How to Customise SQLDIAG in SQL Server 2008 to collect DBCC MEMORYSTATUS

How to Customise SQLDIAG in SQL Server 2008 to collect DBCC MEMORYSTATUS

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Although Books Online makes some mention of SQLDIAG customizations, it doesn’t any explicit examples, so here’s one for you. I documented previously here about how to customize your XML configuration file to connect to different machines, and collect output from the standard collectors, and I also mentioned how you could download the PerfStats scripts and use the XML files that they came supplied with. The following example though shows how to insert a custom script of your own, which can be anything of your choice. I’ll be using DBCC MEMORYSTATUS output to demonstrate. The thing to remember here is that I’m not saying that this is the only way to collect such data, but that as ever, with SQLDIAG it allows you to do everything in one place, in a controlled and easy to administer way.

Firstly we need a script which will collect DBCC MEMORYSTATUS repeatedly. The following one won’t win any design prizes but will do the job just nicely:

WHILE 1=1

BEGIN

select 'start time:', GETDATE();

DBCC MEMORYSTATUS

WAITFOR DELAY '00:00:10'

END;

This will run DBCC MEMORYSTATUS every 10 seconds until you kill it.

Next we need to create an XML configuration to run this script using SQLDIAG. I’ll take the default SQLDIAG.XML which unpacks when you run the sqldiag.exe for the first time. If you need any explanations of these pre-requisites then go back to the SQLDIAG link above and read the background.

<CustomDiagnostics>
<CustomGroup name="msinfo" enabled="true" />
<CustomTask enabled="true" groupname="MsInfo" taskname="Get MSINFO32" type="Utility" point="Startup" wait="OnlyOnShutdown" cmd="start /B /WAIT MSInfo32.exe /computer %server% /report &quot;%output_path%%server%_MSINFO32.TXT&quot; /categories +SystemSummary+ResourcesConflicts+ResourcesIRQS+ComponentsNetwork+ComponentsStorage+ComponentsProblemDevices+SWEnvEnvVars+SWEnvNetConn+SWEnvServices+SWEnvProgramGroup+SWEnvStartupPrograms" />
<CustomTask enabled="true" groupname="MsInfo" taskname="Get default traces" type="Copy_File" point="Startup" wait="OnlyOnShutdown" cmd="&quot;%sspath%log\log*.trc&quot; &quot;%output_path%&quot;" />
<CustomTask enabled="true" groupname="MsInfo" taskname="Get SQLDumper log" type="Copy_File" point="Startup" wait="OnlyOnShutdown" cmd="&quot;%sspath%log\SQLDUMPER_ERRORLOG*.*&quot; &quot;%output_path%&quot;" />
</CustomDiagnostics>

If you look in the above section we already have one custom group, called MSINFO32 , which has 3 sub-tasks. (The format of these if worth noting if you wish to do any file manipulations and command line tools.) What we want to do is add another CustomGroup, which will contain a single task, which is our DBCC script from above. The script itself needs to be saved into a file for the collector to access it, so in this scenario we’ll save the script into the same root directory as the sqldiag.exe. If you’re planning on doing this for many different scripts and scenarios you might be better organising these in appropriately named sub directories. So I’ve saved my script above as the following

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\exec_dbcc_memorystatus.sql

Then I need to add the following XML to tell the SQLDIAG that I have a new custom group of diagnostics (called SQL memory scripts), which contains currently 1 custom task (out DBCC MEMORYSTATUS script). The new section looks like this:

<CustomDiagnostics>
<CustomGroup name="msinfo" enabled="true" />
<CustomTask enabled="true" groupname="MsInfo" taskname="Get MSINFO32" type="Utility" point="Startup" wait="OnlyOnShutdown" cmd="start /B /WAIT MSInfo32.exe /computer %server% /report &quot;%output_path%%server%_MSINFO32.TXT&quot; /categories +SystemSummary+ResourcesConflicts+ResourcesIRQS+ComponentsNetwork+ComponentsStorage+ComponentsProblemDevices+SWEnvEnvVars+SWEnvNetConn+SWEnvServices+SWEnvProgramGroup+SWEnvStartupPrograms" />
<CustomTask enabled="true" groupname="MsInfo" taskname="Get default traces" type="Copy_File" point="Startup" wait="OnlyOnShutdown" cmd="&quot;%sspath%log\log*.trc&quot; &quot;%output_path%&quot;" />
<CustomTask enabled="true" groupname="MsInfo" taskname="Get SQLDumper log" type="Copy_File" point="Startup" wait="OnlyOnShutdown" cmd="&quot;%sspath%log\SQLDUMPER_ERRORLOG*.*&quot; &quot;%output_path%&quot;" />
<CustomGroup name="SQLscripts" enabled="true" />
<CustomTask enabled="true" groupname="SQLscripts" taskname="dbcc memorystatus" type="TSQL_Script" point="Startup" wait="No" cmd="exec_dbcc_memorystatus.sql"/>
</CustomDiagnostics>

Next I save this XML file as a new name, let’s say SQLDIAG_memstatus.XML and then I just execute the sqldiag tool with a input file switch like this:

sqldiag /ISQLDIAG_memstatus.XML

and away we go. If you look in your output directory, you’ll find the following file:

<yourservername>__exec_dbcc_memorystatus_Startup.OUT

which contains all the DBCC MEMORYSTATUS output.

All you need to do now, is create custom XML files and scripts for as many scenarios as you can think of! Hopefully if you examine the entries for the MSINFO task, this might give you a few ideas as well.

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  • Here’s another interesting example which we worked recently in the Stockholm office, which relates also

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