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January 2012 – Monthly SQL Server Checklist

4439276478_8bb7a50ab8_m It’s the first Monday of January and for most of us it’s probably a vacation day.  No fear, you can do this tomorrow if you aren’t in the office today.  And with resolutions being made all over the world in the last few days, let’s make a resolution to check up on all of our SQL Servers at least once per month.

As has been said before, the premise of these posts is to help DBAs maintain their environments by getting together a monthly checklist for their environments.  Followed by going through and evaluating the SQL Server environment.

Since the December checklist, there haven’t been a lot of changes.  This month is more of a reminder to get things done and to make sure that you start the year off right.

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 practiced 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 that support for SQL Server releases do end at some point.  Support for the version of SQL Server that you are currently using may no longer be supported.
  4. Server Health: Check the performance statistics for your server(s).  Were there any unexpected items in your event log?  How does everything compare to the last baseline?
  5. Database Health:Check the performance statistics for your database(s). Were there 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. September Monthly SQL Server Checklist
  2. June Monthly SQL Server Checklist
  3. July Monthly SQL Server Checklist


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