Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server Maintenance Plans

That's the title for the latest book from Brad McGehee and Simple Talk Publishing. Its available from Amazon here.
ISBN 978-906434-34-2
Price:GBP19.99 / USD29.99 / CAN35.99

This book will enable any person responsible for data stored in a SQL Server database to ensure it is being managed to a required minimum with a small amount of effort and possibly limited experience. This is not a book long time DBAs who have scripts already in place to maintain their databases will get a lot out of, it’s for the people who are becoming known as ‘Accidental DBAs’. Maybe you were closest to the server when the last DBA quit, or you are a system administrator with a new system based on SQL Server and you don’t have a DBA in-house. Whichever way you have happened to find yourself looking after SQL Server databases, this book is for you.

It explains very clearly what a maintenance plan is designed to do, what it can and can’t do and in some cases why you don't want it to do some things. Once the intent of each feature is established Brad then walks you through configuring the task options to your requirements and how it can be linked to or affects other tasks you need carried out on your databases. A clear format of what the task does, why you want it done (or not) and how to make it happen is followed in each chapter. Pitfalls and limitations of the various tasks are explained clearly and where there are options to avoid or work around these they are explained so that they can be implemented. The tasks are described with enough background information that someone unsure about SQL Server will clearly understand what the task is attempting to achieve and will then be able to decide whether that is something they want to apply to their systems.

While the majority of the book refers to the process followed by the Maintenance Plan Wizard Brad also explains how to make your own custom Maintenance Plan or alter existing plans with the Maintenance Plan Designer. Implementing schedules and operator notifications into your plan is explained so that a user can keep up to date with the status of any executions without having to read through the detailed reports along with using logic to control flow from one step to another within a plan and adding multiple copies of tasks in order to get the exact results needed.

If you have any databases in your remit and you are wondering how to look after them, or want a guide on how to make your existing maintenance plans more effective, then this book will be a valuable asset to you.

It could be as simple as reading this book for a couple of hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then over a similar time on Thursday and Friday you could have your SQL databases fully covered by a set of maintenance plans to ensure your data is well maintained and backed up.

Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server Maintenance Plans

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