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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22431 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2004 :  17:08:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is just unbe...inglievable.

And what's a nice guy like you doing still there?

Let me make sure I've properly grasped this:

* You have a "Box" in the computer centre

* The box is the responsibility of the IT folk.

* The IT folk can't be bothered to back up the box. Or look after it. Or give a s**t.

And you want to know who's fault it will be if it all goes horribly pear shaped? ... well, given their track record its hardly going to be them, is it?

I'm chuffed I spotted this thread as a Soap (I'm useless, compared to the Learned Cogniscenti, at spotting "Homework" threads, so maybe I have a future here spotting Soap threads ... )

I'm really, REALLY, and GENUINELY, sorry that elwoos has this load of plonkers to contend with. Especially as, unlike the majority on the other side of the pond, I'm paying the plonkers wages with my taxes.

My only advice is that you need a brave manager who is up for a palace-revolution and will get it sorted out. Either way you need to leave inside of 30 days. Get on that train to Suffolk!

Kristen
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  04:06:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The train to train to Suffolk is looking more appealing by the minute, believe me, though I'm not sure if that's after following Brett's suggestions re: drinking heavily (some may say I do that anyway - see signature). Funny Brett should mention the CV too ;-) Anyone know any good jobs sites?

Kristen, in answer to your question, yes you do have it right. As far as they are concerned. I am responsible for the Database, they are responsible for the Server OS and there is a grey area as far as SQL server is concerned (depends who you ask and if they are having a bad day or not!).

Just to cheer you up a little more I have another little snippet. When we buy machines the central IT people have a standard image that is on all machines (fairly standard practice I know), this means a new box can be just plugged in and used immediately.

These guys don't do that (suprised anyone?), they insist that there are first some tests done on it which take a day or two, then they completely wipe the machine and rebuild it which takes them a minimum of two days (not allowing for the day to send it to them, and they day to send it back). So the minimum extra time for a new desktop machine that they need is over a working week, that's assuming they're doing nothing else. Don't forget that they are now incredibly busy until at least August.

So why am I telling you all this - well, I just bought my manager a new machine and they have to sort it out. It arrived yesterday. My boss knows it arrived. We arranged to do the first set of testing (yes we're allowed to arrange this test!!) which will be done today. They will get the machine monday or tuesday at the latest.

Anyone care to take bets on how long it will take to return? Just in case any of you do I will give you a clue. In March last year a machine was bought for one of my users, she wanted something smaller than usual so a cube was bought for her. They had to configure this. Initially they were to configure it with Windows 2000, by the time it came back, she needed some software which only works with XP, so they had to take it back and go through it all again. They still haven't finished configuring it!! Occasionally this poor users asks if I've heard anything. There is nothing else I can tell her that I haven't already or that she hasn't worked out for herself. They have a job logging system (they don't appear to use it but when ever a user asks for help they are told to detail jobs on it) so I actually have a record of this one. No one believes this is happening. I'm sure my boss thinks I'm making it all up, I've given up complaining about them to her so that she can see it for herself. She doesn't understand IT unless her computer stops working or she can't get the BBC ticker tape working so that she can see the football scores.

The only consolation that I have for people like Kristen is that my taxes also pay for these guys.

I'm off the the pub ...

I'm sure there will be another episode soon

Steve no function beer well without
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  04:36:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You just knew there'd be more didn't you but I would be interested in more general comments about this one.

They have now told me that my users can't have EM on their machines (even though some of them have done the SQL Server admin course) but that they can have QA. I was told that the reason was that "it's dangerous to allow users to have access to EM." I can see that to a point this is right, but surely if the access rights are set correctly this shouldn't be a big problem should it? Or am I missing something significant?

I did point out that you could do anything with QA that you can do with EM and was told that QA was a safer option, whereupon I was very impressed with myself as I managed to keep my face straight. Presumably typing DROP... by accident is a fairly safe option.

The reason some users have access to EM is that they have a testing database which they need to manipulate etc. Not all users have access to EM.

These guys setup a database with confidential information on it. When they did it they wouldn't agree with the developer about who was responsible for security. I stumbled across this database by accident and realised that there was no security so I told them. I then got moaned at and was told that only admins had these tools so the security wasn't a problem. When I pointed out that anyone with Excel 2k or Access 2k and higher could also access this data I was seen as a major troublemaker. The resulting e-mails went very high up, by the time It was sorted I really wished I hadn't bothered - serves me right for "stumbling" across this database I suppose but seeing as some of the confidential information was about me I felt I had a right.

