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How not to be a cranky dba

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Mike's slide deck for his presentation to the New England SQL Server User Group on May 10, 2012.

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How not to be a cranky dba

  1. 1. How Not to be a Cranky DBA Tips for Bringing Sanity to Your SQL Server Environment
  2. 2. Mike Hillwig AKA The Cranky DBA SQL Server DBA Working with SQL Server since SQL 7 Contract DBA at hosting division of a financial software company Working as the lone SQL DBA in an army of Oracle DBAs Resume includes Acme Packet, Shawmut Design and Construction, Equitable Resources
  3. 3. Mike Hillwig Avid Cook Lover of Blue Cheese And Bacon Geek at Heart Owned by Two Pugs
  4. 4. Obligatory Social Networking Slide crankydba.com sqlserverpedia.com twitter.com/mikehillwig
  5. 5.  SQL Saturday Waltham – 5/19/2012 SQL Saturday Providence – 9/15/12 SQL Saturday Nashua – 10/20/12 Call for speakers in Providence and Nashua still open
  6. 6. No Need for NotesBlog post and slide deck will be available later tonight
  7. 7. Tonight’s Format
  8. 8. What Makes a DBA Cranky Fixing Unnecessary Mistakes Lack of Sleep Answering Redundant Questions Repeating Manual Processes Performance Problems Waiting Unnecessary Emergencies
  9. 9. Why Does This Make Us Cranky?
  10. 10. We Would Rather Spend time with our families Read Sleep Play Angry Birds Eat Bacon Anything other than work
  11. 11. The Tips
  12. 12. Beware of the Blogs There is some amazing advice out there. But… Anybody can put bad advice on the internet Trust people you know I don’t trust people who say “ALWAYS” or “NEVER” Test everything in your own test environment first.
  13. 13. Don’t enable Auto Shrink. Ever. This is my only exception to “NEVER” advice You can’t control when it runs What you shrink will just grow again Fragments your indexes Instead: Use DBCC Shrinkfile
  14. 14. Triggers don’t’ send mail Does it need to be now, now, right this very moment, now? Connecting to an outside application is costly for performance If the mail server is down, users get ugly results. What happens if mail XPs get disabled? Instead, write to a queue table and have a SQL Agent job process the queue.
  15. 15. Developers Don’t Touch Production Developers like to “fix” problems. Changes must be tested before moving into production. Every environment needs a gatekeeper/traffic cop You ARE using source control, right?
  16. 16. Ask questions like an auditor “What would Sandra say?” What is our risk exposure? Are there any security concerns? Will this pose any compliance problems? Does this touch anything financial? Don’t be afraid to ask your auditor
  17. 17. Consistency is Key Versions  Easier to Troubleshoot Configurations  Easier to Remember What’s Where Maintenance Processes  Leverage the SQL Agent MSX Server
  18. 18. Master the SQL Agent Easily automate manual tasks Run scripts regularly and have them alert you to conditions Severity alerts are your friend Use Multi-Server Administration
  19. 19. Use Instant File Initialization Prevents waiting for a file to grow Makes RESTOREs run faster Creating new databases is much faster
  20. 20. Plan for when things go bump in thenight And they do go bump in the night Have a regular troubleshooting script for databases and applications for your first-level support Give common errors and how to resolve them Tailor your alerts to indicate which items require immediate attention and which should be flagged for next-day resolution
  21. 21. Set Min and Max RAM Extremely important in virtual environments MIN allows you to be greedy MAX gives the OS breathing room
  22. 22. Your server is not a workstation Avoid Remote Desktop Don’t run SSMS directly from your server Instead: Run from a workstation RUNAS is your friend
  23. 23. Set your file growth increments Defy the defaults! Growth is an ALTER, which is a database lock, which is a performance issue More growths = fragmentation Log growths = high VLFs Better yet, monitor regularly and grow files manually
  24. 24. Test restores. Frequently. Easily automated The worst time to test a restore is when your production server fails It’s good practice for when something does fail Don’t forget to test recovering from long-term storage Test recovering to a specific point in time as well as key business processes
  25. 25. Reserved words are justthat, reserved Reserved words as column names make writing queries harder [avoid this] If it turns blue in SSMS, try something else Common offenses:  SECURITY  STATUS  IDENTITY
  26. 26. Limit access to SA and serviceaccount passwords Not everyone needs to connect as SA Why? Why? Why must anyone have it? More hands = less control Does the application really need to connect as SA? Don’t be afraid to fight with the vendor Avoid Mixed Authentication Mode where possible Embrace AD authentication
  27. 27. Database servers are that and thatalone. Databases are the foundation of most critical business applications If the database server is slow, everything else is slow Web servers, SSRS, SSAS, and SSIS go on a different box Keeps server optimized for running databases It’s okay to be greedy with system resources
  28. 28. Questions
  29. 29. MoreBlog Post at crankydba.com/go/nesql

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