Monthly Archives: October 2011

DBA Week 2 A follow up to your first day.

I wanted to get a follow up post to my recommendations for DBA’s for the first day on the job post.   After a very busy week last week here is where I stand on my list and what I should add for the next week.

  1.  Get a list of Servers I’ll be managing/owning: I’ve got the list, can’t say I have access to all of them but working through that.
  2. Run the SP_Blitz: I’ve got this done on several servers and honestly haven’t done a ton of analysis on it yet.  Still high on the list.
  3.  Get a DBA database created on each server: Done for known servers.
  4. Create the server side trace: Done for the primary prod servers.
  5. Create perfmon counters: Done for the primary prod servers.
  6.  Install SSMS tools pack: Done (and it’s already saved me),
  7. Check the backups/backup schedule: Taken care of by a managed host provider, many changes in store for this one.
  8. Check the security model and who has access to the DB: Figured out most of this and some changes are in plan for the future as well.

Things to Add after your first week.

  1. Developer communication/training.  We have a developer training planned this week and I’m prepping a presentation based on performance tuning and some of the procedures I’ve worked on over the last week.   It’s a great time to start building relationships with the DEV team and working with them to improve the app and server even more.
  2. Slow procedures/query tuning.  Now that you’ve had your trace and performance counters in place start researching what you can do to improve the performance of the server.   Perhaps hardware is needed or memory settings need to be changed.   We saw a big increase because of a server mis-configuration in the memory settings.
  3. DMV’s,  I want to get these into the first week list but didn’t have a chance and don’t have an automated procedure but am researching some right now and plan to have them running in the next week.  Capturing query info and index info in DMV’s are key.
  4. Optimizations, unfortunately there is still a lot of mis-informaiton out there about what needs to be re-indexed/rebuilt and checked.  I’ve found a very heavy optimization job running on the servers and need to re-factor this to really help the performance of the server.  This is top on my list as it’s running into prod time and needs to get fixed.  I’ve also found Shrink jobs running (never a good thing).
  5. Last major suggestion for this week is be cautious.   You’ll find lots of things that you want to change and you may be tempted to start making wide sweeping changes but be careful.  If your systems haven’t been looked at by DBA eyes for a while then making large sweeping changes could have a huge impact on the system.   Make sure to document and test anything you put into place.  One method I use for this is getting a mailbox setup that I can email my changes to and store them that way I have a history.  If you have a Team of DBA’s with you this works well to inform all of them at once.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to blog out mid next week with some of the scripts I’ve been talking about.   Let’s see how this week 2 goes for me. 🙂

First day on the job as a DBA

So I’m starting out a new job today and figured I would write up a checklist of things I needed to complete to own the Databases I have to start managing.

  1.  Get a list of Servers I’ll be managing/owning.  This can be done with a script or just by the company letting you know which ones.  It’s not a bad idea using the script to find some other servers that might be out there that the company was not aware of.  Pinal Dave has a good example of this on his blog.
  2. Run the SP_Blitz script from Brent Ozar (blog | Twitter) this is full of all sorts of good tidbits on what you need to look at for a server.  Check out the blog post in the link above and it will fill you in on the many great things this script can do for you.
  3. Get a DBA database created on each server.  I typically use this to house all sorts of maintenance type things and monitoring and alerting.  Every DBA should have a DB to call their own.
  4. Create the server side trace.  Years ago back in SQL 2000 I wrote a server side profiler trace that would run all the time and store the contents down to a table that I could later review to watch performance of queries hitting the DB.  Over the year’s fellow DBA’s have made updates to the script and made it better and it’s one of those key things I still depend on now.  I should get a future blog post out on this one.
  5. Create perfmon counters.  I store perfmon counters down to a db through an odbc connection in perfmon.  This way I can use a custom set of reports I’ve created to report trends on my server/db performance.  This also gets me started on my benchmark and knowing where things are when I started.  I should have some future blogs on this.
  6.  Install SSMS tools pack.  No one should go without this tool.   Saved me more times than I can count I would suggest it to everyone.
  7. Check the backups/backup schedule.  Blitz script is going to tell me some of this but I want to make a point to check with the business as to what the backups schedule is and make sure that matches what is really happening.
  8. Check the security model and who has access to the DB.  Again Blitz script might tell me some of this but I’ll make it a point to make sure something like domain admins don’t have full rights to the db and there are 100 people in domain admins (yes I’ve seen this before).

This is all the primary things I could come up with on day 1.  There’s still more items I’m sure but these are key and all have to be in place so I can continue moving forward from here I should have a good base to work with.

If you have other suggestions  let me know!

A Much Deserved Thank You to Wayne and Rick

I wrote 4 blog posts about my PASS Summit experience this weekend and still plan to publish those.  I decided to make some changes though and will publish the rest of the posts later.  With all the talk in the community yesterday with #sqlsue and #sqlidiot I decided I needed to write a positive blog post about this great community.

On the Last day of the PASS Summit an important tribute was made.  They honored Wayne Snyder with an award for his contribution to the PASS Community.

Wayne at the Volunteer Party

Years ago I attended the PASS summit for the first time in Florida and heard Wayne speak about why you should volunteer for PASS.  Here is the quote they used from me on stage for Wayne.

Wayne showed me the definition of speaking with passion.  He inspired me through his presentations to keep volunteering and opening a whole new world of possibilities for me because of it.  Thanks to his dedication and passion many more have been inspired.  Thank you Wayne from all of us you inspired. 

Wayne not only inspired me at the beginning of my volunteer career but also helped me years later when I was a PASS Board member.  I’m very thankful for all the time he has put into this community.  Thank you Wayne for all that you have done for us.

Rick Heiges

The same keynote on Friday morning made another big announcement.  Rick Heiges (Blog |Twitter ) is also rolling off the PASS Board.  Rick has been on the board longer than anyone I’ve ever known.  Rick’s created some great programs for us here at PASS and has given thousands of hours to the community.  He’s been a good friend and always inspired me to keep innovating new ideas for the community.  I can’t thank him enough for the many late night chats over a Rum and Diet Coke.  Thank you Rick for all that you have done for us!

The community will continue to grow and our SQL Family will get bigger and bigger.  I’m very honored to  know some of the best people in the community. With every passing summit and every SQL Saturday I meet even more great people in the community.   Thank you to all of you.