Anyway I appreciate the moral support I've been getting

thanks


Steve no function beer well without
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RickD
Slow But Sure Yak Herding Master

United Kingdom
3608 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  04:45:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

Anyone know any good jobs sites?


www.jobserve.com

Sounds like you need it...
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X002548
Not Just a Number

15586 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  11:52:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll help....I'll drink heavily tonight for you...no, wait...what's different about that?

Man, I'll tell you...when your held hostage by idiots, it's best to keep quiet and let them fail...



Brett

8-)
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22431 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  12:12:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wonder if there's a www.jobsworth.com that you could send your colleague's CVs to?!

I could take the view that QA is more appropriate than EM. The local Gurus here will champion that anything else is a longer-term-liability, but of course there is a lot of learning in the skills they have acquired.

My view on the "price" of SQL Server, when talking to clients, is that they should not be fooled by the $1,000-ish sticker price, there is no substitute for the $100,000 DBA to look after it, and any other form of thinking is short term and they will regret. They don't need to buy a $100,000 DBA, but they certainly need to budget for the services of someone good to look after them.

Having said that, my rambling thoughts are:

Its easy to miss-click something in EM, or click the adjacent menu option, I know I've done it! A lot harder to type D R O P when you meant C R E A T E.

However, using QA means you've got to learn how to do it, and how to do it RIGHT. Whereas EM provides a whole heap of "muppet-mode check boxes and stuff" that at least make you aware of what options are available for various commands.

Bottom line is that you could write stuff that your developers can use in QA. For example, my folk use an SProc along the lines of:

kristen_SP_MakeDB 'DBName', 'IIS_Password', 'ADMIN_Password', 'Type'

Where "Type" is LIVE, DEV, TEST, TEMP, ARCHIVE.

This SProc makes the DB, creates a user of "MyDBName_IIS" and one called "MyDBName_ADMIN", and based on the database type [usage] pops it into an appropriate backup strategy.

This makes sure the name is in "House style", stops them putting the DB in the wrong folder, or forgetting to add it to Backup Wizard, and so on.

Actually, thinking of it, I have also done a SProc for them for:
RESTORE
"I need a backup before I do this risky task"
"Copy data from Here to There"
"What's the columns for this table?"
"What's the JOIN syntax for these two tables"

and also some web pages that provide "SQL snippets" for reoccurring tasks.

Forget about filing in your CV, you could make yourself completely indispensable here, providing QA tools for your developers, and have the boot on the other foot!

Kristen
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MuadDBA
Aged Yak Warrior

USA
628 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  13:33:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
here's what you do:

Find a PC with a HD big enough to hold the DB in question. Back it up to that HD. do tran log backup. put db in single user mode. do another tran log backup. then drop the DB.

with their level of knowledge, you should be practically untraceable, and then tell them you'd like to wokr with them to recover the DB. After 3 days or so, upload your backup to the network somewhere and restore it. tell them it was a backup copy you started making just in case something like this happened.
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22431 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  14:07:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You're not so crazy after all, Joe. Or maybe you are ... <g>

Kristen
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MuadDBA
Aged Yak Warrior

USA
628 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  14:49:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
if I tried that here, my boss would beat me to a bloody pulp. he keeps a bat at his desk just for such cases. so it keeps those crazy ideas from becoming reality.
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eyechart
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

USA
3575 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  15:10:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by crazyjoe

here's what you do:
<SNIP>
then drop the DB.



Could you imagine if some ploy like this went wrong. You'd get the wrong guy fired! (yourself)

I think the best course of action for this would be to write up a letter and describe in great detail what the situation is. Send this to everyone in the company who is a decision maker, or who's ass would be on the line if the company lost a lot of money.

Lay it out there the way it is, and tell them how the decisions that have been made are putting the business at risk.

That is all you can do really.



-ec

Edited by - eyechart on 06/25/2004 15:12:56
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X002548
Not Just a Number

15586 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  15:11:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by crazyjoe

if I tried that here, my boss would beat me to a bloody pulp. he keeps a bat at his desk just for such cases. so it keeps those crazy ideas from becoming reality.



