Any way to guesstimate internet needs for remote DBA?

  • I am starting a new remote SQL DBA position. Normally I have high speed unlimited internet. But I may for a period have limited internet. What I would like to get an idea of, if possible, is what I might need for my duties, i.e. What speed and Gb monthly amounts I might need.

    My duties would be to remote in to the servers, do SQL Server database backups, restores, monitoring, performance tuning, run queries, deploy code, maybe do an occasional install.

    Is there any way to guesstimate what kind of minimum internet I would need? Could I get away, temporarily, with some kind of hotspot?

    Thanks in advance.

  • If you are just remoting into the server you wont need a hige amount.
    I survived on a 1.5MB connection a few years ago and since it was only sending back the graphics it wasnt too bad.
    I dont remember how much data i used though.

  • Thanks, that's what I was thinking. The question is how much data I will be using, if I have to use a phone hotspot that has a 10 GB limit, how long that might last?

  • I think it would depend on many factors, but the general rule I have known is to provision for what it available from your local carrier, with to best thru-put and SLA's you can obtain and afford.
    High quality, reliable session connections will be critical a times, but should always be an 'exception case' or 'rare'. 
    DSL can be fairly steady state thru-out any given day or time-of-day, whereas common cable services can have wide variances depending  the spread and # of subscribers on a node, or whatever is the common-share route.
    How you connect your workstation to the service device can also matter, perhaps, again depending ... ex  I have one machine wireless to a second floor access point back to a DSL router/modem  and will get a typical 65 mbit/sec average thru-put, but if I take a laptop and plug into main router via Cat cable, I'll get a bit more averaging, but can experience less variances.  My cost is approx 50.00+/mon.w/ 50GB included, then +$ with AT+T( Bellsouth.net). Example : when I open a VPN connection from my home office to a local company datacenter, and get remoted from there into a single dedicated physical box running a single instance of MS SQL 2008-r2 EE with very moderate user activity and using just data engine and very light SSIS activity, I can pace thru whatever I need to do with routine work, but depending on whatever might become "resource intensive",  client repose latency can slow you down, and for what you "think" you clicked on what not even on the interface, etc..  control-lag, you know, or will know maybe.  So I would have to just sit there and take slow, deep breaths while my target box was doing the same,,, yes,, often different servers DO have different personalities ,, many would know my presence and even try to talk to me  .. (( just the friendlier server brands ... ) ... yes,, I always named them and would let them know what I had to get done,,  and how we've always been 'best- buds', etc.. they hear ya,,, don't let'em trick you when you need to reboot !
    {{ Suggest keeping RDP client connection's video option low and try to never connect your printer and avoid capture-buffer if possible.}}

      [ DSL Reports ] site can provide a bunch of info and sampling under some variables and then allow you to compare what service you are getting versus others elsewhere, etc.
    For some site remoting to some datacenters and / or servers, your employer may require that you use a dedicated wireless WAN device & embedded VPN service ( portable hotspot). 
    Expect this to have far greater latency, and more network disconnections than your public internet routing.  In my case, the company provided the device and account for me.
      You most likely will be making one main remote VPN session to the client's jump-server and RDP'ing to your target servers from there, just remember that RDP protocol is rather 'chatty' by nature  :).
    If your employer is covering your costs and she or he is asking you what service level you think you will need, and you are out of Delaware and their datacenters are scattered out the west coast, etc,
    you may need {  "business class" service levels - max service up and down with best SLAs }  then start testing out what the reality will be at various times of the day under different levels of dba workloads,
    then reflect if an 'upgrade is available, or get an addition line brought into you, etc. Try other sites that will allow you to measure your thru-put and costs comparisons.
    This is not directly answering your question, I know, but in any case, realize that your connection on your machine to any targets edge-router or whatever, is only a part of a total comm route,
    so when you spin up your 1st RPD to target-0 and then a 2nd RDP to target-1, etc within "their network", the overall workspace complexion can start bouncing and decay rapidly at times,
    or  "just starts to take some very 'big sighs' " and you're "frozen".  🙁     ... but always keep your faith, and never panic !!
    For you, I hope never, but could also turn your day into a real slug-feast of sorts.  My point being, that your boss may already be aware of these aspects, so keep day-notes / daily-log for sessions periods where you might be dead-in-the water, again ( the world-famous "Di -TwA" note ) .   Your employer might be able to better route you once inside, etc. or spend more money on your circuit , and so on., so you might ask as early on as you can.
    Oh, and at 2 - 3 AM , and you are jumping to break-fix, maintenance, etc.. do NOT expect to always find smooth sailing .... might be far worse than at 11 AM.  
    Will you be solo in this work, or will be working in tandem with other server people / DBA's ?    Most teams can back each other up for weird session problems, etc.  By chance if your work for this company is considered "critical" and your livelihood is dependent upon the work, I would consider getting a cable circuit AND another provider's service like DSL or some fiber 'U-verse'  thing, if possible. This approach may make you
    far less likely to be considered a single-point-of -failure" for your company, even if I paid for it myself.  Just as your SQL boxes need to be "SpoF"-free, so does your point of employment !  🙂
    Very best luck, I am sure you will do well,,, and stay happy and healthy !!  ... Rick

