So You're the New DBA

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item So You're the New DBA

  • we quickly resolved the situation by upgrading the server to 2GB of RAM

    Heh... I guess they didn't think too much of their server 😛

    Good write up about what to look for when you first "move in". I'd also add that you should determine the number of CPU's, what the disk configuration is, and where they keep the backups. Guess that might fall under the "Total/available disk space and other relevant server specs" bullet you mentioned, but wanted to break those out, for sure.

    I'd probably also talk with the boys in OPs and find out what type of firewalls are in place and also check to see what types of encryption may be in place.

    Heh... then there's the matter of finding out what the SA passwords are for all the servers, once you find all the servers 🙂

    Anyway, good article. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

    --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)

  • Nice write up. I started at a new place a few months back and yeah, that is a good start point of things to get to understand in the first couple of days.

    I guess I've been lucky to have never jumped in at the deep end with a company that has a horrible environment. More a case of less than optimal database servers thankfully!

  • Good succinct list, although I must admit I'd add another paragraph right at the beginning about backups - taking fresh ones and/or verifying existing ones, perhaps also performing a test restore or two. My modus operandi has always been to have a fallback position, and, if none is forthcoming, to create one, so knowing I've got good backups from the point I started is perhaps number one on my list.

    A while ago, I read a similar article regarding Oracle DBAs, but this time it was what to do when one is about to leave. One of the suggestions was to ensure, if possible, that all important databases were restarted a significant amount of time BEFORE the incumbent DBA left the building for the last time. The idea was to avoid hidden time bombs of changes that have been applied that are still to come into force (running parameters vs configured values, for instance). It also ensures problems are seen whilst the person with the knowledge of the system is still around to fix it. Coming back to Daryl's article, I'd still suggest it's a good idea to follow up taking your backups with a plan of rebooting all servers as soon after you've started as possible so that the environment is in a known state.

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • Heh... the only Latin I know is "Non Illigitimi ie Carborondum" (very loosly translates to "Don't let the ba----ds grind you down". What does your tag line mean? Just curious, that's all...

    --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)

  • Jeff Moden (11/28/2007)


    Heh... the only Latin I know is "Non Illigitimi ie Carborondum" (very loosly translates to "Don't let the ba----ds grind you down". What does your tag line mean? Just curious, that's all...

    😀

    "Always in the sh-t, it's just the depth that varies"

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • A few more things to look for:

    Auto-close.

    Auto-shrink.

    Recovery Model.

    Auto-Grow settings, very important if somehow databases got on to the C: partition.

    System databases are getting backed up.

    DBCCs and index maintenance. I run them as scheduled jobs, not through maintenance plans, so as to get more detailed output.

    LICENSING. I'm concerned about the server licensing more than the client licensing.

    When I started at my current job, the help desk ticketing DB was set to auto-close. And auto-shrink. On a dual P3/500 box. It wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been seven months ago. Funny, that server is now a lot more stable now that those two settings are turned off.... 😀

    -----
    [font="Arial"]Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson[/font]

  • majorbloodnock (11/28/2007)


    Jeff Moden (11/28/2007)


    Heh... the only Latin I know is "Non Illigitimi ie Carborondum" (very loosly translates to "Don't let the ba----ds grind you down". What does your tag line mean? Just curious, that's all...

    😀

    "Always in the sh-t, it's just the depth that varies"

    OMG! Now, that's funny! 😀 The funny part is, it's so true :hehe:

    --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)

  • Good Article, and very down to earth. As a Dynamics MVP, I see SQL servers treated like water heaters.

    The day of decision comes when the apps stop working.

    Then it is often too late.

    Thanks for the club to bring about a reality check.

    /:>

  • majorbloodnock (11/28/2007)


    😀

    "Always in the sh-t, it's just the depth that varies"

    Sorry to be pedantic, but shouldn't the comma come after "sumus"?

    John

  • John Mitchell (11/29/2007)


    majorbloodnock (11/28/2007)


    😀

    "Always in the sh-t, it's just the depth that varies"

    Sorry to be pedantic, but shouldn't the comma come after "sumus"?

    John

    😀

    Actually, no. Sumus = are (or in this case, it's), so belongs after the comma. That said, you could redirect the "corrective spirit" towards the word "solem", and you'd be right, since I've realised it should be spelt "solum" (alone). I'll correct it later....

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • Good article about the tasks a DBA needs to do. I have a couple add-ons:

    * is DR in place? recovery plan/document/script ready?

    * restore verified?

    * review user access

    * what services are running? auto-start?

    * DB auto-grow? reasonable growth rate?

    * any auditor requirement?

    * SLA

    * maintenance window

    * any other application other than sql server running on the server?

    * peak time

    Should have more. Leave to the others to fill it up.

  • Thanks to all of you for the constructive feedback. Several valuable additional items were mentioned that should most definitely be added to any new DBAs checklist of things to do when first starting a new post especially verifying your existing backups, etc. as mentioned by majorbloodnock.

    Best wishes and good luck to all the new DBAs out there...

    Daryl.

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