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Provision Databases using PowerShell
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PSDatabaseClone is a PowerShell module for creating SQL Server database images and clones. It enables administrator to supply environments with database copies that are a fraction of the original size.

Do you have any ideas for new commands? Please propose them as issues and let us know what you'd like to see. Bug reports should also be filed under this repository's issues section.

Why use PSDatabaseClone

  • Save lots of space provisioning data to other locations
  • Spend less time provisioning databases
  • Create multiple local copies of a database from the same image
  • Make sure there tests are accurate with up-to-date data

Usage scenarios

There are multiple scenarios where you could use the module with

  • Supply developers with a local copy of the database
  • Provision non-production servers with production data
  • Implement a CI/CD pipeline with production like copies


As with every piece of software we need to set some prerequisites to make this module work.

  • Windows 10 (Professional, Enterprise or Education) or Windows Server 2012 R2 (Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter) and up
  • PowerShell 5 or above
  • SQL Server instance for saving image and clone information (PSDatabaseClone database)
  • SQL Server instance to create the images (can be the same as for saving the information)
  • Enough space to save to save one copy of the database (size of the image is the size of the database)

How does it work

The process consists of the following steps:

  1. Setup the module
  2. Create an image of the database
  3. Create a clone based on an image

It's that easy.


Step 1 - Setting up the module

If you import the module for the first time you'll be prompted to enter some values the configuration. At the very least, the module needs the value for the SQL Server instance that will hold the database containing all the hosts, images and clones. The second prompt to the user is for the database name. The default value is "PSDatabaseClone"

If you want to reset the configuration you can run the command "Set-PSDCConfiguration".

Execute the following command to setup the module with a credential

Set-PSDCConfiguration -SqlInstance SQLDB1 -SqlCredential (Get-Credential)

This will setup the module to use "SQLDB1" as the database server to host the PSDatabaseClone database. It will also show a window to insert the credentials for the connection. The database will be called "PSDatabaseClone".

Step 2 - Create your first image

This is where it gets exciting, you're going to create your image of a database.

For the clones to be able to connect you need to have a share that's accessible for users that will have the clones and the administrators that create the images.

Execute the following command to create an image for the database "DB1" from instance SQLDB1. Instance SQLDB2 is used to create the image. During the process a new backup will be generated.

New-PSDCImage -SourceSqlInstance SQLDB1 -DestinationSqlInstance SQLDB2 -ImageNetworkPath \\fileserver\psdatabaseclone\images -Database DB1 -CreateFullBackup

Step 3 - Create a clone

You have done the hard work of creating the image and make sure it's accessible for everyone.

Now it's time to create a clone.

Execute the following command to create a clone

New-PSDCClone -SqlInstance SQLDB3 -Destination C:\PSDatabaseClone\clones -CloneName DB1_Clone1 -Database DB1 -LatestImage

This will look into the central database if there is an image for database "DB1". The clone will be called "DB1_Clone1" and will be placed on the instance SQLDB3.


Create an image creating a full backup

New-PSDCImage -SourceSqlInstance SQLDB1 -DestinationSqlInstance SQLDB2 -ImageNetworkPath \\fileserver\psdatabaseclone\images -Database DB1 -CreateFullBackup

Create an image for multiple databases using the latest full backup

New-PSDCImage -SourceSqlInstance SQLDB1 -DestinationSqlInstance SQLDB2 -ImageNetworkPath \\fileserver\psdatabaseclone\images -Database DB1, DB2 -UseLastFullBackup

Create a clone based on the latest image of database DB1

New-PSDCClone -SqlInstance SQLDB1 -Destination C:\PSDatabaseClone\clones -CloneName DB1_Clone1 -Database DB1 -LatestImage

Get the clones for host HOST1

Get-PSDCClone -HostName HOST1

Remove the clones

Remove-PSDCClone -HostName HOST1 -Database DB1_Clone1, DB2_Clone1

Remove the clones using the Get-PDCClone

Get-PSDCClone -Database DB1_Clone1, DB2_Clone1 | Remove-PDCClone

Remove the image

Remove-PSDCImage -ImageLocation \\fileserver\psdatabaseclone\images\DB1_20180703085917.vhdx

Planned for future releases

  • Default directories for the images
  • Creation of multiple disks for a single database to rebuild original file structure
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