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Help Tuning My Server (Trust Issues, Security, etc)

Posted on 2005-05-10
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I’ve always been my own DBA.  I’m now having problems with near 100% CPU usage (and often 100% CPU usage).  I'm thinking of bringing on a consultant to help tune the server a bit better than I have been able to do myself.  However I have a few concerns and questions:

1.) To allow someone to use the SQL Profileer, I have to give them full DB access, right?  What should I do shy of giving them sa access?

2.) What steps can I take to minimize data theft, minimize the DBA’s access to our server after the project is completed, etc?

3.) Should there be concern about getting such help, or am I just thinking about the negatives too much?

Thanks for your opinions!
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Question by:rebies
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by:lluthien
ID: 13972400
hi,

a consultant helping you with cpu usage, what kind of consultant are you talking about, Microsoft ?

it really depends on the situation, what size is the company, how complex is the database, what is the budget,
what is your own background and of course what is really the problem.

as for confidentiality, if you are really concerned about this, you can offer this consultant a confidentiality clause.
if the guy is a professional, it should be normal for him.

you could always sit next to the guy when he's doing his analysis
what kind of analysis are you thinking of?


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by:rebies
ID: 13972957
>> what kind of consultant are you talking about, Microsoft ?

No, someone that is an experienced database admin, can help me with performance tuning, analyzing our database design, helping us improve indexes, etc.

>> what size is the company

Mine - small.  Of the DBA, I have not found one yet.

>> how complex is the database

Fairly simple.  80% of the queries run on the database are "SELECT * FROM tblName WHERE tblColumn = 'keyword'".  The problem is this table is over 7 million rows, and we're now consistently seeing 100% CPU usage.  I could troubleshoot this myself, but with my limited knowledge, I don't know much about table scans, partitioned tables, optimized indexes.  I obviously know what they are and have worked with them all in the past.   But this is something I'm sure a 10 year veteran would help with much better.

Andrew
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lluthien earned 2000 total points
ID: 13973122
what kind of data are you talking about, because you seem to be worried about confidentiallity

100% cpu usage could indicate a huge amount of data, big queries or just a large amount of queries.
optimizing datastructure can have an influence on performance of course
but often improvement can be achieved by simpler meassures.

if you don't want to give away the data,
you could make a copy of your db and anonomize the data, leaving just its structure.

what are your own pro's and cons considering outside help?
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by:rebies
ID: 13979649
lluthien,

I understand your points about pro's and con's.  Really the data is not all that important, and I realize I probably need outside help.  I've always been a do-it-yourselfer, and I don't like giving up control when it comes to computers and programming.  I've worked with probably 20 computers or servers in the past 10 years, and never have I given anyone any control of one of those servers.  Not a family member, not a friend, etc.  So I guess I'm a bit paranoid and don't trust others with my stuff well.  Plus I realize a malicious person could do a lot to mess my stuff up.

>> if the guy is a professional, it should be normal for him.

Yup, you are right about that.   I guess it's time for me to grow up and realize that not everyone using the Internet is out there to harm me.  (I never realized until today how much I'm in the mindset of anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-hacker, etc.)  Then again, maybe that’s why I’ve never had a serious problem with any of that stuff.
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by:lluthien
ID: 13984258
it's never a really stupid idea to have someone else have a look at your db -structure,
to give some hints about improving performance, in my opinion.

how are you going about to find someone to have a look at this ?

>(I never realized until today how much I'm in the mindset of anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-hacker, etc.)  
a healthy attitude none the less ;)
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by:rebies
ID: 13986691
lluthien,

Thanks for the help and support on this issue.  I've already found someone through other means and will be using that person to help with the optimization.

Andrew
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Expert Comment

by:lluthien
ID: 13986910
glad to help,

good luck with that.



ps.

do make backups ;)
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