The Multifunctioning DBA

Jan 10 2012   8:00AM GMT

DBA is a full time job

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Today I received a call from a co-worker at my previous job. It was great to hear from him and catch up, but the main purpose of his call was not just to see how I was doing with the new kid. Of course not right, why would I even think that. Now do not get me wrong, I do not mind getting calls from previous co-workers about work and I am willing to help them out if and when I can. I really have no issue with that. But the point of this post is to all managers out there that think dba work is not a full time job and that one of your windows admins can do this in there spare time. First off I bet that the guys on your team that are not DBA’s are actually busy doing work that is in there job descriptions and do not have much time to focus on DBA work. Second is that being a DBA is a full time job in any enterprise. In this particular case I would say that they need three or more full time DBA’s to get done what needs to get done.

I am not sure I understand why some managers do not think that being a DBA is a full time thing and they think that they do not need more than one guy who can manage databases in there spare time. That is just CRAZY!! What is the most important asset to any company these days?  I think that the answer is DATA. Where does the data live? That is correct, it lives in the DATABASE. So why would you not think that managing your most important asset is a full time job? Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more per year on database licensing and hardware costs but then they do not think that the investment of a couple full time DBA’s is worth it? Really, i mean what happens if you lose a critical database or you have corruption in a critical database or a database that you have housing sensitive information gets hacked? How much does that cost? Ask Sony about that and I am sure they will tell you how significant that is. How do you prevent this from happening or at least mitigate your losses if something does happen? You have a DBA staff that can help design and implement security strategies, restore strategies, high availability strategies and Disaster Recovery strategies. This really is a full time job and that is not even taking into consideration things like new deployments and break fix issues that happen every day all the time? We have all heard, “My query is running slow today HELP..” Who fixes that? A DBA…

So please listen to me when I say that you need to hire full time DBA’s and make sure you have enough to handle the work that needs to be done. I have been in a few interviews as of late looking for a new DBA and they are hard to come by. So if you find a good one, make sure that you treat them good and do not overwork them. Staff appropriately and just understand what a big and important undertaking being a DBA is. Do not let your lack of understanding what it means to be a DBA be the reason your company can not recover from a data loss situation. Hire good DBA’s and give them the support and training that they need in order to keep your companies number one asset safe and secure and accessible.


2  Comments on this Post

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  • TechTalker
    I must concur with Colin that the DBA role in an organization is paramount, as with many other positions, and that whether the database is Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, etc., you should always make sure that the DBA position is not taken lightly. Every organization that I have ever worked in, present included, has leveraged dedicated DBAs to install, configure, administer, monitor, backup, secure, design, etc. their database domains. After all, the database holds the crown jewel, and in many cases the competitive advantage of an organization ... the DATA.
    2,310 pointsBadges:
  • Colin Smith
    TechTalker, Thank you for your support on this. It just really bothers me how management expects data to be safe, secure, and accessible and accessible in an instant at that, but they do not understand how much work it really is to design and implement solutions to meet the business requirements. I am glad to be working for a company now that does have this understanding. I just wish that all companies would realize how important the DBA role really is. They know how important the data is so I wish they could put 2 and 2 together.
    945 pointsBadges:

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