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DBA Morning Check List Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 6:43 AM


Grasshopper

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Very cool. Interesting how valid this article is still today. I also find it interesting all this talk about 50 hundred SQL Servers and DBA teams. In every contract that I have worked for the last 10 years, I have usually been the only one qualified as a DBA, but was expected to be spending most of my time programming. NO ONE spent any time monitoring the server(s) (usually one, very occasionally two). In fact, the only thing I would check would be to verify that the previous night's DB backup had run and that the instance had successfully restarted after the the server backup had run. Other than that the only time anyone touched the server was to create stored procedures, restore backups copies of the production databases, and to generate DB diagrams for the monthly report or after changes in the DB structure. So it is truly fascinating to hear about all these people who don't have the time to do these morning checks. It is also fascinating to hear about these people who are saying we get paid too much to be spending time doing this manually. (Really! Where do you work? I want to work there.) Around here, if all you do is DBA work without being a web developer, a GIS developer, and a desktop developer as well, your skills are not valued.

I will implement this morning checklist and maybe that will proactively handle the rare issues that come up so that I can get back to development quicker.
Post #976334
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 6:48 AM
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i've been slowly building a monitoring system over the last few years

around 2 years ago due to SOX we had a requirement to save all security logs from domain controllers and some servers. i set up a system to dump them into a database and use SSRS to present the data to people.

the first year was mostly learning and this year i wrote some more reports and transferred them to a new scale out SSRS deployment we did. this also enabled the emailing of data to people. then i added to the system by exporting application logs as well.

every morning i get an email from SSRS with any application log errors from all our SQL servers in the last week. i don't check it every day which is why the report goes a week back.

another report has security log events from SQL servers and there is another one for failed jobs

for security i also get a few emails about wrong passwords for admin accounts as well as any AD group changes. this past week i caught someone adding a person to one of our AD groups that we use for Windows Authentication on a server that is in SOX scope and that gives rights to change revenue data on several servers and databases. the policy is to issue a ticket that has to be approved to add anyone to that group.

for backups i have a daily job to export the tables from msdb to a central database and query it. i get emails for any database that has never been backed up, no full backup in 7 days, a general report of the latest full/diff backups for all servers and databases and a few others i made up. i used to audit backups once every 6 months or so and always found databases not being backed up. sometimes it was a developer creating a database on a server they have access to and not telling anyone. other times it was a mistake when changing a script. Netbackup isn't very good in reporting the backup status of databases so i had to write my own process.

for performance i've been collecting perfmon counters for 9 months now and email an hourly report. we also bought a third party tool to monitor servers that does it as well except it started emailing alerts and we had no data of our own since it was controlled by someone else. so i wrote a report to query the last few hours of permon data and send it out hourly. it used to send only anything out of the accepted range but changed it due to the above application sending out alerts. going to code another report just for alert data.

i also have a report that sends hourly the amount of commands waiting to be replicated. have plans to write another one for the amount of commands at distributor waiting to be replicated

and the final report is an hourly report of all SSRS report modifications. our BI devs have access to create/modify reports and we've had a few tickets where people complained that some report didn't work. set this up so we know if anyone is modifying a report people are complaining about.

all this is done using logparser and normal SQL Server features with a central SQL Server used to store the data. i wanted to use powershell but version 1 had some limitations and looking to see if i can use version 2. once in a while i get calls about buying some expensive monitoring software and there is never any value compared to what you can do yourself.

some things like backup monitoring i coded from examples in the articles here and just modified them. other reports like querying log data i wrote myself and used www.ultimatewindowssecurity.com for explanations on what all the event ID's mean


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Post #976335
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 8:40 AM
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Hola Todos,
Creo que ademas de verificar lo basico, tambien se debe verificar como los usuarios estan accesando la Base de Datos, 2) se debe tener en cuenta el crecimiento de los datafiles, y separar las tablas bigs enormes con miles de rows en datafiles, analizando datos y preparando cambios para el afinamiento.

Saludos

Arturo Caceres S.
DBA Nicaragua
Post #976452
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 8:43 AM
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great article. I'm a big fan myself of checklists. I.T. is just too complex to manage without such a discipline.

The main exception I have is paper (though always a great place to start).

I'd rather have the automation check these things out then send the DBA a report. Here is an example:
Post #976455
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 8:46 AM
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arturo_caceres (8/27/2010)
Hola Todos,
Creo que ademas de verificar lo basico, tambien se debe verificar como los usuarios estan accesando la Base de Datos, 2) se debe tener en cuenta el crecimiento de los datafiles, y separar las tablas bigs enormes con miles de rows en datafiles, analizando datos y preparando cambios para el afinamiento.

Saludos

Arturo Caceres S.
DBA Nicaragua


i've wanted to do that for a while but it seems that storage is the most expensive part of a server and it's hard to buy enough hard drives to do it the right way.


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Post #976456
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 2:54 PM


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Great article and something i need to put in place in my environment. We are using Idera SQL Safe to perform the backups so I know at a moments notice if backups or trans logs backups fail. I do need to get a monitoring tool for SQL diags. Anyone have any recommendations? Idera's is good but wondering if there are any other alternatives out there. That would make my checklist even easier with a good monitoring tool
Post #976775
Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010 6:01 AM
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Of all the morning checkings most stress full is "Space Checking"
we are monitoring over 50 production server..
so space checking of each server is tough..

carrying it in a week .. dividing in set to be carried in a day..
is a good idea. //it will give u a stats to analyse and estimate the risk,
there should be some automation for space checking.

Post #977059
Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010 11:19 PM


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Hi,

I think most of the DBAs are already having this kind of everyday checklist. The point is, we need the automation of it. Its literaly annoying to do these tasks manually on more than 50 servers everyday. So if you have some idea about automating the same, that will be great

Anyways, nice article



Sujeet Singh
Post #977162
Posted Monday, August 30, 2010 6:34 AM
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Thank you for taking time to read my article. I appreciate the insight of each poster. I posted my initial comments on 4/14/2008. However, let me reiterate that I wrote this article to challenge those who do not yet have a checklist to develop one. To the shops that do have a checklist, I desired to offer my ideas to improve their shops even more. I also appreciate your comments, so that I may improve my process.


Thanks,

Bill Richards, MCSE, MCDBA
Senior Database Analyst

Post #977262
Posted Monday, August 30, 2010 11:45 AM
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looking on writing a report on #1, disk space

can someone point me to some sample code to do the following. grab the database info on a server. the size of the db, the free space, all db files and free space on them. SSMS has reports for it, but i was looking for the code to write my own consolidated version for all our servers and databases


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