPU Cache – The more, the better. Retrieving data from CPU caches are 10-100x faster than retrieving data from RAM.

CPU Architecture – The newer, the better due to the hardware performance optimizations. For eg, Intel Xeon processors with Haswell architecture is always going to be faster than Sandy architecture keeping all other variables constant.

Amount of RAM – Should have at least 2.5x the model size, if the model is going to be processed on the same server. The amount of RAM can be lesser in cases of certain scale out architectures where the model is processed in a separate server.

RAM Speed – The faster, the better (yes, RAMs have speed too!) This is very important for a memory-bound application like Tabular and should always go for the faster speeds, if budget allows.

Storage – Not important at all as it does not have any effect on query performance. However, if budget allows, it might not be a bad idea to get faster storage like SSDs, as that will help in maintenance related activities like backup, storage or even getting the tabular model online faster when the service is restarted. Apart from this, there are other factors also like network latency, server architecture (scale out), etc that have to be considered, but depending on the budget and specific customer requirements, a balanced approach will have to be made.

Design the Data Model Properly

Tabular is really good at performance and in the case of small models, is extremely forgiving in terms of bad design. However, when the amount of data grows, performance problems begin to show up. In theory, you will get the best performance in SSAS tabular if the entire data is flattened into a single table. However, in reality, this would translate to an extremely bad user experience as well as a lengthy and expensive ETL process. So the best practice is to have a star schema, generally. Also, it is recommended to only include the relevant columns from the source tables, as increasing the columns will result in an increase in model size which in turn will result in slower query performances. Increase in number of rows might still be ok as long as the cardinality of the columns don’t change much.

Depending on the specific customer requirements, there could be deviations from the best practices. For e.g., we built custom aggregate tables along with the detailed fact table in the case of a very large production model for a client. The resultant measure had a conditional statement to retrieve data from the aggregate table if the detailed level dimension data was not used in the report. Since the aggregate table was only 1/10 the size of the detailed fact table, the query came out 10x times faster whenever the details were not used, which was almost 90% of the times.

Optimize the DAX Calculations

In case of small models, Tabular is extremely forgiving in terms of bad DAX code also. However, just like in the case of bad design, performance takes a hit for the worse as you increase the data, add more users, or run complex queries. DAX performance tuning is the most difficult to tune from the current list, and it is important to have a strategy for maintaining and tuning the performance. A good place to start would be the Performance Tuning of Tabular models in SSAS 2012 whitepaper.

Monitor User Query Patterns and Train Users

Once your model is in production, it is important to keep monitoring the user query patterns as well as the resources to see potential bottlenecks. Through this, you can find whether the performance issues are being caused due to inefficient DAX, bad design, insufficient resources or most importantly, whether it is just because a user is using the model inefficiently. For e.g., in one of the cases, we found out the slow performance for all users was due to a single user dumping the entire 100 GB model into spreadsheets so he could perform custom calculations on top of it. This blocked the queries for all the other users and made things really slow for them. With appropriate requirement gatherings, we ensured all the required calculations for that user were there in the model and then trained the user to use the model for his analytics.

The success of any tabular project depends on the adoption by the end users and it is needless to say the adoption would be much better if the system is fast. These 5 tips will ensure you already have a jumpstart on that journey.

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SQL Server 2014 Hosting - ASPHostPortal :: How to Solve SQL Cannot Generate SSPI Context

clock May 21, 2015 06:24 by author Dan

Everyone knows that it is good practice to use a domain or service account to run the SQL service. I’m sure you do too! However, once you do the right thing and change the SQL Service account, you may start getting the following error message when attempting to connect to the sql server:

“The target principal name is incorrect.  Cannot generate SSPI context.”

The explanation, as given by Microsoft in this KB article

    If you run the SQL Server service under the LocalSystem account, the SPN is automatically registered and Kerberos authentication interacts successfully with the computer that is running SQL Server. However, if you run the SQL Server service under a domain account or under a local account, the attempt to create the SPN will fail in most cases because the domain account and the local account do not have the right to set their own SPNs. When the SPN creation is not successful, this means that no SPN is set up for the computer that is running SQL Server. If you test by using a domain administrator account as the SQL Server service account, the SPN is successfully created because the domain administrator-level credentials that you must have to create an SPN are present.

