I might want to prepare a report for management detailing the state of the database and recommended actions. I would be careful here not to be judgemental, just the facts. I wouldn't throw the previous DBA under the bus or suggest there was a management failure. You should cya in case something goes wrong and the blame goes to the new dba(you).
Something along the lines of, "In doing due diligence on the databases I am taking responsibility for, I found a fair amount of 'low-hanging fruit' where processes and administrative practices can be improved." Go on from there, in a positive manner, not a blamethrower thing.
Even if something bad (like serious corruption) is found, see if you can solve it first, and present it that way. "I found that there was an amount [be specific] of data corruption, and took the following steps to correct it. It is now handled, and preventative steps have been taken to prevent further corruption from occuring." That kind of thing.
If you find a no-situation (no corruption, recoverable backups, that kind of thing), "Preventative measures are being taken against future data loss situations, based on industry best-practices. While no data corruption has been found, improved preventative measures have been put in place to keep the data clean." Don't push "The prior incompetent didn't have DBCC CHECKDB running regularly." Instead focus on positive attention to details.
This avoids blamethrowing, while creating a positive environment for yourself and others.
On the technical priorities, I would definitely make sure backups are being done correctly as a top priority, and DBCC CHECKDB all-the-way.
I also recommend some monitoring tools, like Confio Ignite (there's a free version) for performance issues, and Red Gate SQL Monitor (not free). These will make your life as a DBA much, much easier.
- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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