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The Voice of the DBA

Default Backups and Feature Awareness

Have you ever been asked a question about your software and thought that the person was asking about an obvious feature? Perhaps someone has suggested a feature to you and you answered that this was already in the product. Did any of you think your users were stupid or  not very observant, or something else?
I've had that situation appear a few times, with my on different sides of the discussion. I watched someone ask a question that I knew the answer to, watched someone else respond, and thought, huh, how didn't they know that. I asked a question about something in the Microsoft Azure world and got a quick answer, wondering why I hadn't been able to find the solution myself. And stopping myself from cursing the Microsoft devs too much. I've had a few people do strange things at SQLServerCentral after the migration and wondered, why in the world.......? Then I remember that lots of people use the site differently than I do and I should expect that.
I thought about this while reading Joey D'Antoni's piece on backups. It's not hard to make backups. It's not hard to set up a maintenance plan to run backups. It's not hard to set up a history task to trim old ones. Heck, it's not hard to implement Ola's scripts.
The problem is all of these solutions require some knowledge.
I think plenty of people assume either the system backs itself up or their nightly file sweep by a central backup system will grab the database. Hint: it won't. I think plenty of people think it's someone else's job. Or they are in a hurry with an installation and assume they or someone else will come back and set up backups later. Plenty of third party software may create a database, but never set up a backup process.
That's not good. While I like Joey's suggestion, I'd go further. I'd have instance defaults set on install and an automatic, nightly full backup process set for all new databases with a week's retention. I'd embed this in the DDL so the default is backups will be set on CREATE DATABASE, and you can use a switch to turn this off if you want to use some other backup process. I bet backup software, like SQL Backup, would even do this for you, turning off native backups when you turn on their scheduler.
I think backup is the most critical thing a DBA does, or an accidental DBA, or the accountant that installed Dynamics, or anyone working with a database. Next would be verifying things with a restore. Then comes security and the list goes on from that point. If you don't have the data, because of ransomware, virus, bad hardware, or anything else, you are in a bad situation.
Please. Set up backups. If you find a server without them, inform someone in writing of the dangers and give them resources for creating backups. If you create databases as part of your software deployment process, set up backups somehow. Use a maintenance plan. Those aren't great, but they're better than nothing. There's a reason why SQL Monitor has an alert for databases with no backup. It's a critical one to have running.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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  Featured Contents
Stairway to T-SQL Beyond The Basics

Stairway to T-SQL: Beyond The Basics Level 3: Building a Correlated Subquery

Greg Larsen from

This stairway level will expand on the subquery topic by discussing a type of subquery known as a correlated subquery, and explores what a correlated subquery is and how it is different from a normal subquery.

How to Build an Efficient Request Process for SQL Server DBAs

Additional Articles from

Take a look at some of these DBA request examples and things you could do to improve your request process.

Free eBook: Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views

Additional Articles from Redgate

Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) are a significant and valuable addition to the DBA's troubleshooting armory, laying bare previously unavailable information regarding the under-the-covers activity of your database sessions and transactions.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - What do you get with a Free account in #Azure?

Kenneth.Fisher from SQLServerCentral

The first thing I want to do is say thank you to Michael Crump (b/t). He tweeted out this: What ... Continue reading

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Azure Data Factory: Extracting array first element

Rayis Imayev from SQLServerCentral

(2019-Apr-28) Full credit goes to Microsoft for the latest efforts updating Azure products with new features and documenting corresponding changes for the end users. Azure Data Factory (ADF) is a great...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


Getting the time

How do I get the system time in R?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.


Redgate SQL Change Automation


  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Cleaning Your Tables


Answer: This reclaims space from all variable-length dropped columns

Explanation: DBCC CLEANTABLE is designed to reclaim space from dropped variable-length columns. Ref: DBCC CLEANTABLE -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




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