T-SQL Tuesday #051: Place Your Bets

SQL-Tuesday.jpgThis months T-SQL Tuesday block party is coming from the renowned Jason Brimhall (blog|twitter). You see each month a SQL Community member hosts this block party and this months theme is “Place Your Bets”.

So you want to gamble? Come on up to the SQL table and place your bets. Any Data Professional is welcome – junior level up to senior level all money is acceptable at the SQL table.

Okay, I’m in what are we betting on today. Well, you are in luck my friend today’s bet is on backups; sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Sure that sounds like fun I’m all in, well wait what about backups?

You’re lucky you asked, otherwise you’d be called a sucker and I’d just would have taken the all in to the house “Little Joe”.

The Scenario

It was a dark grey morning…oh wait that’s a different story. Let’s say you have a plethora of databases that are all business critical and you have automated tasks that backup these databases. If something happens while in the backup process and the process fails than a failure notification is sent out notifying the advantageous Data Professional that their process had failed and go take a look so you can fix it. All is well, right?  Most would say yes, some would say no, and then there is some, the gambler, who says who the heck cares. You have the backup process in place ~ Let’s Roll.

The Gamble

I bet on that scenario early on in my career. I went all in with the house and you know what, that didn’t pan out to well for me. Why you ask, well gambling on whether or not my backups were solid and good opened my eyes to something that I knew but didn’t really take into consideration in the beginning stages of my career. I had a critical database being backed up…phone rings. The proud DBA picks the phone up…yes we have an issue and we need to look at our backup for x date. Sure thing, I got it right here. I’ll restore it and we’ll take a look at it.

Go to restore and the backup is corrupt; initially I’m thinking well that isn’t good. It was then when I had to go back and tell the business that the backup was corrupt and I would need to go a day before or after to get the information – but wait Mr. Gambler what about T-Logs did you have those – um nope business deemed it not necessary and didn’t want to pay for space etc for the growth needed.

Conclusion

Even after taken precautions in my backups I still feel the strong need to ensure testing of the backups is being done whether it is through an automated process, spot checking, etc. Taking a backup is great, can that backup be restored? Are the settings on the backup set properly? If you can’t answer some or all of these then take time today to do some checking.

Each shop is different and will have it’s hurdles to climb. With that said are you all in? Do you want to take that gamble and bet against house? Business looks at backups as a safety net or in some cases really doesn’t care as long as you have them. To the Data Professional they are much more.

I’ve always been taught to work hard and hone your skill set; for me backups fall right into that line of thinking. Always keep improving, learn from your mistakes. From mistakes comes growth and don’t be afraid to fail. Many successes have come from failures or setbacks.

What is T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party hosted by a different blogger each month. This blog party was started by Adam Machanic (blog|twitter). You can take part by posting your own participating post that fits the topic of the month and follows the requirements below. Additionally, if you are interested in hosting a future T-SQL Tuesday, contact Adam Machanic on his blog.

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  1. T-SQL Tuesday #051: Bets and Results | SQL RNNR
  2. T-SQL Tuesday #051: Bets and Results - SQL Server - SQL Server - Toad World

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