I am learning how to manage databases for my company and while I have pretty good understanding of using a database, I can definately see that it is completely different administering a database.
My possition is we are a small team and we previously had no one manageing the database servers, if something went wrong we would fix it but there was no pro-active maintenance.
I am putting together some documentation of best practices that we should be using, fixes to problems discovered, and methods to prevent issues from occuring. At the moment my managers are reluctant to patch the DB Servers (OS and DB Software), which I believe is insanity but they are senior and "know best".
Our environment is Server 2003, with 5 DB Servers, three MSSQL 2005 and two MSSQL2000. The DB servers are all private and do not face the internet. They are behind our firewall. The fact they are not public is the reasoning behind the managers reluctance to patch the servers.
What I would like to know is:
How people manage patching of the SQL Servers and OS? Is it necessary to patch them? List item When do you apply patches (immeadiately, after a couple days to wait for problems to be encountered and documented, other)? List item White papers, technical documentation, good blogs, etc that you can recommend. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I believe that they should be patched to at the least the most recent SP and perhaps the second recent Cummalative Update, but I dont have any form of best practices to base this on so would be most keen to learn what people do.
If you need further information please dont hesitate in contacting me.