There are 3 ways to fix the problem:

    - Revert to using the Network Service or Local System account (NOT RECOMMENDED)
    - Assign the domain account to the Domain Admins group (NOT IDEAL – due to the elevated permissions)
    - Fix the problem by giving the domain account just the appropriate permissions in Active Directory. Permissions required are
        >> ServicePrincipalName: Read
        >> ServicePrincipalName: Write

We will use the 3rd option to fix the error. First, it is good practice to verify that the problem is actually due to permission issues. Log in to the server where you SQL Instance is running. Go to the error logs and look for the last time that the SQL service was restarted. You should find an error message similar to this:

Date                   10/17/2013 9:29:50 AM
Log                    SQL Server (Archive #1 - 10/17/2013 10:53:00 AM)
Source                Server
Message
The SQL Server Network Interface library could not register the Service Principal Name (SPN) [ MSSQLSvc/servername.domainname.net:1433 ] for the SQL Server service. Windows return code: 0x2098, state: 15. Failure to register a SPN might cause integrated authentication to use NTLM instead of Kerberos. This is an informational message. Further action is only required if Kerberos authentication is required by authentication policies and if the SPN has not been manually registered.

This is great. At least now we have verified that the problem is related to the SPN and we are ready to apply the fix.

Log in to the server running your Active Directory service and execute the following steps:

    - Run Adsiedit.msc
   
- In the ADSI Edit snap-in, expand Domain [YourDomainName], expand DC= RootDomainName, expand CN=Users, right-click CN= [YourAccountName, and then click Properties.
   
- In the CN= AccountName Properties dialog box, click the Security tab.
   
- On the Security tab, click Advanced.
   
- In the Advanced Security Settings dialog box, select one (any) of "SELF"'s row
   
- Click Edit, Open Permission Entry dialog box.
   
- Make sure Pricipal is "SELF", Type is "Allow" and "Applied to" is "This Object Only", in Properties section, select the properties below:
        >> Read servicePrincipalName
        >> Write servicePrincipalName

Click OK to apply all changes and exit the ADSI Edit snap-in

Finally, you need to restart the SQL Service(s) that use the account in question.

You can verify that the SPN has been registered successfully upon the restart by going to the SQL Server logs. You should now see an entry similar to this:

Date                   10/17/2013 10:53:58 AM
Log                    SQL Server (Current - 10/17/2013 10:54:00 AM)
Source                Server
Message
The SQL Server Network Interface library successfully registered the Service Principal Name (SPN) [ MSSQLSvc/servername.domainname.net:1433 ] for the SQL Server service.

Connections to SQL Server should now succeed.

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SQL Server 2014 Hosting - ASPHostPortal :: Identify ErrorLog with xp_ReadErrorLog

clock May 7, 2015 07:14 by author Dan

To read error logs in SQL Server using T-SQL you can use extended stored procedure xp_ReadErrorLog to read SQL Server and SQL Server Agent error logs. xp_ReadErrorLog has seven parameters that can be used to filter error logs.

Syntax for xp_ReadErrorLog:

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog   <LogNumber>, <LogType>,

<SearchTerm1>, <SearchTerm2>,

<StartDate>, <EndDate>, <SortOrder>

The parameter values can be as follows:

You can use the stored procedure as:

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog

– Reads current SQL Server error log

Below are some more examples of xp_ReadErrorLog:

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 1
– Reads SQL Server error log from ERRORLOG.1 file

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 1
– Reads current SQL Server error log

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 2
– Reads current SQL Server Agent error log

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 1, 'Failed'
– Reads current SQL Server error log with text 'Failed'

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 1, 'Failed', 'Login'
– Reads current SQL Server error log with text ‘Failed’ AND 'Login'

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 1, 'Failed', 'Login', '20121101', NULL
– Reads current SQL Server error log with text ‘Failed’ AND ‘Login’ from 01-Nov-2012

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 1, 'Failed', 'Login', '20121101', '20121130'
– Reads current SQL Server error log with text ‘Failed’ AND ‘Login’ between 01-Nov-2012 and 30-Nov-2012

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 1, NULL, NULL, '20121101', '20121130'
– Reads current SQL Server error between 01-Nov-2012 and 30-Nov-2012

EXEC xp_ReadErrorLog 0, 1, NULL, NULL, '20121101', '20121130', 'DESC'
– Reads current SQL Server error log between 01-Nov-2012 and 30-Nov-2012 and sorts in descending order

Hope This Helps!

