June 2012 – Monthly SQL Server Checklist

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Checklist

It’s the first Monday of the month, have you checked your servers out?  Do you know that everything with your SQL Servers is up to date and up to snuff.

The changes for the list this month has a couple changes to the SQL Server cumulative updates.  If you are running SQL Server 2008 R2, you can begin preparing for Service Pack 2; which has a Customer Technology Preview available.

Take care to make sure you have everything up to date and in place.  As DBAs, it is our jobs to prepare for a total meltdown and having our servers best prepared is the best route to getting there.

Monthly Checklist

  1. Backup Validation: Check everything involved in the backup process.  Are your backups executing as desired?  Are the monitoring jobs properly alerting to failures?  Have their been any unexpected failures?  Have backup duration times changed?
  2. Recovery Validation: Is everything for your recovery collected and being backed up?  Have you practiced restoring at least one of your SQL Server databases from production in the last month?
  3. SQL Server Updates: Is your SQL Server environment up-to-date?  Check each of your instances and review the most recent releases of SQL Server.  Make a plan to determine when the most recent updates will be applied.  Also, be aware that support for SQL Server releases do end at some point.  Support for the version of SQL Server that you are currently using may no longer be supported.
  4. Windows Server:As important as maintain the SQL Server environment, if the operating system is not up to date, then
  5. Server Health: Check the performance statistics for your server(s).  Were there any unexpected items in your event log?  How does everything compare to the last baseline?
  6. Database Health:Check the performance statistics for your database(s). Were there any unexpected items in your SQL Server logs?
  7. Check Baselines: Are there any variances on the performance counters off of the baseline?  Is the baseline still valid?
  8. Validate Capacity Plan: If you have a capacity plan in place for your environment, check to see that what you had planned for June matches the actuals.  Any threshold violations that may require adding capacity?
  9. Status Report: What do you need to get done before next month?  What did you get done this month?  After the other tasks, write this all down and send it to your manager.

Something Missing?

Is there something missing in this list that you think should be included?  Leave a comment and I’ll add it in for next month.