What Makes DBA Support So Important?
Data is the lifeblood of a modern company. Depending on your industry, your databases may contain detailed client records, internal reports, actionable intelligence, intellectual property and much more. Whether you store the content in your own data center or in the cloud, successful database administration is an absolute must-have.
If your team doesn’t currently have the necessary database administrator (DBA) headcount to provide database services such as constant monitoring, troubleshooting and maintenance, that doesn’t mean you have to drastically increase your staffing level. Rather, you can find success by augmenting your internal personnel with third-party DBA support.
Why does database administration matter today?
For a quick refresher on why it’s so important to give your DBAs support and assistance, it’s worth remembering all the tasks these technical employees have to perform today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a long list of DBA responsibilities, including:
- Determining database user needs.
- Designing and building databases.
- Providing database security.
- Backing up and restoring data.
- Troubleshooting and raising database efficiency.
- Modifying and testing database structures.
Any of those database management jobs on its own is important. Taken together, they show the centrality of the database administrator role in today’s IT departments. If any of those tasks are not getting done in a punctual and effective manner, there is a good reason to seek out third-party DBA support.
When databases themselves start experiencing issues — such as slow performance or a weakened security posture — DBA support is especially important. A database failure could slow down the entire organization’s everyday tasks, while security gaps could create the risk of fines or reputational damage.
Whatever your company’s database posture may be — from a large-scale Oracle database or Microsoft SQL Server deployment in your own data center to a public cloud option or a hybrid deployment, the need for effective database administration is universal. Databases are too central to business operations to ignore.
How can DBA support solve common issues?
Some of the most frequent database performance issues are relatively easy to solve, given the right level of DBA experience and engagement. Of course, that type of support is not automatic, and it’s relatively common for businesses to need more database administration work than their full-time employees can provide.
If your organization is smaller, it may not have any full-time DBAs on staff. In the case of a larger business, there may be some DBA presence, but not enough to provide round-the-clock service or respond to more severe issues. This is where contracted DBA support comes in.
Investing in DBA support can bring resolution to common database management concerns, such as:
- Database performance problems: When databases are experiencing slow queries, applications may run slowly, system CPUs may be overtaxed, and other issues may make everyday work difficult. The root cause could be anything from a data filtering issue to a more central problem with the database code, which can be diagnosed and resolved through effective DBA support.
- Frequent error messages: From small-scale errors to full-on system crashes, databases are complex systems prone to a wide variety of issues. If your organization is suffering from a large or increasing number of problems — such as permission-denied errors or data corruption — it can pay to bring in DBA support for troubleshooting purposes.
- A lack of ongoing monitoring and maintenance: Databases aren’t meant to be left alone. Effective database monitoring and upkeep are necessary to keep performance drops or more serious problems from creeping in and causing issues for the company at large. Working with external DBA support personnel is a way to fill any gaps without adding permanent employees.
By finding an effective and economical way to mitigate these faults and more, you can keep your databases functioning effectively and put your attention back where it belongs: on growing your business. That could mean a full-scale database-managed service contract with virtual DBA personnel on call, a consulting services contract, or one of a variety of other engagement levels.
What are your DBA support options?
DBA support can take a few forms depending on your needs and budget, including one-off engagements and ongoing intervention. This could involve general support for your database environment with a reduced internal headcount. Alternatively, especially in a tough hiring environment, it could mean matching skills with needs, for instance, providing Oracle DBA ability when you require Oracle database support but can’t find candidates.
With a perfect match between services and requirements, you can keep your databases running at peak effectiveness. Specific types of DBA support services include:
- DBA project assistance: When you have a database administration task to complete but don’t have the internal expertise or headcount to effectively handle it, a one-off DBA support engagement can provide the necessary strategy, execution and more. These tasks can include backup, training, security auditing, extract transform and load (ETL) execution, a full cloud platform database migration or one of numerous other services.
- 24×7 DBA support: If you’re interested in permanently augmenting your team with remote DBA service, you can set up a managed services contract for ongoing assistance. By putting multiple remote DBA personnel on the task, you can eliminate a point of failure and gain the peace of mind that comes from having your data looked after by experts.
If either of these remote DBA support options — or anything in between — sounds like a match for your company’s database administration needs, contact a Solvaria expert today.