  • I'm just curious... if you normally have the "unlimited" and "high speed" thing, why is it that you will have less than that for a period of time?  Hopefully, it will be because of a well-deserved vacation somewhere but requires that you still have to do things each day. 😉

    If you've landed a good remote DBA job, there's no way that I'd intentionally go cheap on any of this.  You'll get very frustrated very quickly and may not be able to do the job the way others may think you should.  It won't be your fault.  It will be the fault of the connection.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Thanks for your insight. I'm going to be a remote contractor, there will be other people just not sure of the complete details right now.

    what I need to know is if it would be possible for me to use a hotspot connection such as you can get with Verizon for making and keeping that VPN connection going, or do I need something with more speed?

    If the Hotspot will work, temporarily, for speed, how large a data plan would a typical remote administrator doing backups, restores, performance monitoring and tuning, querying and the like, need per month?

    I only ask this because my current financial circumstances are such that I really can't afford internet and my contract company is not paying for it, so until I make some money I need to see I can do it with what I have now.

    Also, thanks, for being detailed, and reminding me to make notes of slow and dead in water periods.

    I tried to talk to my nephew about this issue since he does remote IT work, but he does IT security and kept saying 'well what throughput do you use?, how many packets? what size? and freaked when I couldn't answer him.

  • No I will be limited because I have been out of work so long I do not have the money. Once I get a few paychecks I can up my game. The company is not paying for the internet.

  • In my opinion, the most important part is to have a workstation box at the other end to connect to which has all the tools needed and then vpn / remote into that box. This way it doesn't matter too much if the connection is slightly flaky, if it is dropped then one just reconnects without loosing any work. For slow connections on can use terminal emulator such as SSH and avoid the graphical overhead, I have done this on GSM connections which were less than 10Kb.
    😎

  • Thanks. I will not have any on-site presence at all, strictly remote. Once I find out who I will be working for/with I will get to see what kind of "workstation" there might be on the "inside" of the VPN. If I am lucky there will be a nice DBA server workstation with all the monitoring tools, plenty of memory and disk space, waiting for me:)

  • I have done the Verizon hotspot thing before...it was slower when using ssms.   Switched to RDP and it was fine for a short time (minutes or hours....days would have been bad).   Biggest difference is HOW RDP does its thing vs. direct connect through SSMS which is just a SQL specific client application 🙂

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Standing in the gap between Consultant and ContractorKevin3NFDallasDBAs.com/BlogWhy is my SQL Log File HUGE?!?![/url]The future of the DBA role...[/url]SQL Security Model in Plain English[/url]

  • Another thing to remember is that hotspotting will eat your battery more.  You may want to watch how much your battery is hit by using hotspot.  I've seen cases where phones would work fine on hotspot for a few hours but then start draining the battery pretty bad and getting warm.
    And heat is another issue.  If the phone gets too hot, it may initiate a reboot in an effort to save itself from overheating.

  • Eirikur Eiriksson - Wednesday, February 1, 2017 11:54 PM

    In my opinion, the most important part is to have a workstation box at the other end to connect to which has all the tools needed and then vpn / remote into that box. This way it doesn't matter too much if the connection is slightly flaky, if it is dropped then one just reconnects without loosing any work. For slow connections on can use terminal emulator such as SSH and avoid the graphical overhead, I have done this on GSM connections which were less than 10Kb.
    😎

    As someone who has worked remotely full-time for the past 8 years, I completely agree with Eirikur's response. Remoting into an on-site workstation or server, and performing all work from that system, is a lifesaver and is absolutely essential, IMO.

  • Back in the early 2000's, many of us were still using Windows Remote Desktop across a 56 Kbps dial-up modem connection, but what constitutes a slow internet connection today is still an order of magnitude faster. There are RDP settings, like downgrading the remote screen resolution and color depth, that have everything to do with bandwidth usage.
    http://lockergnome.com/2005/09/27/remote-desktop-over-a-dial-up-connection/

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Back in the old days I was managing several mission critical database servers using GSM Data / GPRS, SSH and Putty on this device
    😎
    sony_ericsson P900

    Must admit that ping/echo of x thousand milliseconds could be testing for the paitience though.

  • Eirikur Eiriksson - Friday, February 3, 2017 7:51 AM

    Back in the old days I was managing several mission critical database servers using GSM Data / GPRS, SSH and Putty on this device
    😎
    sony_ericsson P900

    Must admit that ping/echo of x thousand milliseconds could be testing for the paitience though.

    When I am on vacation, I am still technically "on call".  Due to this I have had to RDP through a VPN tunnel to a windows box on a 5" android smartphone.  Painful to use as my finger is much larger than a mouse, but it works.
    and since it is on such a tiny screen, not all that much data is actually going across.  This is on an HSPA+ network mind you, so the speeds are not horrid.  Pings were comparable to from my laptop unless I was moving and switched towers.
    I really should upgrade to a 4G device before 5G becomes the norm, eh?

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