How Do You Work When You are Not at Work?

  • Brad McGehee


    Points: 5272

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item How Do You Work When You are Not at Work?

    Brad M. McGehee

  • tedo


    Points: 2229

    Hi Brad,

    My company is too tight to give us a blackberry so we need to rely on a call out by some one else if there is an issue. Normally to resolve issues I dial in via citrix.

  • aswani2002

    Valued Member

    Points: 73


    its a very intersted topic 🙂

    i normally get a phone call from someone else n use vpn to connect 🙂

  • c.ajitkumar

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 863

    HI all

    this is condition in which every DBA has to live --Work when you are not at work.

    i generally got the phone call on my cell and then connect the server using VPN from my laptop.


  • cproctor

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 113

    I receive emails for minor problems and cell calls when its serious. I VPN in and this wotks for 95% of the problems. When I have to go in, luckily I live only 5 blocks from work.

    Of course when far away on vacation and can't fix via VPN, a long process of talking a staff person through the fix process. Am in the process of having an external vendor provide on-site emergency help but rural Maine limits choices.

    I connect with my laptop or home desktop. Have been very lucky that a major failure has not ocurred while on a far away trip.

    Charles Proctor - One Man IT Department in Maine with Toby/Jake the IT Attack Cat. SSRS-SSIS-BI @zzubbuzz

  • gregwilkerson

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 88

    I go to great lengths to create processes that detect and notify me of issues before anyone notices.

    I get non-critical notifications (backup failures, etc) via normal email. I get critical notification via text message and email. I get the emails, and of course texts, on my phone.

    I insure the mail notification systems are functioning by sending regular heartbeat emails (usually one per day).

    I do not find that connections via anything but a VPN/RDP are useful to trouble shoot most issues. The screen real estate simply isn't there.

    I have the ability to use my phone as a hotspot.

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104210

    We use blackberrys on which we receive emails. Might receive a call if its something monitored by the operators.

    home connectivity is either via citrix on my home PC or vpn on a work supplied laptop.

    last time I had to go into the office to resolve an issue was about 8 years ago.


  • djackson 22568


    Points: 11713

    Problems with a database? Almost never. The only issues I typically run into are when a backup fails. Our environment isn't monitored by the engineers even though we have two tools to do so. We frequently run out of free space. The other issue is when Legato has a lock on the backup file - always in SQL 2000 so it is becoming less frequent.

    All issues are handled remotely.

    I am not only our SQL DBA, though, I also handle about 20 different systems as the only analyst for them. So I get paged or called far more often for issues with systems than databases. SQL Server does not typically stop running, apps do.


  • 7-of-9

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 44

    I remember all to well when driving in for any problem was the norm. Technological advances has done away with that. All messages and alerts are directed to a smart phone and I can respond using a laptop. Aside from a few occasion when VPN was not cooperating, 99.99 % of my work is done remotely.

  • pvermeulen

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 168

    I receive an email alert or a call on my cell phone.

    Then I dial in with VPN and connect to the server (usually with RDP).

  • Pierre Knop

    Valued Member

    Points: 56

    Hi all

    In our company we take turns to be on support, we generally have 3 x support phones, one on each network, and we get notified via sms depending on what is down. We do check each system where applicable by using the phones ussd short cuts, for some of our applications and in general, it is just to monitor the system. Each system will restart itself in the event of a connectio issue and sometimes we need to restart a specific tasks/job via dial up connection using VPN.

    The support rota works nice as you end up learning more about everyone else’s jobs as well, and you do not have to be on duty 24/7, only once every other week. And in general you could plan ahead when going away or so.



  • streethk


    Points: 6

    Most of the databases I administer run well without much intervention. Typically when there is an issue I am called on my cell and I RDP via a VPN portal into either my desktop PC or directly to the SQL server and resolve the issue.

  • paul s-306273


    Points: 10615

    The only time I was called on, I had to spend 2 hours on my cell phone.

  • ahperez

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 962

    Usually someone calls me. Most of the time I can use the remote desktop, very occasionally I have to drive in(14 miles if I'm in town.) If a PC is handy, I prefer that. I can remote access on my android, but it is annoying to scroll around the screen to find things.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 721420

    For me, email is really the way I hear about things. I have a smartphone, iPad, and multiple machines. On one of those, I'll get a note. It could be a phone call, but that's rare.

    From there I might call or forward the notice to someone else, or possibly connect with VPN. I might even call and be remote hands for someone if that's quicker.

    Getting work when you aren't at work is a reality, but it doesn't have to mean you work 40+ hours and then respond to things. I would definitely set boundaries and push back to get time back, and better balance in your life.

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