Documentation

AKAWN Monitoring Overview #

AKAWN Monitoring (AM) makes use of a single service (AKAWN Server) to monitor your SQL Server environment. AKAWN Studio is then used to review the findings and configure various options e.g. backups, index maintenance, integrity checks etc.

Give it a try today.

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AKAWN Server Installation #

The latest version of AKAWN Monitoring can be downloaded from https://akawn.com/akawn-monitoring-downloads/

The download is an ISO image which contains both the x86 and x64 versions of the AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio software. The x86 versions are for use on legacy older operating systems.

Before you begin:

1. Decide where you would like the AKAWN repository database to reside. This should be on an existing SQL Server in your environment.

2. Decide where you would like to the AKAWN Server service to run from. This can be on the same machine as SQL Server or on a separate application server. The operating system must be Windows and not Linux.

3. Decide on a user account for the AKAWN Server service. If you have a domain, then a dedicated domain user is recommended, otherwise a local user on the machine will be sufficient. The use of system accounts is not permitted i.e. Local System, Local Service, Network Service etc.

4. Decide on how the AKAWN Server service will communicate with the AKAWN repository database. The options are Windows Authentication (recommended) or SQL Authentication.

5. Based on your decision (point 4) ensure that the login has permission to create the AKAWN database. Granting sysadmin to the login is recommended.

Let’s get started.






1. Select the Domain or Local machine name of your chosen AKAWN Server service account

2. Enter the name and password of the service account

3. Enter the  machine name which will host the AKAWN database and specify how the AKAWN Server service should access the database

4. Test that service account password is valid

5. Test that instance to host the AKAWN database can be contacted




The AKAWN Server setup is now completed, well-done.

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AKAWN Studio Installation #

The latest version of AKAWN Monitoring can be downloaded from https://akawn.com/akawn-monitoring-downloads/

The download is an ISO image which contains both the x86 and x64 versions of the AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio software. The x86 versions are for use on legacy older operating systems.

Before you begin:

1. The operating system for AKAWN Studio must be Windows and not Linux

2. After the installation, AKAWN Studio must be able to connect with the AKAWN repository database which was created when AKAWN Server was installed

Let’s get started.







The AKAWN Studio setup is now completed, well-done.

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Quick Start Guide Windows #

Great you have both AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio installed, let’s go through monitoring your first SQL Server instance on Windows.

Before you begin:

1. The AKAWN Server service (AS) must be able to connect to the SQL instance to be monitored (ITOBM)

2. You will need to decide if the AS will use Windows or SQL authentication to connect to the ITOBM

3. Depending of the authentication method (point 2), the login will need to be added to the sysadmin role on the ITOBM

4. The AS account should be a member of the local administrators group on the ITOBM

5. If you are wanting to receive email alerts, you will need to know your mail server and mail server connection credentials (this is a one-off configuration)

Now that the hard part is out the way let’s get started.

When you open AKAWN Studio (Studio) for the first time you’ll receive an email configuration prompt.

If you would like to receive email alerts select Yes

If you selected Yes, you’ll be prompted for your mail server details and asked to test. Below is a successfully tested mail server.

On the Email / Page Notifications tab you can set to be notified when the AS stops/starts

One last note on email alerts. If you have set them up you can now go to the Check Settings tab and apply your address to checks

If you didn’t setup email notifications that is ok, you now need to select the Add instance icon at the top right of Studio

Type the name of the instance to be monitored and select the authentication method to be used before proceeding with a Test

Once the test has succeeded, type a name to associate this instance with e.g. Production, Test, Development etc and select Start Monitoring

You are now monitoring the instance, well-done.

If you have setup emails, you will be receiving those to.

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Quick Start Guide Linux #

Great you have both AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio installed, let’s go through monitoring your first SQL Server instance on Linux.

Before you begin:

1. The AKAWN Server service (AS) must be able to connect to the SQL instance to be monitored (ITOBM)

2. A SQL login will need to be added to the sysadmin role on the ITOBM for use by AS

3. A low privileged Linux user will need to be used by the AS to collect operating system performance metrics

4. A SSH Server must be available for AS to communicate with over TCP port 22 on the ITOBM

5. If you are wanting to receive email alerts, you will need to know your mail server and mail server connection credentials (this is a one-off configuration)

Now that the hard part is out the way let’s get started.

When you open AKAWN Studio (Studio) for the first time you’ll receive an email configuration prompt.

If you would like to receive email alerts select Yes.

If you selected Yes, you’ll be prompted for your mail server details and asked to test. Below is a successfully tested mail server.

