October Monthly SQL Server Checklist


It’s the first Monday of the October and it’s time to do a monthly checkup.  If you are like me, you may be headed out to the PASS Summit next week and a vacation the week after.  That means that the checklist is even more important this month for me, because there will be other people monitoring the servers when I’m not available.  Time to check up on everything and make certain that we are leaving things where other can pick them up.

As previously mentioned, the premise of this post is help DBAs maintain their environments by getting together a monthly checklist and running through it every month.  Each month there will be updates and hopefully a couple more items to help you keep track of what’s new to check out.  This month, I’ve added in links for the current SQL Server Service Packs, since they need to be applied prior to Cumulative Updates.

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 practices 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 the support for SQL Serverreleases does end at some point.
  4. Server Health: Check the performance statistics for your server(s).  Any unexpected items in your event log?
  5. Database Health: Check the performance statistics for your database(s). Any unexpected items in your SQL Server logs?
    1. Check wait stats.
    2. Analyze your indexes (via IndexAnalysis)
  6. Check Baselines: Are there any variances on the performance counters off of the baseline?  Is the baseline still valid?
  7. 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?
  8. 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.  I’ll follow-up next month on the first Monday of the month and we’ll see how everyone that reads this is doing.  Last month there were requests for posts expanding on some of this information more, those are still planned – ramp up to the PASS Summit has gotten a bit in the way of that.  Expect to see some posts of interest towards the end of October and all through November.

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