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Auditing a SQL Server: Discovery and Documentation

Ben Johnston begins a new series:

Inheriting a server, whether as an inexperienced user or an experienced DBA, has many challenges. It’s very helpful to evaluate the servers, document issues, and record the current configuration. It can also be beneficial to evaluate the current state of servers you have owned since they were built or even in preparation for a formal audit. The discovery and documentation phase of an audit will set you up for later detailed audits, or it may serve as the complete scope of the audit.

This is the first part of a series on evaluating and auditing SQL Server and Azure SQL Database. Auditing SQL is a very broad topic, so I have broken it down into several sections. This section will cover the major categories that should happen in a basic SQL Server discovery audit. An initial examination of your environment is primarily documentation and looking for critical issues. This includes basic server and SQL engine configuration, physical configuration items such as disk and memory, critical items such as backup state, database configuration, basic code smells, application integration, and high-level security configuration.

Read on for some of the things Ben looks at.

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