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5 Essential Tasks of a SQL Server DBA - A Preview into First Week at our Client

At Apoorva, our SQL Server DBAs are trained to do the following five tasks during their first few days of joining a client. These five items are essentials for any SQL Server (or Oracle, or MySQL) DBAs. They protect our clients, they protect our jobs, and they earn client’s trust.

1. PROTECT THE FORT

We need to be fully aware of who has keys to which doors. It could a person or a system, if they don’t need it, we don’t need to give any unnecessary permissions. When we give higher permissions than they need, we are not just lowering the guard, we are also violating several compliance policies sch as SOX, PCI and HIPAA that could result into penalties and fines. Apoorva team takes this seriously in order to protect our customers and gain their trust. And just because it is a development or test environment, we do not let people to have SysAdmin permissions. More often, these servers have data and code that was copied from production systems – this will violate privacy policies, our clients’ confidential information, or organization’s intellectual property. '

2. GUARD CREDENTIALS

Even though we revoke permissions from people, there is always that one “general user”, also known as service account, with an open-secret-password. Apoorva team has seen many clients where everyone knew that password and everyone has been acting responsible for a long time. Apoorva team gets hired to do the right thing – we are not interested in how many good people exist at our clients. We are protecting all those good people against that one bad person. We have seen an initial reaction by our clients to be “unhappy” because changing passwords can disrupt some systems that no one is aware of and never documented. It is better to disrupt an unknown system than letting bad people disrupt core systems because they knew passwords.

3. GOOD BACKUPS

You might as well call yourself a developer if you are not thinking about backups. A developer thinks that what (s)he is doing will work. As a DBA, you should always think that it will NOT work and hence you need a backup – even if you have done it a thousand times. And setting up backups is never enough. Many times people realize that either their backup jobs have not be running successfully or their backups cannot be restored because they are corrupted. Even if you have backups that will work, you still need to try them out because you need to know how it will take to restore. Which is also equals to either downtime of a bread-and-butter system or loss of data. Knowing the restore time will help you determine how often you need to create a backup (incremental) to minimize loss without backup process interrupting the transactional systems’ performance. Please refer to BACKUP VERIFYONLY, CHECKSUM clauses.

4. INTEGRITY CHECKS

Just like we constantly watch the health of our children, we need to watch the integrity of our databases. As a DBA, you need to frequently check for the corruption of your databases. Even if you have met the “Good Backups” responsibility, you might have been backing up a corrupted database which is equivalent to corrupted backups – both situations will result into data loss. Please refer to DBCC CHECK command, and WITH REPAIR_ALLOW_DATA_LOSS clause.

5. PERFORMANCE STATISTICS

In the first few days, Apoorva team establishes performance statistics to understand the expensive systems and to determine the bottlenecks. Simple metrics such as transactions per second, page reads/writes, connections, physical reads, locks & blocks will go long ways in establishing a benchmark that Apoorva team can improve our clients’ environment. Tuning for performance starts after collecting some basic metrics such as listed above. Tuning includes looking through several queries, indexes, SQL Server settings and the hardware they are sitting on. Advanced techniques include load testing that can be performed once every quarter to discover any degradation caused by newer features or data.

CONCLUSION

DBAs need to protect the data. It is both time and money; hence highly valuable to our clients. More importantly, getting into wrong hands can mean downturn to our clients’ business and profitability. On positive note, data is valuable when our DBAs make it available in real-time; of course, with appropriate security and authentication.

About Apoorva

Apoorva team can help with protecting our databases and improving their performance – with both on-site and remote operations. Database solutions is one our core offering. Feel free to reach out to us either at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at (844)-500-DATA (+1 844 500 3282).

 

 

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Partnership with MarkLogic!

Apoorva is very excited to announce a partnership with MarkLogic! So, for our next blog, we’d like to share a little bit about what makes MarkLogic so great, and why we’re thrilled to be partnered with them.

Prioritizing Predictive Analytics

Data scientist, according to Glassdoor, will be the number one job in America in 2016, with over 1,700 job openings and a median base salary of $116,840. This is consistent with Indeed.com, whose 2015 first quarter data saw the number of job postings for data scientist grow 57% as compared to the analogous quarter of the previous year. It’s no surprise then, as we’ve mentioned before, that Data Scientist has been deemed the “sexiest job of the 21st century.” But the term is ambiguous at best. Asking ten different employers how they see the role of data scientist may yield ten different responses.

Disaster Recovery: Preparedness is Paramount

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plans are not new concepts. They’ve been around for decades. As their longevity might suggest, they remain extremely relevant today. In fact, having an operative BCDR plan is more pertinent than ever in the cloud-computing era. For a brief review, a business continuity plan is the tailored plan a business creates in order to continue its normal operations should a problem arise. The impending calamities that must be accounted for can be anything from natural disasters to cyber attacks to theft to sabotage.

Transitioning to a Cloud-Based Project Management Tool

Big things are happening at Apoorva! As a company, we are growing, both in employee numbers and in projects undertaken. We have recently brought on new, young blood to the team, reflecting our company’s external growth potential. We find ourselves in an exciting position to extend our unprecedented services to new clients, while expanding upon those relationships and collaborations with already existing clients.   

Apoorva is Volunteering with the Colorado Technology Association!

Apoorva is excited to be volunteering this year for the Colorado Technology Association's annual fundraiser, C-Level @ A Mile High on March 10th. This premier event helps the Colorado Technology Association's mission of fueling Colorado's technology economy and includes a C-Level celebrity auction, silent auction and live auction.

2016 Predictions: Part 3

NoSQL WILL BE COMPLEMENTED BY SQL

 

Finally, we expect to see NoSQL use SQL as its dominant query language. The rise of the aforementioned trends of Big Data, IoT, and cloud computing, has caused NoSQL databases, such as MarkLogic and MongoDB, to gain popularity in many fast-moving technology sectors.

2016 Predictions: Part 2

CYBERSECURITY

 

These technologies aren’t all good either, though. Remember Uncle Ben’s famous advice to Peter Parker, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” With greater dependence on the Internet of Things and subsequent utilization of cloud-based applications, cybersecurity is necessarily on the forefront of many business’ minds (and if it’s not, it should be!).

2016 Predictions: Part 1

Here at Apoorva we understand the importance of staying current in the ever-changing world of Information Technology and Data Management. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of relevant trends moving into 2016 and beyond.

5 Essential Tasks of a SQL Server DBA - A Preview into First Week at our Client

At Apoorva, our SQL Server DBAs are trained to do the following five tasks during their first few days of joining a client. These five items are essentials for any SQL Server (or Oracle, or MySQL) DBAs. They protect our clients, they protect our jobs, and they earn client’s trust.