Good Best Practice Advice from the Pensacola Pre-Con

For my first blog about SQL Saturday #132, I wanted to review some of the good advice I received from the pre-conference training on Friday prior to the event.  The pre-con titled “Demystifying Database Administration Best Practices” was presented by Microsoft Certified Masters Robert Davis (twitter|blog) and Argenis Fernandez (twitter|blog).   Some of these I knew, some of these I did not.  But here they are for you to learn from.

  1. Backups are the single most important thing we do, end of story.  If you screw this up, you just might be updating your resume.
  2. Practice restoring your backups on a regular schedule.  If you do not verify the backups then they essentially are useless.
  3. Use AD groups instead of individual logins for database security to reduce maintenance.
  4. DBAs should be getting at least one e-mail a day from each server.  Do not set your instances to only mail you on failure events because if there is a problem with the mail then you will just assume that everything is successful and then never receive any failure notices.
  5. It’s a good idea to use wikis for documentation and may ensure that the documentation is easily searched and actually used in the future.
  6. It’s a good idea to maintain your scripts in a source controlled library with versioning.
  7. Scan your network regularly for new instances of SQL Server to see who is installing new databases in your environment without your knowledge.

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