Where in the world are you Joe? I forget

Brett

8-)
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ValterBorges
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

USA
1429 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2004 :  00:52:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow,
We just had the same issues with a group in UK/ doing Navision on SQL 7 with no maintenance, no space, no backups, 40,000 tables, 3,500 triggers, 1000+ jobs, 1000+ dts, no DBA.

Could it be? It's too much of a coincedence.
It would be too funny.
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22431 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2004 :  01:13:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What's with the people in the UK looking after SQL databases ... Errmmmm .... <THUD>

Kristen
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keithc1
Yak Posting Veteran

88 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2004 :  11:39:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't jump to conclusions with these people and what they tell you especially if your new to the job. I can't imagine that if the data is of an important nature that they do not have some type of fault tolerant measures in place. Maybe there backing it up over to a network share etc that your not seeing or being replicated out and backed up somewhere else. Just saying be 100% sure on what your saying and be sure of the facts before you go on any rescue missions. If it is fact then i'd sit at the server and delete all database files then show them there incompetance, they probably have share permissions and not directory security setup so you could just login as whoever and help yourself. Ok Ok im being sarcastic here just saying people will sometimes lead you to beleive something is the case then when it is brought up at a meeting and your the one who brings it up, they then step up with all the disaster recovery documents/ backup reports in place and make you look like an idiot.

Keithc MCSE MCSA
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2004 :  19:11:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In response to ValterBorges, unfortunately it IS too much of a coincidence, I say unfortunately because it suggests there are more people like that in the world than the ones I work with - or maybe it's a british thing.

Thanks to all for the suggestions. Kris - I like your idea about setting up stored proc's, it appeals to my slightly warped sense of humour, maybe it's a british thing. Brett, if you drank heavier than I did last night then tell me where to send the funeral flowers.

There is of course another update:- I've seen a job in Botswana that is looking increasingly tempting

No doubt there will be more to follow next week

Steve no function beer well without
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derrickleggett
Pointy Haired Yak DBA

USA
4184 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2004 :  22:45:12  Show Profile  Visit derrickleggett's Homepage  Send derrickleggett an AOL message  Send derrickleggett a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
- or maybe it's a british thing.

That's comforting, since it's one of the major financial centers of the world. :)

MeanOldDBA
derrickleggett@hotmail.com

When life gives you a lemon, fire the DBA.
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22431 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2004 :  01:30:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Blast! Rumbled! With less reliable data, Brett, your country could get rid of its trillion dollar deficit too

Kristen
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RickD
Slow But Sure Yak Herding Master

United Kingdom
3608 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2004 :  05:15:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ValterBorges

Wow,
We just had the same issues with a group in UK/ doing Navision on SQL 7 with no maintenance, no space, no backups, 40,000 tables, 3,500 triggers, 1000+ jobs, 1000+ dts, no DBA.

Could it be? It's too much of a coincedence.
It would be too funny.


We've got Navision where i'm currently working... What a pile of s**t it is... Wish I could get it onto it's own server and leave it there to rot in it's own juices...
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MuadDBA
Aged Yak Warrior

USA
628 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2004 :  14:22:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by X002548

quote:
Originally posted by crazyjoe

if I tried that here, my boss would beat me to a bloody pulp. he keeps a bat at his desk just for such cases. so it keeps those crazy ideas from becoming reality.



Where in the world are you Joe? I forget

Brett

8-)



I work for ABN AMRO North America. You can probably imagine how small a sense of humor bankers have for this sort of thing. We have incompetnece at the server maintenance level here, but nowhere near this magnitude.
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2004 :  06:15:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LATEST UPDATE:

I've just had a user ring me to say that she hasn't been able to get onto the Intranet for two days and she needs some information of it. Unfortunately for her she is under their remit so I asked her to ring their helpdesk (LMAO) and if they couldn't help that she should ring me back. When she rang I checked and I could see the Intranet so I assumed it was related to their part of the network. While I was checking this out I discovered that others on their network could also see th Intranet so it was clearly something related to the machine or perhaps the user. She rang me back to say that she had been told that the Intranet was nothing to do with them so she had to assume that it was down!

I'm speeechless, they didn't even perform a basic check, they have remote access to her machine (I'm not allowed it of course), if I was within a few miles of them I would go there and slap someone. Is it just me?


Steve no function beer well without
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