Whether you are veteran, involuntary, or junior DBA, there are common things that we are required to do for our SQL Servers on a regular basis. These tasks may seem like they are relatively low level items, but they are in fact critical in maintaining the health and security of our SQL Server instances.
On such list of tasks that must be completed is the monthly checklist of your SQL Server environment. Below is the current list of what should be done monthly to ensure that you have the SQL Server environment that you expect that you have.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU3
- SQL Server 2012 SP1
- SQL Server 2012 CU7
- SQL Server 2012 RTM (Evaluation)
- SQL Server 2008 R2 SP 2 CU6
- SQL Server 2008 R2 SP 2
- SQL Server 2008 R2 SP 1 CU11 - Support ends 10/8/2013
- SQL Server 2008 R2 SP 1 – Support ends 10/8/2013
- SQL Server 2008 R2 CU 14 – Support ended 7/10/2012
- SQL Server 2008 SP 3 CU 10
- SQL Server 2008 SP 3
- SQL Server 2008 SP 2 CU 12 - Support ended 10/9/2012
- SQL Server 2008 SP 2 – Support ended 10/9/2012
- SQL Server 2008 SP 1 CU 16 – Support ended 10/11/2011
- SQL Server 2008 SP 1 – Support ended 10/11/2011
- SQL Server 2008 CU 10 – Support ended 4/13/2010
- SQL Server 2005 SP 4 CU 3 – Mainstream support ended 4/12/2011
- SQL Server 2005 SP 4 – Mainstream support ended 4/12/2011
- Other SQL Server Security Updates
- If you are using SQL Server Reporting Services, you need to check to see if the MS12-070 applies to your environment. The bulletin identifies and patches a vulnerability related to cross-site-scripting.
- If you are running SQL Server 2012 SP1 prior to Cumulative Update #2, there is a fairly important hotfix available that fixes an msiexec issue. (KB2793634)
- Windows Server: As important as maintaining the SQL Server environment is maintaining the operating system that hosts SQL Server. If the operating system is not up to date, then issues related to issues in the operating system could affect the performance and stability of the your environment.
- 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?
- Database Health:Check the performance statistics for your database(s). Were there any unexpected items in your SQL Server logs?
- Check Baselines: Are there any variances on the performance counters off of the baseline? Is the baseline still valid?
- 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?
- 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.
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.