Pre-Holiday Checks: Day 12

Expecting that great Christmas Day dinner, fire roaring, kids screaming, Excedrin stock prices skyrocketing and maybe a little something for you? I hope your servers are in good shape. No one likes being called in on such a day. This isn't things to check on your server. This is just a list of things I've found painful not to listen to over the years.

Check list!

Have your backups failed in the last week?

Verify that you have good backups. Nothing is worse than taking the day off based off hopes that nothing breaks. If your backups are bad or missing then the idea of rest or relaxation may be a bit harder to grasp.

Do you know if your restores will work?

Hopefully you have an area to test your restores. It's difficult to do so without adequate hardware. Knowing that your backups work won't save you from being called... But it does make the turkey dinner taste better. Ham for my house.

Have you made any changes this week?

Don't create self hating servers. Don't do that to yourself if you can avoid it. It's just basic bad practice to make major changes when most of your support staff is on vacation. If it's unavoidable due to business reasons, do it of course, but double, triple check everything and have a back-out plan and maybe an emergency bare metal recovery ready.

Do you have replication setup?

Maybe you have replication in your environment, maybe you don't. Not everything needs that level of protection and not everyone can afford spare servers. If your environment meets the needs of having replication... Verify if that server is also in good running condition and make sure to check that the mirror is synced or logs are being successfully sent.

Is your DR plan ready?

Having a Disaster Recovery Plan ready will expedite downtime and get you home quicker. If your desk has the plan, they know who to call when problem A happens and can get everyone on site with you to fix it quicker and get everyone back home.

Is your VPN setup and ready if you need it at home?

It does make it difficult to to work from home if you cannot connect. Before you go home today, it would be good to test if you can hit all your servers from your house. Take lunch and go to Denny's if you need to test it on their WI-FI.

Do you have all of your contact lists?

Driving to work just to get someone's phone number because you need someone to check on one thing can ruin your day. Don't leave that contact list at work.

Do you have extra trash bags?

This one is just because I hate cleaning up wrapping paper all day long. This isn't database related... I'm just proactively lazy.

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