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What Would Happen If Your DBA Went Away?

Author: Scott Frock | | March 8, 2017

What would happen if your DBA went away? This scenario is more likely than you may think.  Your DBA could go away — on vacation, fall ill, or simply accept another job.  Given the critical nature of this role to the stability of core IT services, the business must have contingency plans to de-risk this scenario.

Steps to mitigate the situation

You can’t prevent your DBA from moving on to another job; instead you have to plan for it. What you can do is to minimize the business impact. Here are some suggestions:

  • Make sure that database backup and restore procedures are well established and the backups are reliable. Test backups by simulating restoration of production databases in a variety of possible situations.
  • Deploy 24×7 monitoring tools that help you watch not only server metrics like memory, disk, and CPU, but database metrics that give insight to the database performance and health. There are a variety of commercial tools available and sometimes a DBA will need to develop a custom script to ensure monitoring of all critical IT services.
  • Create a disaster recovery plan and ensure that all the artifacts and relevant information are available to everyone.
  • Make sure that procedures are not just verbally explained but communicated in writing. Documentation is the first step towards creating a productive and process-driven work culture.
  • Stay current. Your operating system, virtual machine, and database version should all be “in-support” by the vendors. This is a best practice not only from a security standpoint but also a supportability standpoint. Modern systems have less outages than their predecessor versions.

Consider enlisting the support of remote DBA companies

This is an option to consider especially if you have a single point of failure in the DBA function.  The option of leveraging a managed service is a popular choice because today’s business runs 24×7. A managed service company can either supplement your existing DBA, or provide a full DBA service, to give you a DBA function that is dependable and consistently meets SLAs.

To learn more about the DBA’s evolving role in today’s changing environment please download Datavail’s recently released white paper, “Single Point of Failure: Can You Afford to Lose Your DBA?,” or contact Datavail today. With more than 800 database administrators worldwide, Datavail is the largest database services provider in North America. As a reliable provider of 24×7 managed services for applications, BI/Analytics, and databases, Datavail can support your organization, regardless of the build you’ve selected.


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