Dealing with an Inherited SQL Server

Get a quick must-do checklist for dealing with an inherited SQL Server system

Michael Otey

August 12, 2015

3 Min Read
Dealing with an Inherited SQL Server

If you work with SQL Server you’ve most likely been there at one time or another. Maybe you’ve just started a new job, or you might be a Windows administrator who has been tasked to manage SQL Server, or you might be a consultant who has been brought in to deal with a specific problem.  The end result is that you wind up working with a SQL Server instance and one or more databases that you know nothing about. There’s only so much you can take in from the start but there are several key points that you should probably check right away. Some of the most important SQL Server system and database properties that you should be sure to check include:

  • Confirm that backups have been made – Being able to restore your data is the DBA’s most important job and making sure the databases are backed up is the first step toward that.

  • Check the recovery model – Most production database should be set to use the Full Recovery model to enable point-in-time data restore. You need to check your recovery model to understand your restore capabilities.

  • Monitor disk space – When jumping into a new system it’s also a great idea to make sure your SQL Server instance won’t run out of disk space.

  • Release level edition and service – To understand the system capabilities and current state you need to know what SQL Server edition, release level and service pack that you’re on.

  • Locate the database files (.mdf) and log files (.ldf) – Most production systems should have these files split out to different drives or storage pools.

  • Locate tempdb – For heavily used systems tempdb should also be placed on its own drive or storage pool.

  • Check AutoGrow and AutoShrink – Typically AutoShrink should always be turned off while it’s generally recommended that AutoGrow be set to a specific size to minimize any required database grow conditions.

  • Auto create statistics and auto update statistics - To help SQL Server optimize queries it’s usually best to be sure that both of these settings are enabled.

Learn more about managing inherited SQL Server systems at IT/Dev Connections 2015!
Hopefully this gives you an idea of some of the key points that you should look at if you find yourself in charge of an unfamiliar SQL Server instance. At this year’s IT/Dev Connections conference at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas Denny Cherry will present an all-day session, SQL Server for the Non-Database Administrator, where he covers backups, upgrades, indexing, availability and more – all of the things you need to know to effectively manage an inherited SQL Server system. In addition, you’ll definitely want to know the things you should never do. In his session, Top 10 DBA Mistakes in SQL Server, Kevin Kline shares some common mistakes that you should avoid while managing SQL Server. The following discount code will get you $100 off your registration fee.

Discount code: ITDCOTEY15 ($100 off)

Register here: IT/Dev Connections 2015



Sign up for the ITPro Today newsletter
Stay on top of the IT universe with commentary, news analysis, how-to's, and tips delivered to your inbox daily.

You May Also Like