Can Your Database Survive A Bus? Final Training Giveaway!: Day 11

This is the final training give away  for a free month of Pluralsight! A comment on this post gets your name in the hat. The only rule is that you have an E-Mail address for me to mail the winner. Next week is the final giveaway this month in the form of this awesome book. I'll ship it for free to anywhere in the continental US. If you live outside of the US, I'll send you a code for 25$ at Amazon instead. Good luck to the winner!

Can You Survive A Bus?

Odd Title I know. Let's talk about the bus theory. You my good Sir (and Ma'am) hold the keys to the kingdom. You have a locked down fist protecting the companies data and helped keep everyone gainfully employed. That's right, stand back and give yourself a round of applause!

Now let's take the bus theory for a ride. You're out and about and BAM! Cross town 2:30 nails you.  With you gone, who keeps the kingdom afloat? Do you have a Jr in place with good documentation to fix that job that breaks every third Friday when the moon is full? Do you have a break the glass password stored somewhere in case of such an emergency? How are you contingency plans looking?

Let's address the cheapest ones first.

Break-The-Glass Passwords

This one is good for protection as well as showing the company you're rational and responsible. You need to get a small envelope and put an account name and password in it sealed. Give it to your CIO or anyone with a safe in their office you trust. For your own sanity, put a trigger on that login name that sends you an email if it's ever used. Now if you get hit by a bus, the world for your company doesn't end. If someone opens it and logs in, you know who to point at for something breaking.


If something breaks out of the normal google searches... Help yourself out by writing down what to do. Document odd hot fixes or code changes. If you ever get the funds to hire a second DBA or bring that SA over who's been interested... Documentation may make training easier as well. If you have a big red button you don't want pushed, it's best to hang a sign on it.

Contingency Plans

If the world comes crashing down now, can you fix it? Of course you can. Can your network admin? Maybe... but let's improve those odds.This ties in with a Break-The-Glass password as well as good documentation. If we have this all in place we can rest easy and maybe even take a vacation! If the server crashes and they need to reboot the IIS box before they bring up the database... having that information is a lifesaver. Consider it free insurance for your time off.

Hire A Jr. DBA

Now if you're really lucky... you can prove you need a second DBA. This may be a direct hire Sr., A Jr. being brought in, or even Ted from the SA shop. You now have at your disposal an emergency password, full documentation on how to fix the most common issues and a step by step plan. I love sleeping at night, I'm sure you do as well. With a second hand to answer that on-call phone, maybe we can make this dream a reality.


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