Using SQL Power Doc To Perform A Windows Inventory

Because SQL Power Doc collects information about the Windows OS that each SQL Server service is running on it can also be used to perform a Windows Inventory. This guide will show you how.

In this Guide:

  • Requirements
  • Configure Windows PowerShell
  • Download And Install SQL Power Doc
  • Collect A SQL Server Inventory
  • Create A SQL Server Inventory Report
  • Additional Help

 

Requirements

If you haven't already reviewed the list of things you'll need to run SQL Power Doc then take a minute to read over the requirements.

 

Configure Windows PowerShell

You'll want to make sure that PowerShell is configured properly on both the machine that you're using to perform the inventory and the machine that's building the documentation. (Repeat: Do this on both machines!)

Set Execution Policy

By default PowerShell tries to keep you from shooting yourself in the foot by not letting you run scripts that you download from the internet. In PowerShell lingo this is referred to as the Execution Policy (see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh847748.aspx) and in order to use SQL Power Doc you'll need to change it by following these steps:

  1. Open a PowerShell console in elevated mode:
    Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Windows PowerShell -> Windows PowerShell (right click, choose "Run as Administrator")
    Start PowerShell[10]
  2. Set the execution policy to allow for remotely signed scripts

    Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Force
  3. Exit the PowerShell console

 

Configure Windows PowerShell Directory

Now you'll need to create a directory to hold PowerShell code.

  1. Open a new PowerShell console (but not in elevated mode as when you set the execution policy):
    Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Windows PowerShell -> Windows PowerShell
  2. Create PowerShell and PowerShell modules directory in your "My Documents" folder

    New-Item -type directory -path "$([Environment]::GetFolderPath([Environment+SpecialFolder]::MyDocuments))\WindowsPowerShell\Modules"
  3. Exit the PowerShell console

 

Download And Install

Grab the latest version of the code from the downloads page but don't extract the ZIP file yet! Because the file came from the internet it needs to be unblocked or PowerShell gets cranky because it's considered untrusted.

To unblock a file, navigate to it in Windows Explorer, right click, and choose the Properties menu option. On the General tab, click the Unblock button, then click the OK button to close the Properties dialog.

Unblock File_thumb[1]

Once the file is unblocked you can extract the contents to the WindowsPowerShell folder (in your "My Documents" directory) that you created in the last step.

Note: Make sure to keep the folder names in the zip file intact so that everything in the Modules folder is extracted into WindowsPowerShell\Modules and the .ps1 files are extracted into the WindowsPowerShell folder.

The Windows Inventory portion of SQL Power Doc will attempt to use the RDS-Manager PowerShell module provided by the Microsoft Remote Desktop Services team. You can download this optional module from http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/ScriptCenter/e8c3af96-db10-45b0-88e3-328f087a8700/ . Make sure to save it in the WindowsPowerShell\Modules\RDS-Manager folder (in your "My Documents" directory) that you recently created. It's not the end of the world if it's missing but you'll get more details about users' desktop sessions when it's installed.

 

Collect A Windows Inventory

So far, so good...now it's time to discover your Windows Servers and perform an inventory! In this step you're going to run a PowerShell script which will discover Windows machines on your network (or verify they're running), collect information about them and their underlying OS, and write the results as an XML file that you'll use in the next step.

Start by opening a PowerShell console on the machine that will be collecting the information from your SQL Servers and set your current location to the WindowsPowerShell folder:

Set-Location "$([Environment]::GetFolderPath([Environment+SpecialFolder]::MyDocuments))\WindowsPowerShell"

Running The Script, Choosing The Right Parameters

You're going to execute the script .\Get-WindowsInventoryToClixml.ps1 to do all the work but it requires a few parameters to know what to do.

Discover & Verify Windows Machines

The first set of parameters define how to find & verify machines with SQL Server services installed on them.

Find Windows machines by querying Active Directory DNS for hosts
-DnsServer

Valid values are "automatic" or a comma delimited list of AD DNS server IP addresses to query for DNS A records that may be Windows machines.

-DnsDomain

Optional. Valid values are "automatic" (the default if this parameter is not specified) or the AD domain name to query for DNS records from.

-ExcludeSubnet

Optional. This is a comma delimited list of CIDR notation subnets to exclude when looking for Windows machines.

-LimitSubnet

Optional. This is an inclusive comma delimited list of CIDR notation subnets to limit the scope when looking for Windows machines.

