During the setup wizard, SQL Server should ask for your email address. It should suggest that you use a distribution list for people on your team, so that someone gets the alerts when you’re out on vacation. Then, it should send these common failure alerts to you rather than making you set them up manually.
It should ask where you want your backups written to. It should suggest that you back up to a UNC path, not store the backups locally, lest the box crash and you lose everything.
It should ask if this is a new server, or replacing an existing server. Your phone probably does this – shouldn’t your expensive database server? I’m not saying it has to migrate the existing data and settings over – that’s genuinely hard, I get it. (However, I’ll say that the fact that Apple phones & laptops do this means that I upgrade more often. Upgrading is painless – go buy the new one, your stuff transfers over, boom, done. The pain of moving to a new SQL Server means we don’t do upgrades as often, and I know Microsoft wants to spur adoption. This kind of enhancement would make that happen.) I get that we’re not going to get automated moves, but the very least, go connect to that SQL Server to get a rough idea of how many databases and how much size is involved for this next step…
It should ask how much backup history you want to keep in that backup folder. As you move a slider back and forth between, say, 1 day and 1 year, it should show you how much space will be required on your backup target, and whether you have enough space for that now. Sure, you probably have something to sweep those backups off to a more long-term destination, but this is a good start.
It should ask how much data you’re willing to lose. As you move a slider back and forth between 1 minute and 1 week, it should show you the full, differential, and log backup schedule it’s going to use in order to meet your goal, plus corruption checking jobs. If you’re replacing an existing server, it should also show you roughly how long your restores are going to take. At the very least, it could open the maintenance plan wizard with suggestions already filled out. (I know, you prefer Ola Hallengren’s maintenance scripts, and I do too, but…baby steps, right?)
Shouldn’t we start users off by helping them protect the data?