msftdba - the adventures of a Microsoft DBA

Walking through a brand-new role, sharing my joy and lessons with you.

Know Thy Customer, Part 1

Know Thy Customer, Part 1

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Who are your customers?  Are they well-defined?  What are the SLA’s that you must adhere to?  What are their pain points, real and perceived?  What are your actual pain points when dealing with their systems?

I was very lucky in that I got to step into a newly-created DBA position.  This allows me to help set expectations and deliver fantastic results, but also puts me under a microscope as we work through all of the issues.

Fortunately, my managers did a lot of meetings before even hiring for the position.  They met with the customers to define what their needs were and what resource usage was reasonable.  This led to a list of customers and an initial set of pain points.

The Testing Tools (TT) team has five (5) SQL servers and  eight (8) databases.  They provide a high-volume testing service to not just the division, but the company.  Their major pain point is performance.  They need to eke out every bit of it they can from their hardware.

The Solutions Tools (ST) team has four (4) SQL clusters, a single (1) standalone  SQL Server, and around thirty (~30) databases.  They provide a large variety of build, servicing, and operational tools to the division and some of them to the company.  Their major pain points were monitoring, management and capacity planning.

The Performance Tools (PT) team has 6 (6) SQL servers and five (5) databases.  They provide performance and regression testing tools to the division.  Their pain points were management, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Having this list was invaluable in knowing where to start and who I was responsible to.  It also set proper expectations with the customers so they knew what to expect from me.

In the next part of the series, we will go through what I discovered after taking a look through their systems.

  • The first part of this series is here . I started this role with high expectations and with a vague sense

  • The first part of this series is here . I started this role with high expectations and with a vague sense

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