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Dec 7, 2022

Top 11 SQL Server Maintenance Plan Best Practices

Anurag Sharma

Keeping our SQL server in a healthy state is a matter of concern for sure. Here users can learn the top 11 SQL server maintenance plan best practices that experts, DBAs, architects, and developers follow. No doubt that users often face difficulties with their SQL server. However, with these practices to keep the database healthy, users can reduce the chances of SQL server errors by 90%. Let’s begin securing the database with ease.

Monitor SQL Server Performance Daily

The regular monitoring of the SQL server is not rocket science, Moreover, it helps DBAs, architects, and developers to identify the potential threats at their early stage. This way countering them can be a piece of cake. Regular monitoring of the databases helps users keep the track of the database's health status. Moreover, SQL server maintenance plan script are not here. Monitoring does not need highly technical scripts.

It becomes quite easy for users to analyze factors like CPU utilization, memory usage, disk I/O, query execution time, etc of your SQL database. This plays a crucial role in making the database healthy as small steps make big differences together. SQL server maintenance plan best practices include this factor in the very beginning due to its significance.

Don’t Keep Your Sharp Eyes Off the Disk Space

Users need to make sure that their disk always stays with an adequate amount of space for accommodating data files. If you have your database files as well as the operating system on the same drive, it might be problematic. It can cause low disk conditions, data corruption, and many more severe issues. SQL server maintenance plan includes regular checks of the disk space.

Add more storage to your disk at times in order to store your data files. This is because the SQL server maintenance plan suggests users have a plan for all scenarios.

Data Integrity Check - Crucial for SQL Server Maintenance Plan

The perfect application functioning is directly proportional to the data integrity. Corrupt database files often lead to the downtime of your SQL server & data loss. SQL server maintenance tasks include the data integrity check on a regular basis for avoiding errors that may arise in the future.

The DBCC CHECKDB command is one proven way of checking data integrity as it scans for errors & reports to the users in case of any vulnerabilities found. Such commands can also fic some types of errors by themselves. Although users can check that through SSMS(SQL Server Management Studio) as well. This is for sure a well-established way SQL server maintenance solution aspect.

Rebuild Indexes On a Regular Basis

Just like a normal book, SQL server indexes also help in retrieving data faster from the database. These indexes become fragmented as users add & remove data in between the databases & resulting in inaccurate indexes. SQL server maintenance plan script can help users to identify such fragmented indexes.

To save SQL server difficulties, repairing & rebuilding these indexes is easy. Simply Go to SSMS >> Object Explorer >> Indexes >> Select Index >> Rebuild. This way users can make everything alright without any issues. & there are no technical scripts involved. This should be a regular task if users add & remove bulk data files regularly. Off-Peak working hours are the best time for such activities as per SQL server maintenance plan best practices.

Take Weekly Backups of the Full Database

Full SQL database backup once a week covers all the changes in the last week. This even covers the last backup as well. In case of any mishappening, users have the full database backup that can help them run their businesses without any issues. SQL server maintenance plan suggests users keep the backup in external storage devices as well for utmost safety.

This is one of the best SQL server maintenance solutions that almost all Ite experts, Microsoft’s MVPs, etc suggest to users. Another tip for users is to test the backups as well in order to check their reliability.

Compact & Persistent T-Log Backups

A transaction log file is a crucial piece of data. It does not hold any server database files. However, it holds the data of all teh changes made to the server including the addition of data, removal, edition, etc. large transaction log files are quite fragile & more prone to corruption. Users should keep such files small & take frequent backups of them as well. SQL server maintenance plan best practices suggest this factor for long & healthy SQL servers.

Keeping such files compact help users perform quick recovery without any delay. It reduces unnecessary efforts in other SQL server maintenance tasks as well. This results in an always up & running SQL server without any errors.

Use of Differential Backups is Recommended

The reason for taking differential backups is that they are faster than full backups. This is because it only focuses on backing up the data that is changed from teh last backup. It alters the database changes in the backup rather than keeping a new backup. It is helpful in conjunction with log shipping or replication tasks as well. 

Users can take this backup through SSMS. SQL server maintenance plan script is not necessary for users in order to take this backup. It helps users to save their time resources & much of their efforts too.

Stats Update is One of SQL Server Maintenance Plan Best Practices

Updating statistics on regular basis is one of the most important tasks that users need to execute. A query optimizer needs statistics in order to get the best way of executing any particular type of query. Users can perform such acts on regular basis in manual as well as automated maintenance plans. SQL server maintenance solution includes the regular update of the SQL server statistics for easy workflow.

The automated SQL server maintenance tasks allow users to simply update statistics & contribute to the good health of the SQL server without any errors.

Get Rid of Old Backup Files - Clear the Clutter

We already discussed that users need to keep their disk space clean. so it’s crucial for them to clean the old backup files. Backup files can be huge & take up large space in the disks. There is no SQL server maintenance plan script required to delete the old backup files. SSMS can help users do it smoothly.

Cleaning such old backups regularly can help users to make their server functions work in a smooth manner. In addition, it plays a crucial role in SQL server maintenance plan best practices for sure. Users should be well aware of all the database files that are unnecessary & delete them also to make space.

Shrink Large Database Files When Necessary

We all know that data corruption first occurs in large files. This is why shrinking such large files help in reducing the size of these files for sure. Evidently, SQL server maintenance solution says that users should avoid keeping these files without shrinking them.

Running the DBCC SHRINKFILE command is what users require to shrink large files & move one step forward toward SQL server maintenance tasks. This task can be lengthy as it takes time to get the results. Therefore, users should only go for it when it is extremely important.

Test Disaster Recovery Operations

In the end, we are going to advise users that they should always test their disaster recovery operations at intervals. This can help them identify whether they are prepared for not for emergency scenarios. SQL server maintenance plan best practices always include testing the disaster recovery plans to get the reality checks.

This can help users identify if the components of the SQL server are working fine or not as per plan. This way users can make necessary changes in the plans to avoid any major loss. There can be an SQL server maintenance plan script or automated method for this. Users can select any of the ways as per their preference.

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