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What Look for in a DBA Managed Service Provider

Robin Caputo | | July 20, 2015

Data plays an integral role in business and the explosion in the amount of data poses a real challenge to database managers. Often, managers find that the hands-on management of all of this data overwhelming. So what options are there?

Cloud-based database management provides organizations with database expertise when they are needed, where they are needed, and at the scale needed. There are several things to look for in a managed service provider.

A Managed Service Provider Checklist

A managed service provider should be clear about the services and values it offers its clients. It should be easy for clients to have the technology capabilities they need in a focused area over which they have control.

For example, our delivery model starts with a specific technology practice structure. A U.S.-based lead database administrator is the main contact for all our clients. Each is assigned a U.S.-based lead Tier 3 database administrator and a named, U.S.-based service manager as well. The client is then assigned to one of our offshore teams in that specific technology practice – this consists of subgroups of 20 to 30 people working in three, nine-hour shifts daily. This allows us to provide 24×7 coverage for technologies such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, or MongoDB.

Our Tier 3 service layer, for example, consists of professionals with 10 or more years of experience. Every database administrator works both nights and weekends so that no one ever works only nights and weekends.

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A managed service provider should be able to monitor everything that is happening with a client’s database. This includes tracking automatic alerts as well as other types of communications across media, such as e-mail, instant messaging, ticketing, and telephone conversations.

The contracts should be simple and flexible. The terms should be easily understood and services easily measured and governed. Operational delivery and projects, for example, can be outlined within the same contract structure. There’s no need for a complex scope-of-work to be defined to the nth degree.

Datavail’s services are delivered to the client through a fixed-price, monthly contract. The fee is based on a level-of-effort model. It is flexible, eliminating some of the typically contentious problems occurring between price and project scope. We work with the client to estimate the efforts – and costs – associated with each tier of work. This includes both on- and offshore work. We can, for example, divide the capacity needed between a U.S.-based Tier 3 service block and offshore Tier 2 and 3 services. This gives the client a specific block of managed capacity.

You should also have the ability to adjust your priorities within scope of the monthly contract. This will offer you a high degree of flexibility.

Regardless, a managed service provider should always work in partnership with client. We have more than 300 customers who have been with our organization an average of seven years. Customers stay with us because they know we are their partner in database administration.

Our recent white paper, Is Your Head in the Cloud When it Comes to Database Management, describes the value that managed service providers can offer and also explores the level of service clients can expect.

If you are looking for a database managed service provider, Datavail has the experience and expertise you need, when you need it. Whether it is coping with explosive data growth, 24×7 coverage, or managing and tuning existing databases, contact us for more information about a custom solution tailored to your organization’s specific needs.

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