This chapter examined the tools to help you build a maintenance plan, primarily the Database Maintenance Plan Wizard, which can schedule routine maintenance tasks, including backups. This chapter also looked at some of the DBCC commands, which can be used to monitor and repair corruption and fragmentation in the database. The final tool this chapter looked at is the SQLMAINT utility, which allows command-line control of your maintenance tasks.
Just as with your car, performing regular maintenance on your SQL Server databases will help you avoid problems and keep everything running smoothly. With the value placed on data these days and the high cost of downtime, the adage "An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure" still holds true.
The next chapter, "SQL Server Scheduling and Notification," will look at the SQL Server Agent, and how you can utilize it to expand on, and further automate, your database maintenance tasks.