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September Monthly SQL Server Checklist

4439276478_8bb7a50ab8_mFirst day of the month and first Tuesday of the month.  Yup, the list is late this month because for myself, and probably a fair number of other readers, Monday was a holiday.  First day back this month, though, and it’s time to check up on everything and make certain that we are earning our keep as DBAs.

As previously mentioned, the premise of this post is help DBAs maintain their environments by getting together a monthly checklist and running through it every month.  Each month there will be updates and hopefully a couple more items to help you keep track of what’s new to check out.  This month, I’ve added in links for the current SQL Server Service Packs, since they need to be applied prior to Cumulative Updates.

Monthly Checklist

  1. Backup Validation: Check everything involved in the backup process.  Are your backups executing as desired?  Are the monitoring jobs properly alerting to failures?  Have their been any unexpected failures?  Have backup duration times changed?
  2. Recovery Validation: Is everything for your recovery collected and being backed up?  Have you practices restoring at least one of your SQL Server databases from production in the last month?
  3. SQL Server Updates: Is your SQL Server environment up to date?  Check each of your instances and review the most recent releases of SQL Server.  Make a plan to determine when the most recent updates will be applied.  Also, be aware the support for SQL Serverreleases does end at some point.
  4. Server Health: Check the performance statistics for your server(s).  Any unexpected items in your event log?
  5. Database Health: Check the performance statistics for your database(s). Any unexpected items in your SQL Server logs?
    1. Check wait stats.
    2. Analyze your indexes (via IndexAnalysis)
  6. Check Baselines: Are there any variances on the performance counters off of the baseline?  Is the baseline still valid?
  7. Validate Capacity Plan: If you have a capacity plan in place for your environment, check to see that what you had planned for June matches the actuals.  Any threshold violations that may require adding capacity?
  8. Status Report: What do you need to get done before next month?  What did you get done this month?  After the other tasks, write this all down and send it to your manager.

Something Missing?

Is there something missing in this list that you think should be included?  Leave a comment and I’ll add it in for next month.  I’ll follow-up next month on the first Monday of the month and we’ll see how everyone that reads this is doing.

Related posts:

  1. June Monthly SQL Server Checklist
  2. July Monthly SQL Server Checklist
  3. August Monthly SQL Server Checklist


Posted by ravisamigo on 8 September 2011

Thanks Jason.it's very useful.

It would be grateful if you explain me more about Server health,Database health and Status Report(share me if you have for reference)

Posted by sani on 8 September 2011

Thanks for the check list.

Would you please let me know what do you mean me by Check Baselines?

Many Thanks

Posted by renville.williams on 8 September 2011

I believe Baseline is a list of performance checklist of your system (whether it network, hard disk, memory etc.) when you first set it up to run. With this, you can do a system check up to see how your system is functioning compared to before. So if you have any current problems, you can compare it to before to see where the bottleneck or problem may be occurring.

Posted by Jason Strate on 8 September 2011

@ravisamigo I've got posts in the works to cover all of those topics.  They haven't been written as fast as I had hoped with the book I am writing getting in the way.  Stay tuned and they'll probably show up soon.

Posted by Jason Strate on 8 September 2011

@sani For baselines, you want to look at the io, cpu, and memory you are using this month compared to last month.  And changes up or down?  If so, can you easily explain them.  If not, it's an area to research to get an idea what has changed.

Posted by BMOALLI 35200 on 10 September 2011

Very helpful, now looking for more info about looking into the io, cpu and memory.    I've also had a standing concern that one of my servers, the development server so not major impact has a bottleneck because there is only one drive on the machine, all seeks pass through the same disk along with program and os calls.  I'm trying to build a case that this is not the most efficient way to run the server.

Posted by vinu on 14 September 2011

Looking for such information. Thanks for providing this.

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