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On-Call Duties


On-Call Duties

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tjaybelt
tjaybelt
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item On-Call Duties



John.Sansom
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An excellent article and thank you for sharing it with us.

It would be great if you could also make available the Excel document that you describe.

Cheers,


John Sansom (@sqlBrit) | www.johnsansom.com
SequelDBA
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Excellent article...Thanks


KU
BJ Hermsen
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I would suggest taking it another step. It may require some dreaded overtime to get in place but is well worth it. We are dba's not secretaries or monkeys.

Automate it. Then the data can be stored into a repository automatically and you can use ssrs or excell or whatever to view your trends and histories.
tjaybelt
tjaybelt
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Robert Hermsen (10/27/2008)
I would suggest taking it another step. It may require some dreaded overtime to get in place but is well worth it. We are dba's not secretaries or monkeys.

Automate it. Then the data can be stored into a repository automatically and you can use ssrs or excell or whatever to view your trends and histories.


i agree. I love to automate things, and this is one that dreadfully needs it.
thanks for the comment and reminder to us all to automate.



salman.samad
salman.samad
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Excellent article and particularly the point related to Checking on the Backups.

A lot of times DBAs or System Admins fail to check on the backup status only to find out they have to restore at a point way back in time which leads to unnecessary inconveniences at all levels of an organization.

The only point I would like to add is that a DBA should not only check for successful backups but also periodically perform a restore using a backup set in order to ensure that the backups are indeed intact - furthermore this also helps being compliant when it's time for the company's audit!
Steve Jones
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To me these are things that are daily checks, things you need to make sure are available if you get called when you're on-call. Issues should be documented and also raised as some sort of turnover for the next person to be aware of.

My goal has always been to automate these things, but also to proactively manage the systems, looking to catch things before they fail so that you're not getting called!

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tjaybelt
tjaybelt
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Steve Jones - Editor (10/27/2008)
To me these are things that are daily checks, things you need to make sure are available if you get called when you're on-call. Issues should be documented and also raised as some sort of turnover for the next person to be aware of.

My goal has always been to automate these things, but also to proactively manage the systems, looking to catch things before they fail so that you're not getting called!


I can see automating some of the items i have detailed. But you are correct, some manual intervention still needs too occur, to ensure that your systems are in proper working order.
Something that can gather and store the historical data would be nice. Automating some of the data gathering would be nice. But having a human DBA look at it, still seems like a necessity.

Another DBA here just went on call this week, and thought to grab snapshots with SQL Compare as part of his on0call duties. Nice addition. If something goes wonky during the week, we have a snapshot to compare with...



Regan Galbraith
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tjaybelt (10/27/2008)
Steve Jones - Editor (10/27/2008)
To me these are things that are daily checks, things you need to make sure are available if you get called when you're on-call. Issues should be documented and also raised as some sort of turnover for the next person to be aware of.

My goal has always been to automate these things, but also to proactively manage the systems, looking to catch things before they fail so that you're not getting called!


I can see automating some of the items i have detailed. But you are correct, some manual intervention still needs too occur, to ensure that your systems are in proper working order.
Something that can gather and store the historical data would be nice. Automating some of the data gathering would be nice. But having a human DBA look at it, still seems like a necessity.

Another DBA here just went on call this week, and thought to grab snapshots with SQL Compare as part of his on0call duties. Nice addition. If something goes wonky during the week, we have a snapshot to compare with...



On the same vein of automating, one useful tool is an automated restore of your backups on another server.

That assumes you have another server(s) available - in our case we have a customer log-shipping of LitetSpeed backups to off-site DR servers. This is configured to keep those off-site DB servers 1 hour behind the live servers (which CAN be invaluable when a junior DBA says ... "oooops!!" when asked to do an update). In conjunction with MOM reporting set to alert (via SMS and E-mail) on failures, we have automated, alerting knwoeldge of the viability of our backups.

Needless to say, several of the other obviously automatable tasks (like the space available etc.) are also configured to send MOM alerts on threshold values (typically at 80%, 90 %, 95% and 99% full - so no server should run out of space without at least 4 alerts).

This does add an additional check on the "daily checks" list however - make sure MOM is up and working BigGrin
BJ Hermsen
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a benefit to storing the data is that in lieu of alerting on 80-90 % drive utilization you can alert on % changed. It allows you to catch when suddenly your drive with 3% monthly growth suddenly changes to 15 % quickly shortening your window.
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