Some Common SQL Server Blunders to Avoid for Business Success

It is now time for the SQL Empire to hit back and claim agility via a host of technologies; a few of them, however, were initially introduced to serve the purpose of Hadoop. Today, we have witnessed the introduction of a bunch of technologies capable of addressing some of the age-old challenges with SQL databases According to Forbes, by leveraging these cutting-edge technologies appropriately and intelligently, it has become possible in the SQL world to move just as quickly as anywhere else. Despite technological leaps often, SQL DBAs make some mistakes frequently. Let us identify some of the SQL blunders to avoid.

Blunder: Not Performing Regular Backups and Recovery

Backups and recovery are mandatory tasks, but often DBAs do not bother to perform regular backups and recovery, and that may cause several issues, including

  • Have no idea if you will be able to meet all your SLAs (Service Level Agreements), RTO (Recovery Time Objective), or RPO (Recovery Point Objective). 
  • Not sure if backups are essentially good.
  • Have no idea where to find database files or log files for recovery. Remember that permissions and logins are kept in your Master database, whereas SQL Agent tasks for a specific database process are in the MSDB database.
  • No idea if the archived or older data can be restored.
  • No testing for a complete and meticulous restore
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Blunder: Inadequate Automation

Small businesses with around six to seven SQL Servers are often victims of inadequate automation. It is crucial to take maximum advantage of automation in this digital era. The lack of automation has several implications. A DBA can boost accuracy, minimize errors, and scale up the exact number of databases managed by him. He can do it by automating his SQL Server.

Experts believe in working smarter and not necessarily working harder. It can be accomplished by adequate automation via scripting. The best practices for SQL Server are promoted extensively by the community itself. Today, organizations are overcoming all SQL challenges and gradually revolutionizing the SQL data warehouse into a highly flexible and responsive repository.  

Blunder: Choosing an Unsuitable Stratagem or Feature for the Task

Often inexperienced DBAs commit this kind of mistake. They are often thrilled about experimenting, testing, and executing brand-new features. You need to realize that data is critical, and focusing on the latest features is not required. You may understand the implications of experimenting with novel features. Whenever you implement a new feature, it may prove risky. Choose appropriate strategies and features to ensure data safety. You should ensure that data is not corrupted or too complex. 

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Blunder: Embracing the Latest Trends Blindly

Microsoft has been rolling out new features and capabilities in the past. However, they have not been supporting them eventually. Some older instances are Notification Services and English Language Query. Some latest examples are Quality Services and Master Data Management. All these features have not been enhanced or updated for a long time. Do not make the mistake of using a novel SQL Server feature without making sure that it is supported by Microsoft.

Blunder: Insufficient Preventative Maintenance

DBAs are often in the habit of overlooking the need and significance of preventive maintenance. They fail to realize and recognize that SQL Server necessitates regular attention and care. You may understand that maintenance regularly is essential as it provides immense benefits. However, it is hard to find time to do maintenance without adversely impacting the users. Preventive maintenance job entails regular backups and corruption checks. Moreover, it is essential to maintain index statistics and fragmentation.

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 Blunder: Business Ignorance

Several DBAs firmly believe that their sole responsibility is working with databases. They commit the blunder of business ignorance in a couple of ways. Most users fail to consider taking care of the entire SQL Server. Most users only consider backing up or restoring databases, performing specific preventive maintenance measures, securing the databases, etc. As such, they fail to understand the implications of the SQL database as a whole.

DBAs have to realize and acknowledge their role as guardians of data. Data is the greatest asset of the organization. DBAs need to understand how the organization uses data and identify who is impacted when an app is not working. Are these downtimes proving to be costly for the company? DBAs cannot do justice to their jobs without the correct responses to the questions above. 

Blunder: No Particular Troubleshooting Methodology

Often DBAs follow no specific methodology for troubleshooting. It could be a grave mistake. A DBA may not be a troubleshooting specialist. However, he should have a step-by-step checklist for performing root cause analysis. If he does not have the checklist, he will end up wasting energy and time.

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Moreover, he will fail to detect all types of issues and errors. It is possible to miss seeing the warning signs or indications that the system is going to crash. You will miss service-level agreements. Moreover, you will encounter poor response time.

Blunder: Focusing on Security Last Moment

Often IT teams make the blunder of taking for granted that ensuring SQL Server security is the duty of the network, development, and database administration team. As such, security is neglected. Everybody is happy to point fingers and blame others. However, nobody is interested in taking the initiative.

You may not be a security expert, but it is your responsibility to ensure that somebody is taking care of ensuring security. You may focus on paying attention to ensuring security since SQL injection attacks are pretty common. You must be aware that SQL injection attacks are disastrous security breaches.

Conclusion

Do not forget that a DBA’s chief responsibility is to be a dedicated protector and guardian of data. We have discussed just a few SQL Server blunders that DBAs often commit. While some mistakes are triggered due to inadequate technical knowledge, most blunders are related to business concerns and administrative methods. Do you have more questions? Comment below!

Ifeanyi Joseph Okondu is a Product Manager, technical writer, and creative. Connect with him on LinkedIn

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