-ExcludeComputerName

Optional. This is a comma delimited list of computer names to exclude when looking for Windows machines.

-PrivateOnly

Optional. This switch limits the scope to private class A, B, and C IP addresses when looking for Windows machines.

Find Windows machines by scanning a subnet of IP Addresses
-Subnet

Valid values are "automatic" or a comma delimited list of CIDR notation subnets to scan for IPv4 hosts that may be Windows machines.

-LimitSubnet

Optional. This is an inclusive comma delimited list of CIDR notation subnets to limit the scope when looking for Windows machines.

-ExcludeComputerName

Optional. This is a comma delimited list of computer names to exclude when looking for Windows machines.

-PrivateOnly

Optional. This switch limits the scope to private class A, B, and C IP addresses when looking for Windows machines.

Find Windows machines by computer name
-ComputerName

This is a comma delimited list of computer names that may be Windows machines.

-PrivateOnly

Optional. This switch limits the scope to private class A, B, and C IP addresses when looking for Windows machines.

Additional Information To Collect

By default, SQL Power Doc collects a minimal set of information about each Windows machine it finds. You can collect more information with the following parameter

-AdditionalData

This is a comma delimited list of one or more of the following additional data points to collect:

  • AdditionalHardware
  • BIOS
  • DesktopSessions
  • EventLog
  • FullyQualifiedDomainName
  • InstalledApplications
  • InstalledPatches
  • IPRoutes
  • LastLoggedOnUser
  • LocalGroups
  • LocalUserAccounts
  • PowerPlans
  • Printers
  • PrintSpoolerLocation
  • Processes
  • ProductKeys
  • RegistrySize
  • Services
  • Shares
  • StartupCommands
  • WindowsComponents

Alternatively, you can specify the value "All" to include all of the data points listed above.

If this parameter is not provided the default is that none of the listed data points will be included.

Logging, Output, & Resource Utilization

Finally, the following parameters control logging, output, and system resources SQL Power Doc will use when finding and collecting information from Windows machines:

-DirectoryPath

Optional. A fully qualified directory path where all output will be written. The default value is your "My Documents" folder.

-LoggingPreference

Optional. Specifies how much information will be written to a log file (in the same directory as the output file). Valid values are None, Standard, Verbose, and Debug. The default value is None (i.e. no logging).

-Zip

Optional. If provided, create a Zip file containing all output in the directory specified by the DirectoryPath parameter.

-MaxConcurrencyThrottle

Optional. A number between 1-100 which indicates how many tasks to perform concurrently. The default is the number of logical CPUs present on the OS.

Examples

The following examples demonstrate how to combine all the parameters together when running the script.

Example 1:

.\Get-WindowsInventoryToClixml.psm1 -DNSServer automatic -DNSDomain automatic -PrivateOnly

Collect an inventory by querying Active Directory for a list of hosts to scan for Windows machines. The list of hosts will be restricted to private IP addresses only.

The Inventory file will be written to your "My Documents" folder.

No Log file will be written.

 

Example 2:

.\Get-WindowsInventoryToClixml.psm1 -Subnet 172.20.40.0/28 -LoggingPreference Standard

Collect an inventory by scanning all hosts in the subnet 172.20.40.0/28 for Windows machines.

The Inventory and Log files will be written to your "My Documents" folder.

Standard logging will be used.

 

Example 3:

.\Get-WindowsInventoryToClixml.psm1 -Computername Server1,Server2,Server3

Collect an inventory by scanning Server1, Server2, and Server3 for Windows machines.

The Inventory file will be written to your "My Documents" folder.

No Log file will be written.

 

Example 4:

.\Get-SqlServerInventoryToClixml.ps1 -Computername $env:COMPUTERNAME -IncludeDatabaseObjectInformation -LoggingPreference Verbose

Collect an inventory by scanning the local machine for SQL Server instances.

Windows Authentication will be used to connect to the instance.

Database objects (EXCLUDING system objects) will be included in the results.

The Inventory file will be written to your "My Documents" folder.

Verbose logging will be used.

 

Example 5:

.\Get-WindowsInventoryToClixml.psm1 -Computername $env:COMPUTERNAME -AdditionalData None -LoggingPreference Verbose

Collect an inventory by scanning the local machine for Windows machines.

Do not collect any data beyond the core set of information.

The Inventory and Log files will be written to your "My Documents" folder.

Verbose logging will be used.

