Redmond magazine offers 5 excellent best practices for DBA professionals

While maintaining your database servers is an important part of your job, professional development is equally as important to your career. With these thoughts in mind, let’s walk through some resolutions.

1. Attend a Local User Group Meeting — Networking is a great way to find your next job, or the next DBA or developer you need to hire. And there’s no better or easier place to network with other database professionals than your local user group.

2. Learn New Skills — As a DBA or developer, we are permanently busy in our roles. Whether it’s planning meetings or being on-call, IT support is a very demanding job. Recommendations for skills to focus on in 2019, include: Kubernetes, containers, and cloud computing

3. Test Your Backups — All my customers should validate their backups via testing. It is not enough to just ensure yor backups are running successfully; you need to make sure that you can restore those backups. Wwe ran into a case where a customer had what they thought were good backups, but they were unable to restore them due to some corruption in the file.

4. Patch Your Databases —  A recent outage may have caused been by customer running a release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version of SQL Server 2016. While we think of SQL Server 2016 as a modern release of the platform, Microsoft has already released two service packs, as well as a couple of cumulative updates to SP2. That is a lot of improvements, bug fixes and added features that can cause outages in the worst cases, but can hopefully make your job managing SQL Server easier.

5. Check Your Databases — Consistency checks (a.k.a. DBCC CHECKDB) is a critical part of your data protection strategy. You should be running consistency checks at least as frequently as your backup retention policy. If you keep your backups for seven days, you should have a consistency check frequency of every six days. SQL Server will happily back up a corrupt database, so you could be backing up the corruption problem you have.