This presentation is aimed at the starting DBA, accidental DBA or developer having to wear a DBA hat occasionally. It was written to hopefully convey the important order of operations to a DBA just starting out and walk through the “itties” of Database Administration. This has been delivered at:
- SQL Saturday #34 in Waltham, MA
- SQL Saturday #33 in Charlotte, NC
- Southern New England SQL Server Users Group
- Seacoast SQL Server Users Group (See me here? Rate the discussion at this link, please! Helps me know where to improve)
- SQL Server 2008 R2 LoadFest – Waltham, MA (Rating link for this one)
- SQL Saturday #49 In Orlando (Rate me on speaker rate)
Related Blog Posts At StraightPath Consulting
- Tips for SQL Server DBAs Starting Out – This post was the origin of the presentation topic. I talk about the itties of database administration and a potential order of priority.
- Why I think you focus too much on your backups – As discussed in the presentation, the focus should be on restores. May seem like semantics, but the focus on restore means you are thinking of more questions.
- How Do You Install SQL Server? – The first of a 3 part series where we discuss some tips for installing SQL Server and planning for a successful implementation.
- SQL Server Benchmarking Tips – I introduced the Performance Analysis For Logs tool in this presentation, this post talks about that tool.
- Checklists, Recipes and Algorithms – As DBAs we can take lessons from Pilots, Chefs and Doctors and tools they use in their careers.
- Paranoid Control Freak? You Might Make a Good DBA – Kidding, but some aspects of these attitudes can help a DBA out.
- A Lesson On The Right Attitude – From a trip to the dump… The right attitude at work can make a world of difference.
- Find All SQL Server Instances On Your Network – I talk about using the Microsoft Assessment and Planning toolkit to locate all of your SQL Server instances. This post describes my discovery and use of this great (and free) tool.
- Hey Software Vendors, Get a Clue! – We talked about SQL not being set it and forget it. Well this post is my chat with software vendors about that same fact.
- Why You Need to Hire a DBA – If we are doing our jobs and focusing on the Itties of database administration that we discuss in this presentation, hopefully the need for a DBA becomes obvious and a wise investment.
During the presentation, I go through a few different tools. Some links to more info about them:
- Microsoft Assessment And Planning Toolkit – Find your SQL Server instances. A free tool from Microsoft that will list out all SQL Server instances on your network. I blog about using this tool here.
- Performance Analysis For Logs (PAL) – A great (free) tool to use for checking through your perfmon logs.
Some Other Links/Resources
I haven’t read this book yet but I plan on doing a review when it starts shipping. Knowing Tom from his blog, his online presence and some conversations with him, I have a feeling this book is designed for the same people this presentation is designed for. You can pre-order DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Start DBA on Amazon.
Brent Ozar gives a presentation that goes through a script that you can run (With comments) to investigate your own environment for violations of the “itties” we discuss. As with any code, run it in test/dev first, be familiar with it before running it and then enjoy (or dread) the results. You can get the code for this here.
(v1.0, as presented at SQL Saturday #34 in Waltham, MA on 1/30/2010)
Send your questions to mike at the domain of this blog or add comments below and I will get back to you and update here if necessary.
- One Comment – I received at the Waltham event in the halls after speaking was, “Set it and forget it is my whole goal!” in response to the notion that SQL Server is -not-“set it and forget it”. Great Point. We should strive, in a way, to make our environments bet in a set and forget state. By focusing on the itties we talked about in the presentation, getting a monitoring tool setup (I use SQL Sentry and Quest Spotlight typically in environments I work with) and developing a good maintenance routine, we can get closer to that point. But this is something we work towards. SQL Server is not set-it-and-forget-it out of the box :). I know the person mentioning this to me knew that and was raising a great point. Let’s try and get our environments into this mode.
4 thoughts on “As A DBA, Where Do I Start?”
Nice job last night, Mike! I did research that ? on differential backups and believe I am right about the recovery. You only recover the most recent diff backup – NOT all diff backups since the full.
BTW, congrats on the new addition to your family. He looks like a sweetie.
Yeah that is what you and I were thinking originally. I have since talked to the person who disagreed. He was thinking of the concept of “incremental” backups. Yes – for differential only the latest. Glad you enjoyed the presentation.