How to Document and Configure SQL Server Instance Settings

Occasionally, when you install identical databases on two different SQL Server instances, they will behave in surprisingly different ways. Why? Most likely, it is down to different configuration settings. There are around seventy of these settings and the DBA needs to be aware of the effect that many of them have. Brad McGehee explains them all in enough detail to help with most common configuration problems, and suggests some best practices.… Read more

Database Properties Health Check

Within an instance of SQL Server, the database settings can have a direct effect on the database's behavior, performance and availability. Sometimes, it is difficult to tie a symptom to a cause, so it is wise to routinely check and record these settings. Before you change the current setting, it pays to understand exactly what it means and the implications of any change.… Read more

Are Your Backups Really Safe?

Imagine for a moment if you will. As a DBA, and as the protector of your organization’s data, you have implemented many safeguards to protect your data. You have set up periodic jobs to back up your databases; you check daily to ensure that the backups were actually taken; and you periodically perform test restores … Read more

Rebuilding Indexes using the SSMS Database Maintenance Wizard

Index fragmentation can cause problems with query performance. Indexes therefore need to be occasionally rebuilt. the Rebuild Index task of the SSMS Database Maintenance Wizard drops and rebuilds every index in a database. It is effective but an off-line activity that is resource-intensive, so it not always the best way of avoiding index fragmentation in a production database. Brad explains...… Read more

Automate and Improve Your Database Maintenance Using Ola Hallengren’s Free Script

If you ever feel uneasy when you set about handcrafting database maintenance jobs for SQL Server, it may be the voice of your conscience saying 'Ola, Ola!'. Follow your conscience. Ola Hallengren has already crafted a superb set of routines to do this for you. Why reinvent something that does it all, safely and well. Brad McGehee explains....… Read more

Database Maintenance Plans in SSMS: An Overview

Maintenance plans are essential. Microsoft provide two tools, the Maintenance Plan Wizard and the Maintenance Plan designer, to assist the busy DBA to get started with one, but they don't include all the likely tasks, so Custom-created T-SQL or PowerShell scripts are usually required sooner or later to provide a more comprehensive plan… Read more

A Code of Conduct for DBAs

Despite the fact DBAs are protectors of an organization's knowledge, and privy to much confidential information, there is no clearly defined set of rules and standards to help govern and guide their ethical conduct. Brad McGehee, in an article based on a chapter from the second edition of his book 'How to Become an Exceptional DBA', discusses a Code of Conduct for DBAs. He advises on why such a code is required, the sort of topics it should contain, and how it might be enforced. Much of this article has relevance for any IT professional.… Read more