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10 Reasons You Need Half a DBA

Author: Robin Caputo | | September 30, 2015

Many companies need part-time database administrators. Sometimes it’s for a one-time need, such as during a transition to a new platform or a surge in overflow work. Other times there’s a persistent need for such fractional services, like covering for DBAs on vacation or family leave. Many companies also maintain databases that do not require the services of a full-time DBA, but do need to be monitored and maintained.

But the overriding need for fractional DBAs is driven by the stunning growth in the amount of data being collected, the number and size of databases used to hold it, and the demand for qualified database administrators to maintain it and analyze it—all on a growing variety of platforms.

Datavail has just released a whitepaper exploring 10 Reasons You Need Half a DBA. Along with exploring the uses for half a DBA, the whitepaper also explains how such services can be delivered so as to maximize utility while minimizing costs. For example, your 20 hours/week of DBA services might include four hours each on five different platforms involving numerous different database experts. You can’t get that from a single, 20-hour employee!

Here are some of the uses for half a DBA explored more deeply in the whitepaper, 10 Reasons You Need Half a DBA. Download your copy today!

  1. More Work Than Your Staff Can Handle

    In a March 2015 survey of DBAs, Dell found almost half of the DBAs surveyed manage more than 25 databases with roughly 70 percent managing databases from at least two vendors. The survey found both the number of databases and products a single DBA must support are increasing.

  2. Round-the-Clock, Vacation, and Holiday Coverage

    A fractional DBA can cover nights, vacation time, and even holidays to allow your staff the time they need to decompress or stay home if and when they are ill or needing to attend to an event requiring family leave.

  3. Reducing DBA Burnout and Turnover

    One of the leading reasons DBAs quit is burnout. The seemingly incessant need to work overtime, holidays, and weekends takes a toll on staff and erodes your staff’s morale. Roughly two-fifths of data professionals are projected to leave the field in the near future, either because of retirement or because they are moving into a business-related job, according to a Unisphere Research survey reported in Database Trends and Applications.

  4. Better System Maintenance and Customer Service

    A well-maintained system and up-to-date database results in fewer operational issues. Applying patches, for example, is often tedious work, but supports database reliability and security. It is also a task well suited to a fractional DBA. A fractional DBA can also be used for any number of basic customer-service-related tasks such as responding to tickets or alerts.

  5. Off-Peak Back-Ups, Diagnostics, and Tuning

    While your DBAs are sleeping, a remote DBA can perform essential maintenance tasks such as back-ups, diagnostics, and tuning. Shifting these tasks to off-peak hours optimizes your system as well as your time and resources.

  6. Better System Performance During Peak Times

    During peak hours, your database should be available and performing optimally. To ensure this, you should be conducting routine maintenance as well as constantly evaluating and analyzing your system based on its baseline performance. You can undertake such proactive tasks with the assistance of a fractional, remote DBA.

  7. Increasing Job Satisfaction and Human Resource Optimization

    Staff morale can be eroded from constant demands on their time. Adding a fractional DBA to attend to low-level work, such as responding to alerts or routine maintenance, frees employees to do high-value work that is rewarding and challenging. As John Rivard, research director for infrastructure and operations at Gartner, told CIO, “Highly engaged employees are innovative, loyal, and they’re far less likely to leave.”

  8. Expert DBAs Needed with Skills in Obscure Technologies

    There may be a situation in which a new database platform has been added, but there isn’t an employee on staff with the skills needed to maintain or manage those resources. This often occurs when firms merge with or acquire other companies. If maintaining that legacy system does not warrant a full-time hire, contracting with a databases services firm makes sense. If that database needs to be migrated to a different platform your DBAs prefer, a database services firm should be able to handle the migration—no matter what platforms are involved.

  9. Support for Systems with Less-Than-Fulltime Needs

    With a fractional DBA, you can hire expertise to meet precisely your needs and no more. When and if the work load increases or a project necessitates, you can adjust accordingly based on the amount of time and services needed.

  10. Costs Less than Hiring a Full Time DBA

    “On average, Datavail saves clients 25 to 60 percent on their database administration costs while providing 24/7 support, improving quality, and adding flexibility,” stated Mark Perlstein, Datavail’s chief executive officer, in response to a Forrester Research study on the financial benefits associated with outsourcing.

So there you have it: ten reasons to hire half a DBA. For the complete lowdown, including best practices on fractional services delivery, download the Datavail whitepaper, 10 Reasons You Need Half a DBA. To speak with a Datavail representative about our fractional DBA services, contact us today!

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