Fixing Your SQL Server: Prioritizing Tasks

Gym Shorts

If you said to me “Erik, I wanna run a mile in 10 minutes”, my first question would be “how fast can you run one now?”

Most everyone wants their SQL Server to go faster, but getting it to go faster isn’t always the first thing you should worry about.

Let’s say our intrepid runner doesn’t know how fast they can run a mile now because they smoke a pack a day, are 200lbs overweight, and just had a heart attack.

Obviously, there are issues to address before they can even walk a mile, nevermind run a mile, nevermind run one in 10 minutes.

Chest Hair

The point is, it doesn’t do you any good to have the fastest SQL Server in the world, if:

  • You can lose all your data because you’re not taking backups
  • You can lose more data than the business wants because you’re not taking backups often enough
  • You can lose data to corruption you’re not checking for
  • You can lose all your backups because they’re on the same disks your server is
  • You can lose more data than necessary if you’re not getting notified when problems occur

This list could go on for a long time.

The nice part about most of these things is that they’ve been automated for years. For free. Ola Hallengren has made it ridiculously easy for you.

Once this stuff is set up, you have the mostly passive job of making sure they’re running and finishing, which you can make even more passive with email alerts.


If you’re not sure where to start, start with your boss. Ask how much data you’re allowed to lose. Ask sales people if they’re telling people they’ll only lose a certain amount of data.

If you really wanna find out, tell them how much data you can lose right now. You can get this number by looking at your most frequent type of backups.

Only taking full backups once a day? That’s 24 hours.

Only taking log backups every 2 hours? That’s 2 hours.

And of course, if you’ve never tested restoring your backups, it’s ∞∞∞Infinity∞∞∞

Thanks for reading!

Going Further

If this is the kind of SQL Server stuff you love learning about, you’ll love my training. I’m offering a 75% discount to my blog readers if you click from here. I’m also available for consulting if you just don’t have time for that and need to solve performance problems quickly.