Living on a ranch in Colorado means that we have to prepare for winter in a way that we don’t worry about other seasons. Taking care of livestock when the weather gets cold (and snowy) presents challenges, and since it can be a matter of survival, we have to think about potential issues in advance and work to mitigate them before they occur. My return from the PASS Summit last weekend had me outside working on shed with my daughter to prep for this week’s winter storms.
When working with computers, we don’t usually need to make special preparations for seasons, but we do need to be ready for difficult times. I was reminded of this with a post this week about 12 Things to Check to Prepare for Winter. These aren’t necessarily things you need to check as the temperatures drop, but they are things you might want to examine periodically in your environment.
In many businesses, we are aware of the time periods when our systems get stressed, and great DBAs plan for those times. In one large organization I worked for, we knew that the end of quarter and end of year periods were very stressful and busy for many people in the company. As a result, any maintenance or preparation needed to occur at least a month early to ensure systems were at peak performance. In another job, at a power plant, the refueling process that occurred on a semi regular basis was the busiest time of year and we needed to ensure we were aware of when it was coming and double check everything before it was too late to do so.
Good preparation is one of the keys to avoiding any of a DBA’s worst days. After all, if things go wrong for you at work, it’s unlikely The DBA Team will be available to save the day.