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iPads for Christmas Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 8:35 AM
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I see an iPad and SQL Monitoring improving response to issues after business hours. We are a 24 x 7 shop, and have to provide support after hours. Having an iPad would allow going to karate with my kids and going out to dinner with the family while being on-call without having to drag around a laptop. After hours support with an iPad also means no waiting for laptop to boot up, not running into air card connectivity problems, and being able to do more things with my family while on call. Providing better support after hours can mean less down time when issues occur and increase the value I bring to my organization.



Post #1033851
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 8:35 AM
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Steve-

I think that more and more the lines between personal life and work for workers in IT are getting blurred as technology advances. And I also think that it can be a positive thing. I agree that no one likes to get the call about a system being down in the middle of the night or taking calls on a vacation. But what I am talking about is the day to day blurring that allows both empoyee and employer advantages that they wouldn't have otherwise. Sure I had to do a system upgrade on a Sunday morning early. But I could do it from home in my pajamas. I also will be able to leave the office today to watch my daughter's basketball game at 3:00, I will have my phone forwarded and the laptop in the car if the need arises. These tradeoffs have clear advantages for the employer (knowing that the employee is always 'on the job') and the employee (the ability to take guilt free time during the traditional work day for personal appointments, family events, etc). Advancing technology will keep allowing for that give and take between employer and employee.

That's where devices like an ipad come in. Remote monitoring with the abilityto perform certain necessary funtions without the overhead of a full laptop is ideal. I love my Droidx, but isn't the best management tool for my systems. Screen real estate is a big factor there. Portability also comes into play as well in certain situations. No one wants to be the guy lugging in and setting up a laptop at their kid's baskteball game.

That's an important synergy that devices like and ipad and software such as Red Gate's create- the ability for me to do my job away from the offices just as well as I can do it in the office gives me the flexibility to live my life and the gives my employer confidence that the SQL servers that drive our business are always being looked after.
Post #1033852
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 8:47 AM
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I have a unique situation in my job. I have the DBA responsibilities for my company's sql servers. The dev and test servers along with the sql servers for our web sites. I also have defacto responsibilities for our clients that have bought our software. Our software is a web based system that we install at the client site, that helps manufacturing plants schedule and plan their plant's orders. Of course, most of our clients do not have any sort of IT personal that know anything about sql server or databases in general. So any sort of problem they might be having usually makes it way down to me.

On top of that I live in Saint Paul MN. We just got 16 inches (41cm) of snow over the weekend and the high temp today is -3F (-19C). Normally it takes about 1/2 hour to drive into work. During a snow storm it can be 4 times that.

Anyway, the bottom line is an IPad would allow me to get connected to my office network or my clients network to help keep those sql servers humming more easily. Currently I have a desktop at work and a desktop at home. So if I had an IPad I wouldn't have to rush home or to the office when I am out and about and a client is having problems.

So hope you will choose me as one of the lucky people to get an IPad so I can do my job better by being able to stay more connected to the sql servers I support.

Ben
Post #1033859
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 9:02 AM
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Steve,

I am one of those in IT that have to pay a roll of SQL server admin / DBA once in a while so most of the time I could not remember the correct syntax to solve the problem at hand (or searching what is the root cause of SQL server) without consulting notes that I have accumulated on my computer over the years.
Ipad would enable me to fix SQL problem remotely (without geting back to my desk while I am not in my office or having to drive to my office on the weekend so that I can look at my notes) since I can always connect and search the web.



Post #1033873
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 9:05 AM
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Well besides the obvious reason that all the cool DBAs have iPads.

I guess the best way an iPad could help me do my job is the small, lightweight, and overall portability of the device. I work for a small company and we don't have a lot of DBAs, ok only one. Having the ability to troubleshoot and monitor remotely without having to lug around a clunky laptop would be a great improvement. Plus being able to do in-flight monitoring and diagnostics via accessing SQL Monitor on the iPad would be great when I am on Wi-Fi flights traveling. Digging out my laptop from my carry-on can be a pain. Assuming that it will work from the top of Mt Hood it would be a great Christmas present that allowed me to go snowboarding with less worry about being called in to work!
Post #1033876
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 9:10 AM


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Using an iPad would be fun. Using SQL Monitoring tool would be outstanding.
I am a DBA on the go. Motorcycling, dirtbiking, waterskiing, paintballing, racquetballing and so on. When on-call, I tend to grab my entire backpack of gear, cables, power cords, vpn key fobs, and so on. This group of geek gear lives in my car or truck when I am possibly needed. I am about to change jobs and will become the sole DBA for the new company, in which I will have the responsibility to monitor and maintain my new databases almost alone. Using SQL Monitoring tool would be outstanding. I hope to get licenses for this for my new job's DBs as soon as possible.
Having to bring all that gear with me everywhere I go is a hindrance, and having a smaller device will greatly improve my mobility and ability to 'attempt' to balance work with life. However, I am more excited about being able to catch a glimpse of the goings on inside my DB from the SQL Monitoring tool. I forsee a time when I can go out and ride my dirtbike during a Saturday, periodically peeking into the systems while sitting in the desert, instead of not going out, because i feel the need to stay closer to my office or home office. These moments of escape from our day to day jobs, the ability to perform needed tasks while out and about, become paramount to my sanity. Allowing me the chance to decompress whiule being empowered to peek at my systems, will bring a smile to my face, as well as my wife and children, who see dad get burdened with the constant vigiliance that is our day to day data protector careers.



