T-SQL Tuesday #73 Naughty or Nice – My Christmas Lists


T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly event where SQL Server bloggers write a post based on a subject chosen by the month’s host. This month’s host is Bradley Balls (b/t) and the festive topic is: Is Your SQL Server Environment Naughty or Nice?

When I was a kid I had a rule of having the first draft of my Christmas list done and delivered to my parents on September the 1st. I liked to be clear and to the point but most of all I wanted to give them plenty of time to save up for the items on the list. I’m not so different now when specing for new deployments.

I’ve missed my old deadline of September 01, but with this post being my first T-SQL Tuesday post, and it being of a festive theme, it seemed like as good a time as any to dust off the old Christmas┬álist skills.

Below is the naughty list of some of the things I’ve seen in the past:

Developers with sysadmin privileges
Production servers on woefully under provisioned VMs
Databases in full recovery without regular log backups
Nightly jobs to shrink logs
Triggers in which all the T-SQL is commented out.
Maintenance plans that reorganise every single index, only to rebuild them all straight after.
Cursors in cursors in functions within functions that are then called for every row in a table.

I am yet to see a 100% perfect environment as there are always things you would do better if the time or budget were available. With that in mind here is my SQL Server Christmas wish list:

We always want faster storage and more memory
More time to build more automation
More time to attend SQL events
To give a talk at an event
To have a post listed in Database Weekly
A way of stopping everyone answering DBA StackExchange questions before I get a chance

Below is the nice list of things I have had the pleasure to see in the past:

DBAs working closely with developers to help design and troubleshoot the application.
The Microsoft Risk Assessment Program (RAP)
Whole teams pulling together during large production migrations
SQLSatuday Southampton

It doesn’t always take mega bucks to have a nice environment; some of the best environments I’ve seen have been well planned and maintained standard edition deployments. As long as the budget is realistic it’s up to the DBA to make sure all the bases are covered when it comes to:

Disaster Recovery
Consistency Checking
High Availability
Maintenance – index fragmentation, statistics, history culling, log cycling
Monitoring / Alerting

These lists are not exhaustive, but I hope they give you a feel for some of the nice that’s out there lurking in-between all the naughtiness.

About the author

James Anderson

I'm a freelance SQL Server DBA in Southampton, UK. Performance tuning code and improving development processes are what I love to do for work. Outside of work, I live to travel to as many places as possible with my wife Sarah.

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James Anderson SQL Server DBA

Hi, I'm James Anderson. When I'm not blogging about SQL Server, I do this.

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