On the Email / Page Notifications tab you can set to be notified when the AS stops/starts

One last note on email alerts. If you have set them up you can now go to the Check Settings tab and apply your address to checks

If you didn’t setup email notifications that is ok, you now need to select the Add instance icon at the top right of Studio

Enter:

  • the name of the instance to be monitored
  • the SQL Server login and password for use by AS
  • the Linux user and password for use by AS

Test connectivity and access of the supplied information

Once the test has succeeded, type a name to associate this instance with e.g. Production, Test, Development etc and select Start Monitoring

You are now monitoring the instance, well-done.

If you have setup emails, you will be receiving those too.

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Quick Start Guide Azure #

Great you have both AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio installed, let’s go through monitoring your first Azure SQL Database.

Before you begin:

1. The AKAWN Server service (AS) must be able connect to the Azure SQL database to be monitored (DTOBM)

2. Due to the VIEW SERVER STATE permission being currently restricted to ‘Server admin’, AS will need to connect to the Azure Server using this account

3. If you are wanting to receive email alerts, you will need to know your mail server and mail server connection credentials (this is a one-off configuration)

Now that the hard part is out the way let’s get started.

When you open AKAWN Studio (Studio) for the first time you’ll receive an email configuration prompt.

If you would like to receive email alerts select Yes.

If you selected Yes, you’ll be prompted for your mail server details and asked to test. Below is a successfully tested mail server.

On the Email / Page Notifications tab you can set to be notified when the AS stops/starts

One last note on email alerts. If you have set them up you can now go to the Check Settings tab and apply your address to checks

If you didn’t setup email notifications that is ok, you now need to select the Add instance icon at the top right of Studio

Enter:

  • the name of the Azure server which hosts the database to be monitored (the external IP address of the AKAWN Server is shown to assist with firewall rules)
  • the Azure SQL Database name
  • the SQL Server login and password for use by AS

Test connectivity and access of the supplied information

Once the test has succeeded, type a name to associate this database with e.g. Production, Test, Development etc and select Start Monitoring

You are now monitoring the database, well-done.

If you have setup emails, you will be receiving those too.

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Remove Monitoring #

If you no longer need to monitor an Instance or Azure SQL Database, select the Remove instance icon at the top right of Studio

Select the item(s) for removal and select Remove

Well-done you have successfully completed the removal of monitoring

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AKAWN Database Connection #

AKAWN Studio can be started by selecting the AKAWN Studio icon on your desktop or via the start menu

You will be presented with the AKAWN Database Connection form

1.  Name of the SQL Server instance hosting the AKAWN repository database which was created during the installation of AKAWN Server

2. Authentication method for connecting, this is either Windows (recommended) or SQL Server

3. User name or SQL Server login name depending of the Authentication method specified

4. If SQL Server authentication was specified, you’ll be asked for a password.

5. If SQL Server authentication was specified, you can decide if you’d like to save the password for when next connecting.

6. Attempt to connect to the AKAWN repository database

7. Exit AKAWN Studio

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Email Configuration Notification #

You may receive the following prompt if your email configuration if not been successfully tested

1. Select to not be prompted again

2. This will take you to the Mail Server settings

3. The prompt will be closed

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AKAWN Server Service Notifications #

To help ensure that AKAWN Monitoring is working, the following prompts may be received if the AKAWN Server service appears to be stopped or not functional

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AKAWN Studio Toolbar #

The AKAWN Studio toolbar consists of the following items

1. Add a new SQL Server Instance or Azure SQL Database to be monitored

2. Remove monitoring of SQL Server Instance(s) and Azure SQL Database(s)

3. Manage the logical grouping of monitored SQL Server Instances and Azure SQL Databases

4. Manage data retention of the collected information

5. Manage email and page notification addresses

6. Mange the global settings for AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio

7. Exit AKAWN Studio

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Environment Dashboard #

The environment dashboard provides an overview of the current days check findings and is refreshed every 60 seconds

1. Chart gauge visual indicator

2. Number of check occurrences, and if the number is greater than 0, further information can be obtained by selecting the magnifying glass which appears

3. Display of data grid or graph for the selected gauge

4. Indicator of AKAWN Studio’s connection status to the AKAWN repository database

5. AKAWN Monitoring licensing information

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Checks #

The Checks tab allows for:

  • a detailed review of check findings
  • filtering based on time periods, logical groups and/or instance names
  • creation of check exceptions

