SQL Server - Diary of a DBA – Num 8 – Failed Login attempts, Project Managers, Acceptance Testing

11 August,2012 by Tom Collins

I introduced a  SQL Server Failed Login Attempts report a couple of weeks ago. The purpose is to monitor , report and resolve issues discovered by the Failed Login attempts. For example, it could be a SQL Server Login attempt which shouldn’t be connecting to particular SQL Server or it could be an application with an errant connectivity problem . The plan is to  work with the owners and slowly whittle down to essential Failed attempts.  I’ve received significant resistance from owners : mainly because it’s extra work . Finally , this week I was vindicated as we discovered a genuine security threat. I use the justification of : the DBA is responsible for the availability of the data. Anything  threatening this service must be resolved. The DBA understands the issue , potential threats – but they also need to communicate effectively to the wider audience in justifying there actions.

Companies plan ahead for the next years budget. Part of the planning includes assessing the  technology requirements. There’s always pressure around upgrades such as upgrading to SQL Server 2012, patch upgrades and  certification on different versions. It’s complicated planning ahead for every purchase. It can take some time to assess and quantify the costs.  I understand budgeting is important – what I find tedious is they swoop on you with 1 days notice requesting a detailed breakdown of every purchase.

I completed some acceptance testing this week. The application team  deployed a new product on the environment and acceptance testing is critical to decrease the chance of downtime.  I recommend two types of tests : 1) User level testing – where the application mimics typical behaviour and load .   2) Stress testing – where a load is tested beyond the normal load. There are a range of SQL Server test data generation testing tools  for generic testing  and the TPC-H generate test data , test queries and sql database benchmark  is a good basis.   Performance Metrics used in acceptance tests   establish where you’re benchmarking or maximum rates.

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Author: Tom Collins (http://www.sqlserver-dba.com)


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