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SQL SERVER 2014 Hosting - ASPHostPortal :: How to use Output Parameters in SQL Server and ASP.NET

clock May 4, 2015 05:57 by author Mark

The out parameters in SQL Server, when used in Stored Procedures, allow developers to pass a value in the database to the front-end controls like label. They are most commonly used in web application development.
Let us discuss how to create and use them in ASP.Net with a practical example. First we will design our database.

  • Create a database in SQL Server.
  • Let us create a table with three columns, say username, password and confirmation password.

Create table logintable(username varchar(max),password varchar(max),confirmpassword varchar(max))

  • Let us create our Stored Procedure.

Here we have created a Stored Procedure named usplogintable with username, password and confirmpassword as input parameters. The next variable that I have created is the @error variable of varchar type. You can see the keyword "out" near the varchar. Yes, your guess is correct, the keyword "out" stands for the output parameter in SQL Server.

We will execute this Stored Procedure as a batch so we have begins and ends. Then, "set nocount on" avoids returning the number of rows affected.
The if condition checks whether the username exists in a database and if the answer for it is yes, the @error variable is set with the username already taken or it inserts the values into the table and sets the @error variable as the username inserted.

Executing the Stored Procedure also requres a different style. First you need to declare a variable, you need to specify the output parameter on execution and you need to write a select query at the end to make it execute. Here is my sample for the preceding sp.

I have inserted the table with the values markus, mark and confirm password as mark.

  • I can guess what you are thinking. “How can I use it in my server-side code?”. Yeah, I am an ASP.Net developer and I have the solution for this. Here are the ways.

Additionally, you must also open your Visual Studio or press Ctrl+r and type devenv.
Create an ASP.Net web application with the framework being above 2.0. First create a form in ASP.Net with three labels and three textboxes with names as username.password and confirmpassword as shown in the screen below.

Okay. Let me take you through a tour of the server-side code on it. I will use ADO.Net here for the database connectivity. I will add my logic on my button click. Add using statements for the namespaces System.data and System.Data.SqlClient since these are not the default namespaces in .Net.

Add the following code by double-clicking the submit button.

  • Here I have created the connection string in my fashion and you can use your own style in your application as usual.
  • Thats it. We are done. Press Ctrl+F5.
  • If you provide the inserted usename.
  • And if you provide a new username, yuppy, it is inserted.

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SQL SERVER 2014 Hosting - ASPHostPortal :: Automatic SQL Server Backup Utility using Sqlserver Agent

clock March 23, 2015 08:22 by author Mark

Automatic SQL Server Backup Utility using Sqlserver Agent

It is a sample C# (Visual Studio) application for Automatic Sql server Backup Utility using sqlserveragent. I have used SQL-DMO dll. This article will show you how to create a automatic backup in Sql server.
This code should work on any PC use VB.NET and installed SQL Server(any edition or Client Components for SQL Server.
SQLDMO (Which installed always bt MS SQL Serveror MS SQL Server Client Tools
To do:

  • First enter your SQL Server username and password on corresponding Text Box.
  • Set backup Start date & Backup Time
  • After Finishing this then please check manually it will working or not
  • Manual working procedure:
    • Run Sql sever enterprise Manager
    • Select management Option
    • Open Sql server agent
    • Open Jobs window
    • Check whether job item exist or not
    • Right click on newly created job item then, we will get one
    • Popup menu, then select start job
    • After finish the job then check folder "D:\backup" bkp file created or not

Add reference to SQL-DMO dll

You can do this by right clicking the project in Solution Explorer, then selecting 'Add Reference', COM components and the latest version of "Microsoft SQLDMO Object Library".

