We are DBAs working with a server product, so everything we do is remote. In fact, that might be one of the things that is the most difficult to explain to new DBAs and developers: the fact that most of what they do happens remotely on the server, not on their workstation. How many people have had problems because they don't realize a DTS package runs on their workstation (in the designer), but a SQL Agent job runs on the server.
Yesterday I wrote about telecommuting (SQLServerCentral.com), something I do now and have done for awhile. And it's something that I believe in to a large extent as a way to not only save a company money and retain employees, but also as a way to balance work and life and increase efficiency. However someone mentioned that they would be concerned about working at a Starbucks or other public location.
Coincidently, I caught an article about remote management (ComputerWorld.com) and the concerns and issues that might occur when trying to do server management from somewhere besides the server. Most of the concerns were infrastructure based, with worries about systems designed for email use being overloaded with applications like Terminal Services or some other high bandwidth system.
Over the years, SQL Server has done a great job allowing remote management of the various server services. You can even push out service pack installations to remote servers without requiring a console. Granted you do need some bandwidth for the script and file movement, but it's not as much of a requirement as something like a Remote Desktop Connection.
Security is a concern for remote work, and I can certainly see where you might not want to expose your work at a Starbucks. Remote work or management doesn't necessarily mean that every task you do for your job has to be done at someplace like Starbucks. You just avoid those tasks that might be a security risk.
Confidential data, credit card information, etc. probably shouldn't be carried around on a laptop anyway. At least not without some strong encryption. Management Studio gives you the option to encrypt your connection and it's definitely something to consider if you're not already running across a VPN when you're remote.
Protect your company's information like it was your own. And remember that a little paranoia is healthy; there are definitely bad people out there. Be careful with what data you carry around on your laptop and where and when you work with it. As with anything related to your job, I'd expect you to use a little judgment and not take unnecessary risks.
Just because you have the capability to do something, that doesn't mean you should do it.
Music for today's podcast provided by Joe Sibol. He's got a new album and you can hear some songs on iTunes or at www.joesibol.com.
The podcasts for today are:
If you're in a band and want to send some music, please feel free. I prefer MP3s, along with an image and link to your site. If you've got instrumental versions of your songs, let me know.