If you're speaking of what's considered an operational DBA, there are a few basics:
Backup / Restore:
- Understand the backup / restore options SQL Server provides for you.
- Implement those on your databases to meet your users' needs.
- Test those backups regularly to make sure they are good and to give you an idea of how long the restores take.
Configuration / Performance (OS):
- Understand the various types of RAID and how those can impact your performance.
- Understand how to deploy SQL Server on those RAID configurations to meet cost vs. performance.
- Understand how to measure performance on your SQL Servers (CPU, memory, disk I/O).
- Understand what can cause bottlenecks on those areas.
Configuration / Performance (SQL Server):
- Understand clustered vs. non-clustered indexes and what situations to apply them.
- Understand statistics and how to keep them up to date.
- Understand how to determine when indexes are needed and when they're not.
- Understand how to deploy database and log files to maximize the performance of the disk.
Growth / Capacity Planning:
- Understand how to measure the growth of your databases.
- Understand how to forecast growth over time.
- Understand how to communicate your growth needs to management before it's critical.
Security (SQL Server):
- Understand the difference between users/logins
- Understand how to determine what permissions a login has, down into each database.
- Understand ownership chaining.
- Understand how to get a user the rights that are needed, no more and no less.
K. Brian Kelley, CISA, MCSE, Security+, MVP - SQL Server
Regular Columnist (Security), SQLServerCentral.com
Author of Introduction to SQL Server: Basic Skills for Any SQL Server User
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