Available Server

public void dIsplayServerList(ComboBox cboListName)
{
    try
    {
        SQLDMO.Application oSQLServerDMOApp = new SQLDMO.Application();
        Info.informationLayer info = new Info.informationLayer();           
        SQLDMO.NameList oNameList;
        oNameList = oSQLServerDMOApp.ListAvailableSQLServers();
        for (int intIndex = 0; intIndex <= oNameList.Count - 1; intIndex++)
        {
            if (oNameList.Item(intIndex as object) != null)
            {
                cboListName.Items.Add(oNameList.Item(intIndex).ToString());
            }
        }
        if (cboListName.Items.Count > 0) cboListName.SelectedIndex = 0;
        else cboListName.Text = "(Local)";
        }
    catch
    {
}
}

Available databases

public void dIsplayDatabases(ComboBox cboDatabase,Info.informationLayer info)
{
    try
    {
        SQLDMO._SQLServer SQLServer = new SQLDMO.SQLServerClass();
        cboDatabase.Items.Clear();
        SQLServer.Connect(info.strServerName,info.strLoginName,info.strPwd);
        foreach (SQLDMO.Database db in SQLServer.Databases)
        {
            if (db.Name != null)
                cboDatabase.Items.Add(db.Name);
        }
        cboDatabase.Sorted = true;
        if (cboDatabase.Items.Count == 0)cboDatabase.Text = "<No databases found>";
    }
    catch (Exception err)
    {
       info.ErrorMessageDataLayer = err.Message;
    }
}
Create Job on Server Agent:
public void CreateJob_Sql(Info.informationLayer info)
{
    try
    {
        SQLDMO._SQLServer SQLServer = new SQLDMO.SQLServerClass();
        SQLDMO.Job SQLJob = new SQLDMO.Job();
        SQLDMO.JobSchedule SQLSchedule = new SQLDMO.JobSchedule();
        SQLServer.Connect(info.strServerName, info.strLoginName, info.strPwd);
        switch (SQLServer.JobServer.Status)
        {
            case SQLDMO_SVCSTATUS_TYPE.SQLDMOSvc_Stopped:
            SQLServer.JobServer.Start();
            SQLServer.JobServer.AutoStart = true;
            break;
        }
        SQLJob.Name = info.strDatabaseName;
        SQLJob.Description = "Check and Backup" + info.strDatabaseName;
        SQLServer.JobServer.Jobs.Add(SQLJob);
        SQLJob.Category = "Database Maintenance";
        SQLDMO.JobStep aJobStep = new SQLDMO.JobStep();
        aJobStep.Name = "Step 2: Backup the Database";
        aJobStep.StepID = 1;
        aJobStep.DatabaseName = info.strDatabaseName;
        aJobStep.SubSystem = "TSQL";
        //------>>> If BackUp Folder is Not Found then create BackUp Folder                
        string   DirectoryName = "D:\\BackUp";
        if (Directory.Exists(DirectoryName)==false)
        {
            System.IO.Directory.CreateDirectory(DirectoryName);
        }
        //------>>>
        string sExt;
        sExt="EXEC master.dbo.xp_sqlmaint '-S " + info.strServerName + " -U " + info.strLoginName + " -P " + info.strPwd + "  -D " + info.strDatabaseName + " -CkDB -CkAl -CkCat -BkUpMedia DISK -BkUpDB D:\\Backup  -BkExt BAK -DelBkUps 2weeks -BkUpOnlyIfClean -Rpt D:\\Backup\\BackDB_Checks.txt'";
        aJobStep.Command = sExt;
        aJobStep.OnSuccessAction = SQLDMO_JOBSTEPACTION_TYPE.SQLDMOJobStepAction_QuitWithSuccess;
        aJobStep.OnFailAction = SQLDMO_JOBSTEPACTION_TYPE.SQLDMOJobStepAction_QuitWithFailure;
        SQLJob.JobSteps.Add(aJobStep);
        SQLJob.ApplyToTargetServer(info.strServerName);
        aJobStep.DoAlter();
        SQLJob.Refresh();
        aJobStep.Refresh();
    }
    catch (Exception Err)
    {
        info.ErrorMessageDataLayer = Err.Message;
    }
}

