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Things That Drive a DBA Crazy When Starting a New Job

In the past 5 months I have started two different jobs, so that leaves it up in the air as to which job or jobs (plus a previous job did some of these) are practicing these bad habits but these are the top 10 things that drive DBAs crazy when they start new jobs.  Keep in mind the company had never had never had a DBA before but still come on there are too many free resources out there for accidental DBAs and they had written plenty of stored procedures.

  1. Everyone can guess this one. Go ahead try before you read it.  Everyone is a you guessed it a sysadmin.  There is just way to many things that can go wrong from drop databases to settings being changed to inconsistent things being setup that the DBA doesn’t know about after they have fixed up the server.
  2. Production databases having a SLA but no recovery strategy, i.e. databases in SIMPLE mode so no log backups, but then test databases in FULL mode.  Just why?
  3. Having test databases on the same server as your production databases.  Why when you have the resources to create test servers.
  4. Running a server without enough memory, seriously a 300 GB database (not to mention the other databases on the server competing for that buffer pool) trying to run in under 64 GBs is usually going to be slow and you have the resources to give it max standard edition will take at 128 GBs and you have it configured to use a minimum of 80 GBs anyways.
  5. Having compatibility modes set all the way back to SQL Server 2008, hey we are running 2016.  Let’s use the new cardinality estimator.
  6. All the database files on one drive, let alone on the C drive where snapshot backups are taken quite frequently freezing IO.
  7. Oh, and can we have SQL Agent Alerts please, how did you know there was something wrong with the server before?
  8. Having databases with 10,000+ DTA indexes yes you read that number correctly, I saved over 400 GBs removing the include columns from them.  And oh got rid of the DTA statistics.
  9. Still not have your Power Plan set to High Performance.
  10. Lastly not having complete maintenance plans, like only having backups or not backups or only backups and nothing else, or even setting up everything including Shrink Database.  Please don’t use those go use Ola’s scripts.
  11. Bonus one no patches having ever been installed on the operating system or SQL Server in years.

Any company without a DBA or any new DBA look at Brent Ozar’s 6-month Training Plan , it’s free.

If you had any things that have driven you crazy when starting a new job leave them in the comments, I’m curious I may need to check them out.

Database Superhero’s Blog

Tracy is the Database Superhero for ChannelAdvisor. She has spent over 20 years in IT and has used SQL Server since 1999. Tracy covers all aspects of administration and deals heavily with performance tuning and high availability and disaster recovery. Tracy is a co-organizer of a Special Interest Group (SIG) dedicated to advanced DBA topics in our local user group TriPass. She is also the founder of http://WeSpeakLinux.com. Before she worked full-time as a DBA she was formally a developer and network administrator. She also tinkered with databases in middle/high school to keep her sports card collection organized.


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