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Best practices review

Utilize my 20+ years of experience, multiple certifications, and extensive research and implementation with the SQL Server database platform. A best practices review is a generalized look at your database covering safety, security, and performance.

Safety

Backup and recovery

Can your data survive a drive failure, virus, power outage, building flooding, or wildfires destroying an entire region? If you have to restore your data, will you lose hours, seconds, or no data at all? I will answer these questions and give you recommendations for improvements.

Integrity checks

Is your database suffering from failures in integrity which just haven’t been found yet? I will run tests and check that routine maintenance is in place to identify them before their affects can propagate and become more difficult to repair.

Improper architecture

Is the structure of your database such that it risks lost or nonsensical data? Common problems can include orphaned records, invalid data entries, and non-unique linking leading to accidental deletion or double-entry of data.

Security

Permissions

Do your users or applications have permissions to perform operations they shouldn’t? Do you have a policy to enforce strong passwords, hard to guess or break by brute force? Are people sharing accounts? Do you have terminated employees with active accounts? I will analyze all these areas and guide you to a more secure environment.

Encryption

Is unauthorized access to your private data as simple as copying a file? What about your backups? I will ensure that your data is encrypted in motion and at rest, and in all its forms.

Security patches

Is your system up to date with security patches and updates? Does that include both your operating system and your SQL Server installation? What is the lag time between the release of a patch to fix a known security deficiency and when you install it? I will help optimize your system to reduce your exposure to these easily avoidable threats.

Performance

Settings review

Are you allowing SQL enough memory, or allowing it to take too much from the operating system? Are you logging transactions you will never use? Is your system fragmenting more quickly than it should? A quick review of very basic configuration problems can sometime provide significant performance improvements.

Automated maintenance

Are your indexes being kept organized regularly? Are your internal statistics SQL uses to optimize its query execution accurate? Are your logs growing out of control without any archiving or limitation? I will fix these problems and implement automated maintenance to prevent them in the future.

Hardware analysis

Is your CPU barely keeping up? Are you about to run out of memory? Do you have a disk about to fill up? Is your network load reasonable? I will log your system performance during my review to asses your server’s ability to keep up with the load on it and identify bottlenecks in need of improvement.