T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday 51: Bad Bets

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T-SQL Tuesday

It’s been an incredibly long time since I last blogged, but this month’s T-SQL Tuesday topic was so juicy, I had to throw down. This month’s event is being hosted by Jason Brimhall and is on the topic of risky bets in IT.

I’m sure I won’t have the best or most outrageous stories, but I do have some fun ones to share. These are all small anecdotes from different employers and consulting situations, and I am going to keep details as anonymous as I can to protect the innocent. In no particular order…

  • Internet Troubles

    When I first became a DBA, I was tipped off that if SQL Server was having trouble, I could restart IIS to fix it.

    Obviously I got better information.

  • RAIDless

    In one completely virtualized environment, I eventually discovered that the underlying storage supporting all the VMs was a single RAID 0 configuration.

    My memos and pleas went unheeded.

  • RAID Master

    In a different virtualized environment, the sysadmin set up all the underlying storage in a RAID 6 configuration without asking for input from anyone else. At least we’ve got extra parity protection…

    Pretty sure that RAID 6 is still chugging.

  • Size Queen

    On one longer term contract, I was taking a look at database configurations. I discovered one that had a data file only 3MB, but its log file had grown to 65,000 times that size (roughly 190GB).

    A pretty common, though egregious occurrence, of a database in FULL recovery without log backups. Backed up the log, shrunk it, put the database in SIMPLE recovery, got a coffee.

  • Copy-what now?

    I lied, I saved the best for last. I had to quit a job over this one.

    I was working freelance when the owner of the company told me about a new project – an eCommerce site for equipment operation manuals. As I am given the files, I realize that the operation manuals in question belong to famous companies for products still in production. Manuals one could download from the internet freely via product support pages.

    I mention this to the owner, but no changes are made to the project. I inform the owner that we can’t take on the project. The manuals are copyright to these corporations, and we cannot distribute the files – much less sell them – without permission from these corporations. The owner nods in understanding.

    The following day, the owner mentions to me that the client does have letters of permission from all these corporations (well over 100 companies), and that the owner has seen them. I ask to see them, but the owner doesn’t actually have them on hand. I still can’t start on the project until I’ve seen the letters.

    Nothing has moved forward in a few days’ time. The owner flat out inquired, “Are you serious that you won’t do this project?!”

    Unphased, “Correct, I will not complete this project as it’s against the law.”

    “But my lawyer says it’s fine,” the owner countered.

    “And my lawyer says it’s illegal.”

    Silence.

    “Well I can’t keep paying you if you won’t do this project,” the owner mentioned. An ultimatum.

    “I understand,” I said. “I can finish out this week while you find someone else to take over.”

    Thankfully I already had another job prospect that was just about to land at that point.

Those are my anecdotes! I hope you enjoyed them! Check out the other T-SQL Tuesday posts in the comments section of Jason’s blog!

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