Proactive vs Reactive

  • Gary Varga - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:29 AM

    First off many people believe that SQL Server is self-administering. Whilst that is true to a certain degree it is only to a certain degree and is most efficient at doing that when setup properly.

    It is clichéd to say that developers think that "SQL Server is working so leave it alone" as the editorial points out itself. As a developer, I have had my suggestions to get a DBA in ignored, to have SQL Server setup properly ignored and loads of developer centric good practices refused. Mostly due to time/budgetry restrictions. Regardless of any warnings given.

    In general, many companies do not see the value of spending money doing things right when making do is cheaper and works well enough. That is, of course, until it doesn't and that is when they blame the people who did the work (even/especially if they highlighted the risk of missing certain tasks) and sometimes they have to close.

    I've seen this a number of places too.  There was one time I got asked to help with a client's data issue, as their RAID array got corrupted on multiple drives that held their data files and everything was unusable.  When they gave me a copy of their backups, I tried to restore them, and of course had problems, because at it turns out, their backup files were stored on the same RAID array as the data files. :unsure:

    I think someone else mentioned the concept of they don't know what they don't know.  It's so true, especially in smaller companies.  I contracted for a couple months at a company that had an IT department of 4 people (including the IT manager).  Fortunately near the end of my time there they hired someone with good SQL Server development experience that I was able to give some DBA advice to on monitoring and troubleshooting, while the network admin guy I was able to setup a good backup/recovery plan with to avoid the kinds of problems the other company I mentioned above had.

  • Rod, I agree with you that this website is a valuable resource. If they gave awards to companies who use internet technologies correctly to promote their products, Redgate would win hands down. Many kudos and thanks to them.

  • I've encountered this scenario a few times. At the highest level, I think it's the result of the business and decision makers treating IT as simply overhead and an afterthought. You then get a small cadre of beleaguered individuals whose superiors expect them to do everything from AD administration to un-jamming the printer since it's all just "that computer stuff" with little to no budget. Complex and potentially impossible tasks with unrealistic timelines and commitments become the norm.

    Obviously, this is sub-optimal for the IT staff. Typically, the most skilled individuals who have other options vote with their feet and depart. It also of course ultimately harms the business. In addition to the DR scenarios and firefighting that result, which can be expensive and potentially calamitous in some cases, institutional knowledge departure and turnover is an enormous drain on productivity.

    It's honestly extremely odd the dynamic that often exists between IT and the business at large in many cases. Technology is ubiquitous in most industries, yet somehow IT isn't considered that important. Critical technology decisions are made by people with little, or even no, technical expertise or desire to learn despite the potentially huge ramifications.

    However, I don't think you can fully blame the business side for this arrangement. There are of course extremes and I'm painting with a very broad brush here, but bear with me. Often times, IT projects or improvements don't easily lend themselves to quantification. If you're a salesperson, you can say I made $X sales this month. That's an easy to digest metric for everyone to understand. How do you quantify the business value of migrating from an old SQL 2005 server to 2014? It's not so clear how to even estimate, much less present to a decision maker.

  • IT is a strategic resource for any business. Any company that does not pay close attention to it is making a big mistake.

  • Yes. I love you guys. But $3000 per seat. That is a little much.

  • I have worked as a developer, a DBA or a combination of bothin a number of companies.  The issue as Isee it is “core business” and “core to the business”. An IT company often seesthe software (web pages, etc.) as “core business” but do not realise that thedata is “core to the business”. When working in telecoms I had dealings withmany companies who did not see phones as “core to the business”. This lead toto  much outsourcing but the problem isthat issues with the phones can lead to loss of business. It is the same withdata – until there is a problem many people from the CEO downwards do notrealise its importance to the business!

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