Create Job shedule on  server Agent:

public void CreateShedule_Sql(Info.informationLayer info)
{
    try
    {
        //it will take bkp every week 2 day
        SQLDMO.Job SQLJob = new SQLDMO.Job();
        SQLDMO._SQLServer SQLServer = new SQLDMO.SQLServerClass();
        SQLDMO.JobSchedule SQLSchedule = new SQLDMO.JobSchedule();
        SQLServer.Connect(info.strServerName, info.strLoginName, info.strPwd);
        SQLJob = SQLServer.JobServer.Jobs.Item(info.strDatabaseName);
        // create a new JobSchedule object
        SQLSchedule.Name = "Weekly Backup";
        SQLSchedule.Schedule.FrequencyType = SQLDMO.SQLDMO_FREQUENCY_TYPE.SQLDMOFreq_Weekly;
        SQLSchedule.Schedule.FrequencyInterval = 2;
        SQLSchedule.Schedule.FrequencyRecurrenceFactor = 2;
        // // start on Mar22, 2015 - at 12.55
        SQLSchedule.Schedule.ActiveStartDate = info.intStartDate;
        SQLSchedule.Schedule.ActiveStartTimeOfDay = info.intStartTime;
        ////  this schedule has no end time or end date
        SQLSchedule.Schedule.ActiveEndDate = 99991231;
        SQLSchedule.Schedule.ActiveEndTimeOfDay = 235959;
        ////  add the schedule to the Job
        SQLJob.BeginAlter();
        SQLJob.JobSchedules.Add(SQLSchedule);
        SQLJob.DoAlter();
        //SQLJob.JobSchedules.Refresh();
        info.ErrorMessageDataLayer = "New Sql Job [Databasename= " + info.strDatabaseName + " ]Sucessfully Created.  ";
    }
    catch (Exception err)
    {
        info.ErrorMessageDataLayer = err.Message;
    }
}

Syntax (SQL Server)

xp_sqlmaint 'switch_string'
[
    [-S server_name[\instance_name]]
    [-U login_ID [-P password]]
    {
        [ -D database_name | -PlanName name | -PlanID guid ]
        [-Rpt text_file]
        [-To operator_name]
        [-HtmlRpt html_file [-DelHtmlRpt <time_period>] ]
        [-RmUnusedSpace threshold_percent free_percent]
        [-CkDB | -CkDBNoIdx]
        [-CkAl | -CkAlNoIdx]
        [-CkCat]
        [-UpdOptiStats sample_percent]
        [-RebldIdx free_space]
        [-WriteHistory]
        [
            {-BkUpDB [backup_path] | -BkUpLog [backup_path] }
            {-BkUpMedia
                {DISK [    [-DelBkUps <time_period>]
                            [-CrBkSubDir ] [ -UseDefDir ]
                         ]
                | TAPE
                }
            }
            [-BkUpOnlyIfClean]
            [-VrfyBackup]
        ]
    }
]
time_period
number[minutes | hours | days | weeks | months]

Syntax (SQL Server)

sqlmaint
[-?] |
[
    [-S server]
    [-U login_ID [-P password]]
    {
        [ -D database_name | -PlanName name | -PlanID guid ]
        [-Rpt text_file [-DelTxtRpt <time_period>] ]
        [-To operator_name]
        [-HtmlRpt html_file [-DelHtmlRpt <time_period>] ]
        [-RmUnusedSpace threshold_percent free_percent]
        [-CkDB | -CkDBNoIdx]
        [-CkAl | -CkAlNoIdx]
        [-CkTxtAl]
        [-CkCat]
        [-UpdSts]
        [-UpdOptiStats sample_percent]
        [-RebldIdx free_space]
        [-WriteHistory]
        [
            {-BkUpDB [backup_path] | -BkUpLog [backup_path] }
            {-BkUpMedia
                {DISK [    [-DelBkUps <time_period>]
                            [-CrBkSubDir ] [ -UseDefDir ]
                         ]
                | TAPE
                }
            }
            [-BkUpOnlyIfClean]
            [-VrfyBackup]
        ]
    }
]

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Free SQL Server Hosting :: How to Handle Error : 1326 Cannot connect to Database Server Error: 40 – Could not open a connection to SQL Server

clock January 21, 2014 05:19 by author Ben

If you are receiving following error:

TITLE: Connect to Server
Cannot connect to Database Server.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server.  When connecting to SQL Server 2008, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 – Could not open a connection to SQL Server) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 1326)


Now if
SQL Server can be connected perfectly from local system but can not be connected from remote system, in that case firewall of the server where SQL Server is installed can be issue.

Follow instructions of this article to fix the issue.

Go to control panel >> Firewall Settings >> Add SQL Server’s Port to Exception List.



Click Add Port and fill this :


Now try to connect to SQL Server again. It will allow you to connect to server successfully.

About the Company
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Come to the website to know more details.

 



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