A little PowerShell syntax tip : dealing with SQL Server named instances
This afternoon I was working on a little PowerShell script to collect some PerfMon counters. I borrowed some code from myself, and had counters represented in strings like the following (this is a greatly simplified version):
Get-Counter -Counter "\SQLServer:Wait Statistics(Average wait time (ms))\Lock waits"
The above code is for a default instance, but in this case I was dealing with a named instance (SQL2008R2). So I simply replaced "SQLServer:" with "MSSQL$SQL2008R2":
Get-Counter -Counter "\<b>MSSQL$SQL2008R2</b>:Wait Statistics(Average wait time (ms))\Lock waits"
When I ran this code, I received the following error:
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidResult: (:) [Get-Counter], Exception
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : CounterApiError,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetCounterCommand
The PowerShell gurus will spot the problem instantly, but play along, okay? I verified the format of the object, instance and counter name using Performance Monitor, going so far as validating exact case:
I even copied the properties to Notepad to make sure I wasn't being dumb and transcribing incorrectly:
I quickly searched for examples of folks using PowerShell to pull performance counter data from named instances of SQL Server, but either there aren't many out there, or my Google-fu was weak today.
I am not sure exactly why, but I looked at the Get-Counter line again, and the $ sign jumped out at me. Time is money; not sure if there is a correlation there. Anyway, when I properly escaped the dollar sign with a backward apostrophe (grave accent), it worked just fine, even though it looks funny:
Get-Counter -Counter "\MSSQL`$SQL2008R2:Wait Statistics(Average wait time (ms))\Lock waits" #---------------------------^
Of course, looking back, it's blindingly obvious. I just won't get those 15 minutes back, and hope to save someone else the same 15 minutes.
[The error message does not seem to indicate that it tried to substitute the variable with anything, or that the counter wasn't found because the name wasn't complete. So I spent most of my time chasing other avenues. I'm going to leave that rabbit hole for another day, as I spent more time writing this post than solving the original issue.]