Moving VMs from one ESXi host to another ESXi host

Every technologist needs a lab environment! I’ve been running ESXi 5.0 on a HP Proliant ML110 G4 for a number of years as VMWare kindly offer a free licence for single socket servers, and I recently acquired a Dell Poweredge T20 server with more cores and more memory so I took the opportunity to install ESXi 6.0. ESXi installs are straightforward – almost a pleasure! – but copying my existing VMs across – because of their size – was more of a challenge without the benefits of shared storage. Copying them was when I found that not all the virtual discs were thin provisioned!

Incidentally, I fretted about whether I’d run into problems installing ESXi 6.0 on a Dell Poweredge T20 server as it wasn’t on the VMWare supported listed. The forums were fairly quiet on the matter, but – as it is a lab – I went ahead, and it was successful.

The options for copying the VMs I found were:

1. Download the VM files to a PC from the original ESXi server, and then upload them to the new ESXi server.
2. Use something like the Veeam Backup tool  – I did download this, but had problems with the ISO on my Windows 10 PC.
3. Using something like the VMWare Converter, or ovftool

One issue I found with Windows Server VMs, after moving them from host to host as files, is that the licenses would need occasionally activating again.

Once I’d transferred all the VMs across to the new Poweredge T20 server, I used the USB media to install ESXi 6.0 on the ML110 G4 successfully.

SQLBits XV – Back to Liverpool!

The popular SQL Server conference SQLBits has announced the date and location of the next event – it’s back to Liverpool between 4th-7th May 2016.

SQLBits was last in Liverpool in 2011 as “Query Across The Mersey” – and it was a blast! The venue then was the Adelphi Hotel, but this time it’s going to be at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre in the Docks.

Training days and workshops start from Wednesday, and prices start from £699 ex VAT for the full four days as part of the Early Bird pricing, rising to £999 closer to the event. The Saturday is the traditional Community Day, which is free.

MongoDB University releases Android App

MongoDB University has offered some pretty good, and free, training videos for DBAs and especially for Developers. One of the limitations has been that the videos are powered by Youtube, so offline viewing has not been possible. However, this has now been fixed with the release of the Android App to complement the iOS flavour app that was released in September.

My first thoughts, having used the MongoDB Android App to watch some of the DBA-track learning, is that it suffers from the same stop-and-start that watching it online does. Some of the videos are as long as 7-9 minutes, but many of them are just a couple of minutes – and I find it irritating having to click something to move on to the next video. This is something that previous versions of the Pluralsight Android app, when the account is enabled for download content, does seemlessly – it just flows.

Error 18456 – Understanding “login failed” error messages in SQL Server

One of the almost daily pieces of DBA troubleshooting is to find out why someone (or something) couldn’t login – if you’re lucky, it’s a login failure, and will be in the SQL Server log.

SQL Server doesn’t given the full details back to the client as a security best practice, and even with SQL Server 2005 some of the error codes were cryptic…. hence every DBA will have run across Troubleshooting Error 18456 from the SQL protocols team. However, it hasn’t been updated.

SQL Server has got much much better at providing more informative error messages in the logs – SQL Server 2000 simply reported state 1 for almost everything!

 State Descripton
1SQL Server 2000 failure – no further information provided OR this error can occur when a SQL login is used, but the SQL Server is in Windows Authentication only mode
5No permission to login to SQL Server
8Incorrect password – since SQL Server 2005, passwords are case sensitive
10Issue with SQL logins? See KB925744
11Windows user validated, but no server access – sometimes a user is dropped and recreated in AD. Sometimes explicit DENY CONNECT
12Permission to connect to database engine is denied – eg Login failed for user ‘myUSER’
13SQL Server service paused
16No permission to default/specified database OR the default/specified database is not available OR the database name is mis-spelled OR the database is in restricted or single user mode OR this can occur in the time between SQL Server being ready for client connections and the specified database being available after recovery. OR this can occur in SQL2005 or later with schema permission issues
23SQL Server is shutting down
27Initial database could not be determined
38Initial database not available (SQL Server 2008)
40No permission to default database – either fix the default database, or specify the database to open. This error message is SQL Server 2008R2
57The password change failed. The password of the account must be changed.
58Are you trying to use a SQL login with SQL Server 2008 when the server only allows Windows authentication?