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Communication Issues

By Steve Jones,

http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/uploads/image/communication%281%29.jpgFor most of my career I've worked alone as a DBA. It's been rare for me to work for a company that has more than one DBA around to manage the databases. When you are the only DBA, you tend to have a great handle on your environment because it's usually small, and because you make all the changes yourself.

Recently I found a post where someone had a problem with their transaction log. They had installed snapshot replication, but the log would not shrink despite repeated log backups. Eventually through some advice of others, they discovered that someone else had set up transactional replication on that instance and they were not aware of it.

Communication becomes critical when you have more than one person responsible for a set of systems. Without a good way for people to let each other know what changes are taking place, it becomes very easy for people to cause each other unnecessary work.  An unexpected change, like installing replication, might cause a co-worker to spend time chasing down an issue when a little communication could have prevented problems.

We all like to be self-sufficient as technologists. We think that our skills and talents will enable us to solve most problems or make good decisions about technology. However we don't necessarily foresee all the potential issues or effects of our changes. I have always kept a log of changes to systems and required everyone working on those systems to keep it up to date. Logging a note or a link allows the next person to quickly determine what has changed in the past hour, day, or week and then consider that information when troubleshooting. It's surprisingly effective  and easy to do. A simple shared text document or public folder in Exchange can make all the difference in keeping track of your environment.

A little communication goes a long way.

Steve Jones

 


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