SQL Server Discovery Tools and Scripts

Each time I start a new contract, the first thing I do is search for all SQL Servers across any network/subnet to which I have access. While the documentation I get is usually paltry or non-existent. When it does exist, it’s usually only for the production SQL Servers. Sometimes, most production SQL Servers aren’t even documented; one of my clients only had 20 documented servers, and I found over 60 (including SQL Express instances, of course.)

So here I am again, starting a new contract and I’m out looking for SQL Discovery Tools. Ultimately, here are the 5 I ended up finding and using, in no particular order:

Idera SQL Discovery is a really great tool within the Idera SQL Toolbox. That one’s good and , which has been in beta for years.

A new tool I discovered this time around is the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. Free (as in beer), of course.

Next is a quick lil script that grabs all SQL Servers in Active Directory that contain the word “SQL”

Next is a more thorough script written by Colin Smith which grabs a list of servers within a text file and probes their services. I created the list with the script above, though I replaced “*SQL*” with “*Server*”

Now to get all these SQL Servers registered..

Chrissy is a PowerShell MVP who has worked in IT for nearly 20 years, and currently serves as a Sr. Database Engineer in Belgium. Always an avid scripter, she attended the Monad session at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles back in 2005 and has worked and played with PowerShell ever since. Chrissy is currently pursuing an MS in Systems Engineering at Regis University and helps maintain RealCajunRecipes.com in her spare time. She holds a number of certifications, including those relating to SQL Server, SuSE Linux, SharePoint and network security. She recently became co-lead of the SQL PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter. You can follow her on Twitter at @cl.

Posted in Active Directory, PowerShell, SQL Server
2 comments on “SQL Server Discovery Tools and Scripts
  1. Jelle says:

    Thanks for sharing this, although matching on computer-name is not bulletproof for my environment.

    Other solution could be using Powershell command:
    (finds SQL Servers where SQLBrowser is enabled)

    Or use command: SQLCMD -L
    (also returns instance name, you could catch the result in SSIS and parse it, like i did)

    Guess a really solid solution would be scanning for registersettings though, but then you will need to have the proper rights to do that aswell.

    Best wishes,

  2. Franke says:

    Thanks! Idera is a def. a good server and application management tool.

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  1. […] on the network. It’s my usual routine to get permission to sniff the network then run about five different programs including Idera’s SQL Discovery and Microsoft’s SQL Server Assessment and Planning […]

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