A well-maintained database server will be a hugely important asset to any organization, no matter what it is used to achieve.
There are plenty of ways to tackle maintenance effectively, so we have narrowed this down to just a few of the best approaches to adopt if you are eager to improve performance and lower the likelihood of issues arising.
Use the right tools
Server maintenance tasks can be made much easier if you have the right tools at your disposal, such as monitoring solutions designed to provide continuous collection and analysis of a variety of data relating to performance in SQL environments.
This software will often pinpoint potential issues that need to be remedied far faster and more accurately than any human DBA, and will therefore dramatically improve the speed with which you fulfill any maintenance obligations.
Sluggish database performance can often come down to queries behaving suboptimally, and there are plenty of ways to improve them, such as by narrowing down the result set they deliver or adjusting the frequency with which they are set to run, depending on what they are intended to achieve.
Part of this optimization attempt should also involve assessing whether or not problematic deadlocks are occurring, which can happen on an SQL database when processes cannot switch between the available resources and one needs to be culled to keep the whole infrastructure from grinding to a halt.
Prior planning should be at the center of any database maintenance strategy, not only for things like outages and data recovery, but also in terms of having an idea of what steps may need to be taken to ensure that the server hardware is fit for purpose.
Elements like the CPU and memory need to be able to cope with the workloads that are thrown at them, so determining when bottlenecks may arise will let you predict how long these components will be viable for.
Even more important is storage need forecasting, as your storage will be at the heart of your server’s effectiveness and if you are taken unawares by reaching the limits of the current capacity, this will create other issues.
Regardless of how thorough and well thought through your server maintenance policies might be, there is always the potential for some disaster to strike which was entirely unexpected and leaves your data corrupted or compromised in another way.
Because of this, factoring frequent backups into your maintenance schedule is a must. The type of backup you implement will come down to your needs and your budget, but with the increased affordability of remote cloud storage, in addition to the flexibility and resilience this provides, you should be in a good position to follow rigorous measures to allow for data recovery.
Finally, as you adapt your own approach to database maintenance, it is worth speaking with experienced specialists in this field to get their advice and input, as this could throw up other important elements to consider.
Story by Ron Evan