Phil Factor demonstrates some simple examples of how to use SQL Clone's PowerShell library to pass objects between cmdlets, and simplify common tasks, such as creating and deploying clones from various images. He then documents the objects and cmdlets, and illustrates their inputs and outputs.
If you are evaluating a tool such as a text editor or spreadsheet, it is easy: you just install it, you run it, you decide whether you need it. Job done. However, a similar 'unboxing' or 'unwrapping' of SQL Clone, and installing across a network, is not so quick and easy. Phil Factor's solution is to install and run a complete installation of SQL Clone on a single box. This allows you to try everything out, creating images and deploying clones, while isolated from the network. It can then be extended across a network, subsequently, when it's been fully tested.
SQL Clone 4 introduces a new access control feature called Teams, allowing granular control over the SQL Server instances, images and clones to which each group of users has access. Here James Murtagh explains how Teams makes it easier to manage the safe distribution of database copies throughout the organization, to the various teams that need them for development, testing, training or analysis.
Phil Factor demonstrates how to use SQL Clone to create 'disposable' SQL Server databases, for development and testing work. You can spin up a clone, use it to unit test your code, messing up the clone in the process, then reset the clone in seconds, ready for the next test.
Phil Factor uses SQL Clone, PowerShell and Visio to build a live 'clone network' diagram showing when there was last activity on each clone, and the number of object changes made to each one, alongside useful metadata such as the clone and image sizes, who created them and when.
With exciting products like SQL Clone making their debut, the DBA will need to think through the approach to implementing such powerful tools. Done properly, these tools will provide a massive benefit to both the DBA and developer.
If you’re a Redgate SQL Backup customer, occasionally you’ll need to convert your SQL Backup (.sqb) files to the native SQL Server backup format (.bak), perhaps to perform native database restores on a server where SQL Backup isn’t installed. This produces a striped backup, because each thread used when making the backup will produce a separate file. Can we use a striped backup produced in this way, or indeed any striped backup, as the source for a SQL Clone image? Short answer: we can! Let’s see how that works.