Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The DBA Daily Checklist

Main Checklist for Initial Setup Of The SQL Server:
1. Automate all possible jobs and maintenance plans on the server for things like database backups, integrity checks, automatic shrinking, transaction log backups, etc. You could do this by creating Maintenance Plans in SQL Server, which would automatically generate and schedule the required jobs.

2. Install SQL or Database Mail on all your production servers and set it up to send you notifications on your email (or cell phone or pager - whatever is convenient).

3. Through SQL or Database Mail, set up email notifications for all the jobs and maintenance plans on the production server - for every database. Also set up email notifications for you to be notified in case of a severity alert - like file growing large and thus reducing disk space, etc.

4. Always keep a script of the functional database schema in a secure location on the network. This comes in handy if you need to know the structure of the database in production or you need to recover a database, which does not have any backup left.

5. Set the MSSQL and SQL Server Agent services to Auto-start when the server starts.

DBA Monthly checklist:
1. Make a list of all the sa passwords for each server and save it in a secure place.

2. Make a list of all the passwords for each login created on the production boxes.

3. Save the SQL Servers’ and Windows' configuration information in a secure place. This information is needed to rebuild an NT & SQL Server box in case of a disaster.

4. Perform a test restore of a database backup. This is done in order to prepare for unforeseen situations.

5. Save information about any changes made to a server - hardware or software.

6. Maintain system logs in a secure fashion. Keep records of all service packs installed for both Microsoft Windows NT Server and Microsoft SQL Server. Keep records of network libraries used, the security mode, sa passwords and service accounts.

7. Assess the steps in recovering from a disaster ahead of time on another server, and amend the steps in your Disaster Recovery Document, as necessary to suit your environment.

8. Audit Database Access: You should periodically perform a review of who has access to your production databases and what type of rights they possess. Doing so can prevent unauthorized access to production data.\

DBA Daily checklist:  
1. Check the connectivity of each server over the network. You could do this by pinging the SQL servers twice a day or by clicking the server’s name in your Enterprise Manager and seeing if it is able to connect.

2. Check whether the services are running. For each server, go to its SQL Service Manager and check whether the SQL Server Agent and MSSQL Server services are running (showing a green light). If not, start those services. (You could also check these from the Control Panel or Enterprise Manager).

3. Check whether the scheduled tasks on the production servers are running normally. You could check this from the Enterprise Manager of each server or your email (if you have set up SQL Mail to notify you).

4. Check the hard disk space available on the SQL Servers. If system drives run low on space, they crash.

5. Check all the database and transaction log space on each server. If the database or transaction log space runs out, the transactions will fail.

6. Check NT event Logs for any error messages. SQL Server writes to the NT application log in case of application errors or SQL errors and also warns you before a problem becomes critical.

7. Check SQL Error Logs for any errors occurring within SQL Server. SQL Server warns you through these logs before the problem becomes critical.
As needed Checklist:
1. Run disk defragmentation utilities: You should periodically run disk defragmentation utilities on your server's. A high degree of hard disk fragmentation can lead to decreased hard disk performance. 

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