1. Filter checks to be shown based on groups or instances

2. Refresh to show latest collected data and allow showing hidden exceptions

3. Filter checks based on time period

4. Checks summary, which includes the associated logical group, host type icon, check information, number of occurrences based on the set filters, last occurrence and optional exception management

5. Detailed information for the selected check

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Checks Exceptions #

Checks exceptions allow you to filter out expected findings

Once a filter is set, a pencil icon is displayed

1. Icon indicating that an exception is set

2. Show/Hide check exceptions

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Check Settings #

Check settings allows you to schedule checks and set who gets notified

1. Allows multiple check policies with different schedules, notification destinations etc

2. Assign SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases to the check policy

3. Quickly apply email and/or page addresses to all checks

4. Available checks

5. Schedule information of the selected check

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Query Activity #

Query activity assists in showing detailed active query information on monitored instances

1. SQL Server Instance or Azure SQL Database

2. Filter active queries based on collection date

3. Show information

4. Show/hide columns

5. Check findings

6. Allow filtering out AKAWN queries

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Trend Charts #

Allows showing of various trend charts

1. SQL Server Instance or Azure SQL Database

2. Filter charts based on collection date

3. Counters available

4. Show chart

5. Chart display

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Full Backups #

Allows for scheduling Full database backups on SQL Server instances

1. Allows multiple Full backup policies with different schedules, backup destinations etc

2. Assign SQL Server instances to the Full backup policy

3. Assign databases to the Full backup policy

4. Available Full backup options (the backup path folder will be created if it does not exist)

5. Schedule of the Full backups

6. Log of Full backup events

7. Refresh the Log events to show latest information

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Log Backups #

Allows for scheduling Transaction Log backups on SQL Server instances

1. Allows multiple Transaction Log backup policies with different schedules, backup destinations etc

2. Assign SQL Server instances to the Transaction Log backup policy

3. Assign databases to the Transaction Log backup policy

4. Available Transaction Log backup options (the backup path folder will be created if it does not exist)

5. Schedule of the Transaction Log backups

6. Log of Transaction Log backup events

7. Refresh the Log events to show latest information

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Diff Backups #

Allows for scheduling Differential backups on SQL Server instances

1. Allows multiple Differential backup policies with different schedules, backup destinations etc

2. Assign SQL Server instances to the Differential backup policy

3. Assign databases to the Differential backup policy

4. Available Differential backup options (the backup path folder will be created if it does not exist)

5. Schedule of the Differential backups

6. Log of Differential backup events

7. Refresh the Log events to show latest information

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Indexing #

Allows for scheduling of Index maintenance on SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases

1. Allows multiple Index maintenance policies with different schedules, indexing types etc

2. Assign SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases to the Index maintenance policy

3. Assign databases to the Index maintenance policy

4. Set Index exceptions if required

5. Available Index maintenance options

6. Schedule of the Index maintenance

7. Log of Index maintenance events

8. Refresh the Log events to show latest information

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Index Exceptions #

Allows for excluding indexes from index maintenance

Once an exception is set for a database, a visual pencil icon is shown when the database is selected

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Integrity Checks #

Allows for scheduling of Integrity checks on SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases

1. Allows multiple Integrity check policies with different schedules and check types

2. Assign SQL Server instances to the Integrity check policy

3. Assign databases to the Integrity checks policy

4. Available Integrity check options

5. Schedule of the Integrity checks

6. Log of Integrity check events

7. Refresh the Log events to show latest information

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Reports #

Various environment reports are available for generation and exporting

1. Available reports

2. Filter report content based on Groups or Instances

3. Filter report based on a time period

4. Generate the report

5. Report findings

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Group Manager #

The group manager icon allows for the management of the logical reporting groups that SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases are associated with

1. Shows available groups, the number of SQL Server instances or Azure SQL Databases associated with the group and allows for renaming / deleting unused groups

2. Shows group assignments and allows for changing of assigned groups

3. Create a new logical group

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Data Removal #

The data removal icon allows for specifying when collected data is removed from the AKAWN repository database

1. Represents collected Server data

2. Represents collected SQL Server instance and Azure SQL Database data

3. Represents collected Query Activity data for the SQL Server instance and Azure SQL Database data

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Address Book #

The address book allows for managing the email and page addresses for use in check alerts

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Global Settings #

The global settings icon opens further configuration pages and these are covered below

The Mail Server page allows for testing your mail server. No emails or pages will be sent until the mail server has been successfully tested.

