In this week’s episode of our screenshot interview series, you’re applying for a database professional position who will be on call. You’re not necessarily the DBA, but you’re a member of the team on rotation. While you’re on call, you get an email from the help desk asking if there’s a problem on the production data warehouse server, and they attach this screenshot:
- What do you tell the help desk?
- What actions do you take next?
You can leave your answers in the comments, and I’ll circle back in a few days to talk about my thoughts.
Update 2016/07/10 – Great answers, everybody! So many good answers this week. I shouldn’t have been surprised – you folks are exactly the kinds of people who do this for a living, and you’re used to getting woken up on call, I bet.
For the first question, what I tell the help desk, I’d reply with an email that:
- Ask what drove the call (were they just responding to an automated alert, or had end users called in reporting speed problems?)
- Ask how long it’s looked like this (was it only a 60-second spike, or a 60-minute spike)
- Ask if they have a baseline of what’s normal for this server at this day/time (maybe it’s normally 80%, so we’re only looking at an incrementally higher load)
- Ask if there were any change control activities scheduled for this box or related boxes tonight (like maybe the data warehouse team is reloading 5 years worth of history)
- Ask if there are any other boxes that are experiencing issues (maybe the SSIS box has high CPU too, indicating that there might be a big load going on)
After all, they only emailed me, not call me. Might just be an FYI.
And what do I do? I’d go back to bed. I’m on call, not on email. If you need me, call me.