Good Best Practice Advice from the Pensacola Pre-Con

For my first blog about SQL Saturday #132, I wanted to review some of the good advice I received from the pre-conference training on Friday prior to the event.  The pre-con titled “Demystifying Database Administration Best Practices” was presented by Microsoft Certified Masters Robert Davis (twitter|blog) and Argenis Fernandez (twitter|blog).   Some of these I knew, some of these I did not.  But here they are for you to learn from.

  1. Backups are the single most important thing we do, end of story.  If you screw this up, you just might be updating your resume.
  2. Practice restoring your backups on a regular schedule.  If you do not verify the backups then they essentially are useless.
  3. Use AD groups instead of individual logins for database security to reduce maintenance.
  4. DBAs should be getting at least one e-mail a day from each server.  Do not set your instances to only mail you on failure events because if there is a problem with the mail then you will just assume that everything is successful and then never receive any failure notices.
  5. It’s a good idea to use wikis for documentation and may ensure that the documentation is easily searched and actually used in the future.
  6. It’s a good idea to maintain your scripts in a source controlled library with versioning.
  7. Scan your network regularly for new instances of SQL Server to see who is installing new databases in your environment without your knowledge.
  8. Use a group policy for service accounts to ensure that the particular account is being only used on the intended server and nowhere else.
  9. Use a group policy to set all of your servers to high performance power plan.  The default is balanced allowing you to save power which sounds great for a green workplace, but why would you by a powerful server and then operate it at 50% power?  UNLEASH THE POWER!
  10. Maximum server memory should always be set on every instance, but always make sure that you leave enough memory for the OS and other necessary items on the server.  This amount will vary with every server.

Stay tuned for more items in our next installment.  Enjoy!

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About SQLGator

Florida Gator and Microsoft Data Platform MVP, Star Wars fanatic and is there anything else...oh yeah PS4! I am a geek and SQL Server DBA who dabbles with VMWare, there are other technologies greater than these? Not so fast my friend! I also love to travel to new and exotic places.

Posted on June 11, 2012, in SQL Saturday and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Some really good points in there, I can not tell you how often I refer to #1 and #2, and in the exact same way.

    I do think that the take on #4 is an interesting strategy. I kind of preach the exact opposite. I find that many people grow so accustomed to seeing emails when they come everyday, that the attention to the emails becomes complacent. I have seen this at a couple different clients. So I configure the servers to only send emails when something needs attention, this way if I get an email I know there is a problem. I do have a daily checklist that I review each day, so I guess I have violated my own rule already. But really I am referring to emails that are attached to SQL Jobs and come in that standard format. Something for me to think about.

    Thanks for the posts.

  1. Pingback: Good Best Practice Advice from the Pensacola Pre-Con, Round Two « SQL Swampland

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