Important things for DBAs to consider

(Look in the Misconceptions blog category for the rest of the month’s posts and check out the 60-page PDF with all the myths and misconceptions blog posts collected together when you join our Insider list, plus my online Myths and Misconceptions training course on Pluralsight.)

Over the last month or so I’ve found myself handing out links to many of these posts to answer Twitter or blog questions – so I want to pull together a list of links to these editorial style posts that talk about what I consider to be really important things for DBAs to consider. These aren’t 400-500 level internals posts, they’re easily understandable with links to deeper information.

I hope you find the information useful!


Becoming an involuntary DBA – you’re not alone This post talks about the mindset you need to get into as you start on your DBA adventure. Accepting that there’s lots you don’t know and figuring out how to find information.

Importance of having a manageable environment This post presents a big list of things that I think you can do to make an environment with many databases and servers more easily manageable.


Importance of choosing the right architecture and SQL Server Edition This post discusses 32-bit vs. 64 bit and Enterprise vs. Standard. Just because Enterprise is there, you might not need it. We actually just saved a client $250k by showing them they didn’t need to use Enterprise Edition for what they wanted to do over the next few years.

Physical database layout vs. database size This post talks about some of the reasons to split a user database (i.e. not tempdb) into multiple files and filegroups, based on more than 1000 survey responses from blog readers.

Importance of choosing the right LOB storage technique This post discusses the pros and cons of all the methods of storing LOB (Large OBject – a.k.a. BLOB) data from a performance perspective.

Database Maintenance

Importance of data file size management This post is basically explaining why you should have auto-grow turned on, how to set it, and why you shouldn’t rely on it.

Importance of proper transaction log size management This post explains that there are two valid ways to manage your transaction log – using transaction log backups, or using the SIMPLE recovery model.

Importance of index maintenance This post explores the pros and cons of the various methods of performing regular index maintenance – which you should absolutely be doing.

Importance of running regular consistency checks You cannot avoid running regular consistency checks – as DBCC CHECKDB (or equivalent) is the only thing that can find all the problems that can occur. This post shows you why.

Importance of how you run consistency checks This post explains some of the ways people consider adequate for performing consistency checks, but actually aren’t.


Important considerations when performance tuning What do you look at when performance tuning? This post lists 10 main areas to think about and why.

High Availability and Disaster Recovery

Importance of defining and measuring SLAs You cannot put together a meaningful high-availability strategy and disaster recovery plan without knowing the downtime and data-loss Service Level Agreements that your business requires. This post explains why.

Importance of having a good disaster recovery plan This post explains why a disaster recovery plan needs to be comprehensive.

Importance of testing your disaster recovery plan And this one explains why there’s no point having a DR plan if you don’t ever test – there’s bound to be something you’ve forgotten.

Importance of having the right backups You’re not going to be able to meet your downtime and data-loss SLAs if you don’t have the right backups to be able to do the restores you need to. This post explains a few backup plans and why they’re good or bad. You should also read my TechNet Magazine articles Understanding SQL Server Backups and Recovering from Disasters Using Backups.

Importance of validating backups This post explains why there’s no point having backups if you find that they’re corrupt when you’re recovering from a disaster.

Adding geo-redundancy to failover clustering Failover clustering is cool, but doesn’t provide any redundancy outside of the cluster, or of the data itself. This post explains the various combinations of technologies you might consider.

2 thoughts on “Important things for DBAs to consider

    1. No – it’s a lot of work and I was paid to produce the original one. You can just substitute an AG for a database mirror and it’s really mostly the same. Thanks

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