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Shift Handover importance of a SQL Server DBA

In a 24/7 production environment, handover plays an important role for all DBA team members.

Hand over is a list of running, pending activities which is given from the current shift to coming shift
members during the overlap timing in a DBA team so that all members must aware of all the activities
and they can proceed and follow up the same in the absence of other team members.

Handover format may be Excel sheet or company specific standard template.

A summary of few points are below to ponder & useful for preparing appropriate Handover:

1. To share all details of all on going activities e.g. ticket number, server name, database name etc.
2. Need to provide the information about any new task assigned in the shift.
3. Provide the information about any issue which needs to be troubleshooting and reply to client.
4. To prepare an activity plan if there is any upgrade or any project work needs to be done in near
5. Follow up emails or communication which is pending to reply.
6. Any meeting or conference call with client needs to cover up, mention the details in the list.
7. Shift reports if pending and need to send to client or within team or to the management.
8. Any technical document which needs to be prepared.
9. Any technical session, discussion within team, with other teams or with client needs to be in the
10. Any other task specifically assigned to specific DBA, needs to be shared with him\her.
MS SQL Server System Databases
Posted on January 24, 2015 by Mirza Husain

There are four visible system databases and one is hidden system database.

Visible Databases:
1. Master
2. Model
4. TempDB

Hidden Database:
1. Resource Database
All system databases are important and play a distinct role, the description is as below:

Master Database: The master database records all the system-level information for a SQL Server
system. This includes instance-wide metadata such as logon accounts, endpoints, linked servers, and
system configuration settings. In SQL Server, system objects are no longer stored in
the master database; instead, they are stored in the Resource database. Also, master is the database
that records the existence of all other databases and the location of those database files and records the
initialization information for SQL Server. Therefore, SQL Server cannot start if the master database is
Model Database: The model database is used as the template for all databases created on an
instance of SQL Server. The entire contents of the model database, including database options, are
copied to the new database. Because tempdb is created every time SQL Server is started,
the model database must always exist on a SQL Server system. Newly created user databases use the
same recovery model as the model database.
MSDB Database: The msdb database is used by SQL Server Agent for scheduling alerts and jobs and
by other features such as SQL Server Management Studio, Service Broker and Database Mail. SQL
Server automatically maintains a complete online backup-and-restore history within tables in msdb.
By default, msdb uses the simple recovery model. If you use the backup and restore history tables, we
recommend that you use the full recovery model for msdb.
TempDB: The tempdb system database is a global resource that is available to all users connected to
the instance of SQL Server. It is used to hold the following:
Temporary user objects that are explicitly created, such as: global or local temporary tables,
temporary stored procedures, table variables, or cursors.
Internal objects that are created by the SQL Server Database Engine, for example, work tables to
store intermediate results for spools or sorting.
Row versions that are generated by data modification transactions in a database that uses read-
committed using row versioning isolation or snapshot isolation transactions.
Row versions that are generated by data modification transactions for features, such as: online
index operations, Multiple Active Result Sets (MARS), and AFTER triggers.
Operations within tempdb are minimally logged. tempdb is re-created every time SQL Server is
started so that the system always starts with a clean copy of the database. Temporary tables and stored
procedures are dropped automatically on disconnect, and no connections are active when the system is
shut down. Therefore, there is never anything in tempdb to be saved from one session of SQL Server to
another. Backup and restore operations are not allowed on tempdb.
Resource Database: The Resource database is a read-only database that contains all the system
objects that are included with SQL Server. SQL Server system objects, such as sys.objects, are physically
persisted in the Resource database, but they logically appear in the sys schema of every database. The
Resource database does not contain user data or user metadata.
The physical file names of the Resource database
are mssqlsystemresource.mdf and mssqlsystemresource.ldf. These files are located in
<drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.<instance_name>\MSSQL\Binn\.