Back to Basics

BasicsI can sum up this blog post in two words: The Basics

What do you mean?

I cannot be the only one in this same boat. There have been times where I, as a DBA, have overcomplicated resolutions when there was simply a very non complex answer. Come on, you know what I’m referring to – the basics. In looking up the exact meaning of what basic says; the dictionary tells me it is the “fundamental or basic principal”. I took that meaning this week and looked deeper into how I attack some DBA related items and I keep coming back to – “keep it simple” and “get back to the basics”.

The Basics

When I say basics I’m coming at it from a DBA standpoint. Do you have your own checklist that you go by for daily, monthly, quarterly, yearly checks? If not, then this is as good as time as any to start.

What are some of the things to include in your basic checklist?

Some items to include, but not limited to are:

  • Backup processes and alerting upon failure
  • Review of jobs (if any have failed)
  • Anything in the SQL Error Logs?
  • If you use Policy Based Management (PBM) and receive reports – any action to take?
  • Security logs – have you checked?
  • If issues are found how do you handle them? Just don’t sweep them under the rug
  • Hopefully you have something in place that tells you when you are running low on space (storage)….if not might want to start thinking about getting something implemented; by the way how is the space looking?
  • You’re fragmentation process for indexes working properly?
  • Remember those backups you checked? You spot checking any restores to validate them at all?


The list above is just a simple list to get started with….get back to the basics of DBA work. It’s a fun and enjoyable ride, but keep one thing in mind as you traverse through the SQL terrain not to overcomplicate things. You will find many checklists on the web by some renowned DBA’s that one could model a standard off of if you don’t already have one. I’m a big believer in automation and automate what you can to help you become more efficient and streamlined. Get the reports emailed to you when you start your day, at best make sure notifications are set up on the jobs running in case of failure.

Keep it simple, get some standards in place, above all remember the basic principals. Don’t overcomplicate issues and when you run across them don’t sweep them under the rug and wait for the next DBA to come along to fix them; take the time to fix them correctly.

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