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The Maintenance Poll

By Steve Jones,

Part of working in Information Technology is working during off hours. In one company we had a standing maintenance window every Friday night. It was annoying for the family, but it did build a nice bond among the production staff during our many Friday night dinners together. Another company allowed maintenance only from midnight Saturday to 6am Sunday, once a quarter. Those restrictions, while annoying, certainly taught us to prepare and test everything in advance.

The systems we build and support are often in use during the business day by our companies and clients. That usually means that patches or changes to the applications take place in off hours, and that means the IT staff is used to working at night and on weekends to make changes. This Friday I'm wondering what that means for the SQL Server community.

What type of maintenance windows do you typically operate under?

Do you have regular maintenance scheduled? When you patch systems or make changes, how does that impact your schedule during the week? Do you get any comp time or flexible scheduling to accommodate patches?

It's interesting right now with SQLServeCentral. Since most of the staff at Red Gate operates on GMT and most of the audience is in one of the US timezones, it's preferable for changes to the systems to be made early in the morning in Cambridge. An 9-10am change window occurs at 4am EST/1am PST, and a relatively small amount of our audience is affected. These changes also mean that there are plenty of people in the office to respond if there are issues.

In most companies I've worked in, we had limited change windows, and restrictions at different times of the year, but overall we had regular maintenance scheduled and available to allow us to maintain our systems and allow staff to plan for work during off-hours, with some type of flexible time for employees stuck working after hours. Let us know today if that's the case at your job.

Steve Jones

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Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com. They have a great version of Message in a Bottle if you want to check it out.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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friday poll