 

How Long Will It Take?

When run with the defaults on a machine with 2 CPUs you can expect the script to take about 5 minutes to complete an inventory of 20 machines. Your mileage will vary depending on how many machines you are collecting information from and what additional information you're including.

Progress is written to the PowerShell console to give you a better idea what the script's up to. If you've got logging enabled (highly recommended) you can also check the logs for progress updates.

 

Generate A Windows Inventory Report

Once the inventory collection phase is complete you'll want to copy the output file to the machine where you'll create the inventory reports (Excel workbooks).

To create an inventory report, start by opening a PowerShell console and set your current location to the WindowsPowerShell folder:

Set-Location "$([Environment]::GetFolderPath([Environment+SpecialFolder]::MyDocuments))\WindowsPowerShell"

This time you're going to execute the script .\Convert-WindowsInventoryClixmlToExcel.ps1 and supply the following parameters:

-FromPath

The literal path to the output file created by Get-WindowsInventoryToClixml.ps1.

-ToPath

Optional. Specifies the literal path to the filename where the Excel workbooks will be written. This path (but not the filename) must exist prior to executing this script.

If this parameter is not provided the workbooks will be written to the same directory specified by the FromPath paramter. Assuming the XML file specified in FromPath is named "Windows Inventory.xml" then the Excel file will be written to "Windows Inventory.xlsx"

-ColorTheme

Optional. An Office Theme Color to apply to each worksheet. If not specified or if an unknown theme color is provided the default "Office" theme colors will be used.

Office 2013 theme colors include: Aspect, Blue Green, Blue II, Blue Warm, Blue, Grayscale, Green Yellow, Green, Marquee, Median, Office, Office 2007 - 2010, Orange Red, Orange, Paper, Red Orange, Red Violet, Red, Slipstream, Violet II, Violet, Yellow Orange, Yellow

Office 2010 theme colors include: Adjacency, Angles, Apex, Apothecary, Aspect, Austin, Black Tie, Civic, Clarity, Composite, Concourse, Couture, Elemental, Equity, Essential, Executive, Flow, Foundry, Grayscale, Grid, Hardcover, Horizon, Median, Metro, Module, Newsprint, Office, Opulent, Oriel, Origin, Paper, Perspective, Pushpin, Slipstream, Solstice, Technic, Thatch, Trek, Urban, Verve, Waveform

Office 2007 theme colors include: Apex, Aspect, Civic, Concourse, Equity, Flow, Foundry, Grayscale, Median, Metro, Module, Office, Opulent, Oriel, Origin, Paper, Solstice, Technic, Trek, Urban, Verve

-ColorScheme

Optional. The color theme to apply to each worksheet. Valid values are "Light", "Medium", and "Dark". If not specified then "Medium" is used as the default value .

-LoggingPreference

Optional. Specifies how much information will be written to a log file (location specified in the LogPath parameter). Valid values are None, Standard, Verbose, and Debug. The default value is None (i.e. no logging).

-LogPath

Optional. A literal path to a log file to write details about what this script is doing. The filename does not need to exist prior to executing this script but the specified directory does.

If a LoggingPreference other than "None" is specified and this parameter is not provided then the file is named "SQL Server Inventory - [Year][Month][Day][Hour][Minute].log" and is written to the same directory specified by the ToDirectoryPath paramter.

 

Examples

The following examples demonstrate how to combine all the parameters together when running the script.

Example 1:

.\Convert-WindowsInventoryClixmlToExcel.ps1 -FromPath "C:\Inventory\Windows Inventory.xml"

Writes an Excel file for the Windows Operating System information contained in "C:\Inventory\Windows Inventory.xml" to "C:\Inventory\Windows Inventory.xlsx".

The Office color theme and Medium color scheme will be used by default.

Example 2:

.\Convert-WindowsInventoryClixmlToExcel.ps1 -FromPath "C:\Inventory\Windows Inventory.xml"  -ColorTheme Blue -ColorScheme Dark

Writes an Excel file for the Windows Operating System information contained in "C:\Inventory\Windows Inventory.xml" to "C:\Inventory\Windows Inventory.xlsx". 

The Blue color theme and Dark color scheme will be used.

 

Additional Help

If you're still having problems using SQL Power Doc after reading through this guide please post in the Discussions or reach out to @SQLDBA on Twitter.

Last edited Apr 10, 2013 at 9:48 PM by kendalvandyke, version 2

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