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New Database Job – The 6 Month Plan

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So, we made it through our first 90 days, things start getting tougher now as now we really got to start looking at getting projects set up to get major things done.  I believe that is what the six-month plan should entail besides solidifying relationships with other departments, professional development, and proposing and planning projects. The list of projects that a database person could propose is endless but less take from the different types of roles you could be performing.

Databases have a hierarchy of needs.  Brent Ozar (b | t) has an older diagram that describes them here: Backups, Security, Capacity, Performance, and Future Proofing. They basically boil down to two categories: reliability and performance. Let’s discussion this in more detail as far as projects and processes that should be put if they are not already.

Backups

We mentioned in my first blog post in this series, The First 30 Days at a New Database Job, making sure we have backups of all the databases.  You can use Ola Hallengren scripts to take backups.  They can be installed using dbatools.  Well not only do we need make sure we have backups we need to setup a process to ensure those backups are valid.  After all a backup is only good if we can actually restore it.  So, you need a spare server, or a few depending on how large your environment is where you can continuous run restores of the backups to validate, they are good. And since you are restoring to a second server you should while you are at offload running your CHECKDBs there.  Anthony Nocentino (b | t) has a basic script using dbatools to this here. I plan to write a process that will look at the CMS registered servers for production server group and do this based on the available servers and databases there.  I will write a blog post once that is completed.

Security

Going into a new company that doesn’t have well established practices you would be surprised at who lacking the security is.  One company I had worked at everyone had the sa password, including help desk support personnel. So, you should run the sp_blitz command a minimum and identify the high-level permissions then you should dig deeper into the database level permissions.  It’s at this point we should make sure only the people who need sysadmin and higher-level permissions have it.  Start knocking it down you job depends on it, that includes your boss if necessary.  Look at things outside the database like where the backups are stored and who has access to the server itself.  Ok, I know this book is like 10 years old, but I think you should still look at it from a security perspective and see all the different things you need to lockdown Securing SQL Server: Protecting Your Database from Attackers: Cherry, Denny: 9781597499477: Amazon.com: Books.

Capacity

This is fairly short section, where do your systems on prem and in the cloud need to be capacity wise in one year, three years, and five years.  If you don’t know, you should setup something to collect data in the next six months so we can revisit this in six months.  Some of this data like size you might have in msdb depending on your purge process.  But start looking at capturing that data, you will need it whenever budget season rolls around.

Performance

Ok, we all know we come into new companies and we most of the time we see things we can’t unsee when it comes to code.  Things that can be improved or just legacy code that has been running for 10 years no one has touched because it works.  Setup a bi-weekly meeting to start addressing the things that can be improved performance once.  Keep metrics and measure the improvements.  Present those at future meetings.  This will help decrease your capacity needs and you can present this later as money that you and team has saved the company.

Future Proofing

To me this is category is doing things like upgrades.  How wants to be unsupported systems. Making sure you are staying on top of new features in the cloud so you can recommend those to the organization when a problem presents itself.

List of Projects

Finally, you should put together a list project that need to work on with a plan to get those done.  Meet with your team and your boss on those and get them prioritized.

I would love to see others blog their way through this and the actual things they do.  I’m getting ready to start all of these like today.  It’s month 6 for me today. December 1.

The post New Database Job – The 6 Month Plan first appeared on Tracy Boggiano's Blog.

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