DBA Test/Development Server Best Practices

These are things I learned from a hardware failure of a test server (you might also call it a staging area). So what’s the big deal? Developers should have all their code checked into source control and nothing critical should be on there right?

Sadly no. These are things you should do on your test server to limit your exposure as a DBA.

1. Treat the server as a production server. This includes transaction log backups, backups of user accounts, SSIS, SSRS, SQL Agent jobs, and Windows Tasks.

2. Trust, but verify. Trust the developers to be following best practices, after all your job is to make the company money and so is theirs. Periodically issue correspondence with the developers to verify that nothing is running in a production manner.

3. Get a good snapshot/system image from time to time. If someone or something destroys your server, you have something to fall back upon. This is especially true when developers are creating lots of dependencies in their code to OS level libraries.

Setting Up SharePoint Search Error: The Web application at could not be found.

If you are receiving this error:
The Web application at <URL> could not be found. Verify that you have typed the URL correctly. If the URL should be serving existing content, the system administrator may need to add a new request URL mapping to the intended application.

Take a look in Central Administration > Operations > Alternate Access Mappings.

If there is no DNS entry for the server, replace the server name with the IP address. This will get your search capabilities working in most cases.

Here is a little background in my case that might help you. I setup a TFS server and wanted to configure the underlying WSS (Windows SharePoint Services).

Hope this helps!