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SQL Server DBA? October 29, 2009

Posted by msrviking in DBA Rant.

I had an assignment around 2 weeks ago which was one of the toughest I could list out. One of the client had performance issue in one of the boxes and weren’t able to identify what could be the cause of the issue.

Someone from the DBA Group (where I don’t belong) had been identified for working on this – Identify the problem & provide recommendations. I was asked to guide this gentleman while he is on the job! Well, it just happens sometimes that I have to spend my energy thinking for my own activities on my table and also for others. And this is part of my job and I definitely won’t gripe about it. I told myself  “I need to help this guy just the way I am going to help me”.

All was set right to take off, but the only thing which missed from the beginning until the end of the exercise was that the DBA was not communicating. I did follow ups, mails, calls (short guidance’s), visited workplace  of  the DBA checked if we were in right directions and so on. All effort was on, and finally after the results were obtained from the monitoring scripts, the analysis phase started off.  The same communication problem was still existing during this stage too, and I was not knowing at all of what was happening at the other end.

One fine evening I get a recommendation list to be evaluated and validate after a single line follow up. The next day I spent 3 hours trying to collate information after large logs and trying validate. In vain!, I couldn’t complete and the presentation was scheduled the next day :o.  I gave up at the end giving my high level thoughts and as expected all these backfired where the client wasn’t happy with what was done.

And then one day I was asked to understand everything, analyze, recommend and present my findings. It was hell-of-days (5 days continuously) running through large logs (> 1.5 G), traces, performance counters and trying tie several pieces of information. A crazy time but I didn’t crib at all. At the end I could present findings and recommendations and I could save the face of the activity called as “DB Performance Analysis”. But one learning – Be whatever you are (multi-certified, well recognized), but things wouldn’t work if you don’t communicate. Communication is so important for any activity in life (work /personal). So guys if you such kind of situation I would say to help the other guy in communicating else you will be stuck as I was.

I hope this experience of mine helps anyone else out there.




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