Post #1033890
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 9:55 AM


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Being a DBA is not a 9-5 job, 5 days-a-week. You can't switch off when you leave the office, but unfortunately you do disconnect from your work place. In today's inter-connected world, it is possible to work from anywhere, but often the tools, the systems and the environment you need are all there ready and waiting - in your office!

For example, in my office, I have one laptop that is my main machine and it is docked/undocked every working day into a multi-monitor setup, but I also have a separate PC that I use to run all my monitoring tools, system checks, and general system management tasks. That's 3 screens, all giving me data, all day long. It's like driving a car, a quick glance up to the rear-view mirror and I can see what’s going on behind without really taking focus off what’s coming up ahead - similarly at work, a quick glance over to the monitoring workstation to see if all the alerts are green and all the graphs are steady. When I need to work away from the office, the laptop is perfectly capable of running everything it needs to, but I haven't got that multi-screen view. Even working from home - I haven't physically got enough hardware to replicate the perfect environment, and inevitably the one thing that gets left behind is the monitoring view! To have the ability to monitor the servers on a screen large enough to be able to catch your attention, whilst at the same time be physically small and light enough to be portable would be a dream. Not only that but the screen is also interactive - need to delve into that alert a bit more - no need for a mouse or keyboard, just pick it up and go. Now you can be as productive away from the office as you are in the office, especially when it comes to proactive monitoring.

And that’s not where the benefits stop - now that level of monitoring goes everywhere you go. We often have our centralized monitoring solutions, but that's only useful when you are sat on top of it, watching it. The way to extend that was to have emails and paging alerts fly out of the system, grabbing the attention of some poor soul on an on-call rota who would investigate the alert and then escalate it. So whether you are simply in a meeting down the corridor, or in another country - you can still keep an eye on your servers.

Finally, if you are in an IT meeting, and the question of server performance comes up - there's no need to go away and produce some stats and graphs, just jump straight into the analysis page and show everyone what you mean - even use the 'rewind time' feature to demonstrate what was going on at 2am, four nights ago - your colleagues and management will be impressed that you have such a good handle on your databases.
Post #1033929
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 9:55 AM
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Good Morning Steve,

As a devout IPhone user for the past several years, I'm salivating whenver the IPad commercials are run during my primetime TV shows. I'm a business intelligence analyst by day and a freelance web application developer by moonlight.

I would leverage the IPad to help me monitor databases and processes running on client systems, access client machines via remote control (where possible), and in general be more productive (while maintaining those boundaries you noted) whether I'm in town or travelling. You noted the use of ITap which would be my best friend in terms of remoting into my own server as well as clients' servers to spot check issues, diagnose problems that crop up, or just be able to develop while enjoying my favorite coffee drink at Starbuck's.

As such, an IPad would help me be more responsive and thus more productive. How cool would it be to kick off an SSIS package via ITap while getting ready for the workday, so that the package could finish running before I arrive to the office? How cool would it be to take a customer call and remote into their server on the spot to see what issues they're having? That's what I call responsiveness and productivity.

Merry Christmas,
Sid
Post #1033930
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 10:16 AM
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Working in the gaming industry (Casino and Resorts), everyone in the top management want all of the data to be available at all the time with absolutely no down time. Time is money when we rely on making sure our patrons have an enjoyable experience. This also means that I (as the SQL Server DBA) is on a 24/7 call. Remote monitoring of the SQL Servers, on an Ipad would be a lot better than the alternative currently that we have set up – which alerts me with emails if something goes wrong. It would be wonderful to be able to take a proactive approach to Database Administration, rather than the reactive approach that we are doing today. Another advantage for having the SQL Monitor on the go is for me to spend more time on the floors, rather than at my desk to make sure that nothing is going to wrong.

By the way, have a wonderful, safe and happy holidays.

George
Post #1033950
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 11:03 AM


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Honestly? Well, I wouldn't really do much differently. I wouldn't implement any grand new schemes or change anything that I wasn't planning on changing anyway. What WOULD change would be the ease and enjoyment (yes, I said enjoyment) of logging in to check things at work. As it is I can connect through VPN to work and do anything I need to. I do not like to do this once I leave work. However, if I had an iPad that I was using at home to play games, look up information, follow recipes, shop, etc. AND I could connect to work on it, I would be more likely to check in on work even when nothing was going on.

So an iPad would be a benefit to me as another more portable method to connect to work AND have fun with. An iPad in my possession would be a benefit to my company because I would be even more able to connect and work from anywhere and more likely to just check how things are running on the system.
Post #1033980
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