Reassess Your Configuration

It’s the start of a new year, and while it might feel like COVID-19 has us stuck back in March 2020, I hope that will start to fade as we move into the new year. Certainly our employers want to move forward, and I suspect that there is some hope that organizations will start to thrive in 2021.

I saw a post from Kenneth Fisher recently that talked about an end of year, new year checklist. It’s a basic set of things that you might do as a type of review and cleanup of some of the instances and databases that you manage. Checking things like end of year processes and performing some review of potential items that might no longer be needed.

In the past, I didn’t do this type of work at the end of the year, or even that often, but when there were slow times, I did have a list of things to periodically review. We had canned queries and reports to help us evaluate resources. Many were automated to ensure the data about systems was available if I had time.

One area that I was check once or twice a year was the configuration, trying to determine if any hardware had changed, the workload had altered, or there were proactive configuration changes we could make. This might include removing unused security logins or turning off services that weren’t being used.

Certainly I was always cognizant of the load that managing lots of databases can have on a DBA. Every additional database is a potential customer that can call or file a ticket. I couldn’t often remove any, but I did find ways to remove unused objects and archive data at times. Reducing resource usage often pays itself back over time, especially when the need for more storage arises, which was more of a battle than it needed to be.

I might add one thing to Ken’s list. I would ensure that you should check on cloud resources that might not be used. One thing I see too often is that cloud resources are easy to spin up and leave up, even if they become unused. Finding a few of these might earn you some points with the people paying the bills.

Steve Jones

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