Beyond the runbook; DR Organization

Perhaps you have heard about a runbook–the documented instructions you should follow in the event of a disaster or some situation where an outage occurs.  Instructions are great for IT folks as they give a reference to follow–and they don’t freak out even if we might. They don’t, however, include instructions for everyone–what about the folks that aren’t tapping away on the keyboard?  In this episode, we chat with Greg Moore about his experience in emergency situations outside of IT and how we might apply these principles in our environment.

Whether you are directly in the line of fire or support those that do, we think you will find this conversation interesting.

Episode Quotes

“No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”

“When something bad really happens, the first thing you should do is sit down and make yourself a cup of tea. [It will] force you to slow down and stop and think about what’s going on.”

“One of the challenges that we as IT people have is that we tend to think that our way is the best way.”

“I’m a huge fan of people learning the how and the why behind things, not just what to do in X, but why are we doing X, why are we doing Y?”

Listen to Learn

01:34     Compañero Shout-Outs
03:27     SQL Server in the News
04:38     Intro to the guest and topic
06:49     The beginning of the caving example as an object lesson in IT disasters
10:37     Make sure we don’t make things worse
13:27     Recognize your limitations – know what help to offer and when to step back
16:03     What happens when you don’t trust your team – don’t be a micro-manager
18:48     Training helps in most situations but not always
25:03     Always ask “why”
26:40     Don’t be afraid to practice possible disaster scenarios – Jeff Bezos & Delta examples
32:39     How can we manage our managers
33:54     Ask questions to assess the situation before you charge in
36:35     SQL Family Questions
39:47     Closing Thoughts

Our Guest

Greg Moore

Greg Moore is a graduate of RPI. There, he majored in CompSci, but probably spent as much time hiking, canoeing, caving and rock-climbing as he did studying. He started working with SQL Server 4.21a in 1995 and has survived numerous upgrades. He’s been a Director and later VP of IT at several startups including PowerOne Media, TownNews and Traffiq and now consults. These days, when he’s not busy with playing with SQL Server or spending time with his family, he can often be found underground caving or teaching cave rescue with the NCRC. While his focus is on the operations side of DBA, his interests include DR, performance and general IT problem solving. He is the author of: IT Disaster Response: Lessons Learned in the Field. You can find it here:

Meet the Hosts

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Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at and provides training through SQL Trail events.

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Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

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Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

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