The Email /Page Notifications page allows for:

  • setting the interval between email and page alerts which helps reduce spamming by grouping checks
  • specifying the alerts per email for cases were email sizes may be an issue
  • setting who gets notified when the AKAWN Server service starts/stops

The License / About page allows for license key management and showing build/licensing information

The AKAWN Server page allows for migrations of the AKAWN repository database to another server

The Data Retention page allows you to:

1. Set the default data removal for new SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases

2. Set when email and pages will be removed that are not associated with SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases

3. At what time of day this removal takes place (the default is 3am)

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Uninstall #

Before uninstalling AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio it is recommended for you to remove any monitored SQL Server instances and Azure SQL Databases using the Remove icon in AKAWN Studio

If you did not get a chance to do this before your trial period ended, please run the following on the relevant monitored SQL Server instance(s) or Azure SQL Database(s):

Monitored SQL Server Instance: (only required if the remove icon was not used)

USE msdb;

IF(SELECT COALESCE((SELECT TOP 1 1 FROM sys.server_event_notifications WHERE[name] = 'AkawnEventNotificationDEADLOCK_GRAPH'), 0)) = 1
BEGIN
DROP EVENT NOTIFICATION AkawnEventNotificationDEADLOCK_GRAPH ON SERVER;
END

IF(SELECT COALESCE((SELECT TOP 1 1 FROM sys.services WHERE[name] = 'AkawnEventNotificationServiceDEADLOCK_GRAPH'), 0)) = 1
BEGIN
DROP SERVICE AkawnEventNotificationServiceDEADLOCK_GRAPH;
END

IF OBJECT_ID(N'AkawnEventNotificationQueueDEADLOCK_GRAPH', N'SQ') IS NOT NULL
BEGIN
DROP QUEUE AkawnEventNotificationQueueDEADLOCK_GRAPH;
END

IF(SELECT COALESCE((SELECT TOP 1 1 FROM sys.server_event_notifications WHERE[name] = 'AkawnEventNotificationEVENTLOG'), 0)) = 1
BEGIN
DROP EVENT NOTIFICATION AkawnEventNotificationEVENTLOG ON SERVER;
END

IF(SELECT COALESCE((SELECT TOP 1 1 FROM sys.services WHERE[name] = 'AkawnEventNotificationServiceEVENTLOG'), 0)) = 1
BEGIN
DROP SERVICE AkawnEventNotificationServiceEVENTLOG;
END

IF OBJECT_ID(N'AkawnEventNotificationQueueEVENTLOG', N'SQ') IS NOT NULL
BEGIN
DROP QUEUE AkawnEventNotificationQueueEVENTLOG;
END

 

Monitored Azure SQL Database: (only required if the remove icon was not used and the monitored Azure SQL Database was not called master)

IF(SELECT COALESCE((SELECT TOP 1 1 FROM sys.dm_xe_database_sessions WHERE[name] = 'AkawnEventSession_sqlserver_database_xml_deadlock_report'), 0)) = 0
BEGIN
ALTER EVENT SESSION [AkawnEventSession_sqlserver_database_xml_deadlock_report] ON DATABASE STATE = STOP;
DROP EVENT SESSION [AkawnEventSession_sqlserver_database_xml_deadlock_report] ON DATABASE;
END

IF(SELECT COALESCE((SELECT TOP 1 1 FROM sys.dm_xe_database_sessions WHERE[name] = 'AkawnEventSession_sqlserver_error_reported'), 0)) = 0
BEGIN
ALTER EVENT SESSION [AkawnEventSession_sqlserver_error_reported] ON DATABASE STATE = STOP;
DROP EVENT SESSION [AkawnEventSession_sqlserver_error_reported] ON DATABASE;
END

 

Uninstalling AKAWN Server and AKAWN Studio is performed via the Windows Control Panel Programs and Features

Once the application is removed, the AKAWN repository database should also be removed and any logins you may have setup specifically for the AKAWN Server service to use

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Troubleshooting #

Below are some tips if you find something not working as expected with AKAWN Monitoring (AM)

AM Server log files, are located in the AKAWN Server installation folder and the log.txt is the current event file updated by the AKAWN Server service

 

AM Server Config.bat, is found in the AKAWN Server installation folder and can be used to adjust the credentials used by the AKAWN Server service and specify the location of the AKAWN repository database

 

! Issue with check SQL Agent Error Log. The error was: A severe error occurred on the current command. The results, if any, should be discarded.

This message is usually received when the SQL Agent error log file needs to be cycled and the running following command on the monitored instance should resolve the issue

EXEC msdb..sp_cycle_agent_errorlog

 

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