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PowerShell Function to Automate Availability Group Failover

November 18, 2017 1 comment

I’ve been working with Availability Groups (AG) since their release in SQL Server 2012 and have always wanted to leverage PowerShell to administer them.  Recently I received a request to develop an automated process for failing Availability Groups over gracefully prior to server patching.  Believe it or not, but a hard shutdown of the primary replica is NOT the best way to force AG failover.

The function takes a replica name as input and queries system tables for Availability Groups running as secondary that are online, healthy, and synchronous.  For each AG found, the function generates an ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP statement.  If the -noexec parm is set to 0, the command will be executed.  If -noexec is set to 1, the command will be written out to a file.

When writing the function, I started out trying to use the native PowerShell Availability Group cmdlets.  After several false starts, I found it easier to develop the T-SQL code in Management Studio and use Invoke-Sqlcmd to execute the code.  The code is available below.  I hope you can put it to use.


<#
Author: Frank Gill
Date: 2017-11-17
#>
function Invoke-AgFailover {
<#
.SYNOPSIS
Checks specified instance for healthy, synchronous Availability Groups running as secondary and
fails them over
.DESCRIPTION
Checks the instance passed in for healthy, synchronous Availability Groups running as secondary and
fails them over.  If the instance is not hosting secondary replicas, a message will be output.
If there are AGs running as secondary, a message will output for each, including AG name, destination,
and failover duration.
.EXAMPLE
Invoke-AgFailover -Instance YourSecondaryInstance -NoExec 0;
Any Availability Groups running as secondary on YourSecondaryInstance will be failed over.
.EXAMPLE
Invoke-AgFailover -Instance YourSecondaryInstance -NoExec 1;
If Availability Groups are running as secondary on YourSecondaryInstance, T-SQL commands for each AG failover
will be generated and written to C:\AGFailover\failover_YourAgName_YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.sql.
.PARAMETER Instance
The instance to check for secondary replicas.
.PARAMETER NoExec
Set to 1 to generate T-SQL script for failover.
#>
[CmdletBinding()]
param
(
[Parameter(Mandatory=$True,
Position = 1,
ValueFromPipeline=$True,
ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName=$True,
HelpMessage='Which instance do you want to check for secondary replicas?')]
[Alias('secondaryinstance')]
[string[]]$instance,

[Parameter(Mandatory=$True,
Position = 2,
ValueFromPipeline=$True,
ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName=$True,
HelpMessage='Set to 1 if you want to execute the database restore.  Otherwise ')]
[Alias('dontrun')]
[string]$noexec
)
process
{
<# If the $noexec is set to 1, create file path to hold out files #>
if($noexec -eq 1)
{
$rundate = Get-Date -Format yyyyMMdd_HHmmss;
$outpath = "C:\AgFailover";
if((Test-Path -Path $outpath) -eq $true)
{
Remove-Item -Path "$outpath\*" -Recurse;
}
else
{
New-Item -Path $outpath -ItemType Directory;
}
}

<# Create query to check for failover-eligible AGs #>
$query = "SELECT g.[name], ar.replica_server_name
FROM sys.dm_hadr_availability_replica_states r
INNER JOIN sys.availability_replicas ar
ON ar.group_id = r.group_id
AND ar.replica_id = r.replica_id
INNER JOIN sys.availability_groups g
ON g.group_id = ar.group_id
WHERE r.role_desc = N'SECONDARY'
AND r.recovery_health_desc = N'ONLINE'
AND r.synchronization_health_desc = N'HEALTHY'
AND ar.availability_mode_desc = N'SYNCHRONOUS_COMMIT';"

<# Execute failover-eligible query #>
$secondaries = Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$instance" -Database master -Query $query;

<# Output message if there are no failover-eligible AGs #>
if($secondaries.Count -eq 0)
{
Write-Output "There are no Availability Group replicas available to fail over to $instance."
}

<# If eligible AGs exist, loop through them #>
foreach($secondary in $secondaries)
{
$secreplica = $secondary.replica_server_name;
$ag = $secondary.name;

$query = "ALTER AVAILABILITY GROUP $ag FAILOVER;"

<# If $noexec is set to 0, execute the AG failover
and output a message when complete #>
if($noexec -eq 0)
{
$starttime = Get-Date;
Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance "$instance" -Database master -Query $query;
$endtime = Get-Date;
$duration = (New-TimeSpan -Start $starttime -End $endtime).Seconds;
Write-Output "Failed Availability Group $ag to replica $instance in $duration seconds";
}
<# If $noexec is not set to 0, write a file out to the path built above for each AG #>
else
{
$comment = "/* Run against instance $instance */" ;
$comment | Out-File -FilePath "$outpath\failover_$ag`_$rundate.sql" -Append;
$use = "USE master;";
$use | Out-File -FilePath "$outpath\failover_$ag`_$rundate.sql" -Append;
$query | Out-File -FilePath "$outpath\failover_$ag`_$rundate.sql" -Append;
}
}
}
}

SQL Saturday Columbus

It’s been a while since my last blog post.  Since then, I’ve been to PASS Summit, which was the best one yet.  I’ve presented at SQL Saturdays in Portland, Cleveland, and Iowa City. And, most excitingly, started a new job with BlueMetal.  I am in the middle of week 3 and am really excited about the new challenge.

I’ll be presenting on Using PowerShell to Automate Your Restore Strategy at SQL Saturday Columbus on July 16th.  It will be my first time in Columbus, Ohio and I am looking forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, and teaching and learning.  You can register and find more information at the link above.  If you are in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to get a free day of training while networking with your peers in the SQL Server community.