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3 Surprising Database Management Oversights and How to Fix Them

Posted by Dan Ryan | 1/24/17 2:35 PM

Having the right people in the right positions is what makes your business work.  In IT the reality is that finding strong talent isn’t easy and it can be difficult to have all of your needs staffed properly, including your database administration.  During staffing crunches, we often see Oracle, SQL Server, or NoSQL database management as one of those roles thrust upon an “accidental DBA.”  You know, the tech savvy team member who knows just enough about database management to get your team by in a pinch.

But the danger of making due with an accidental DBA is that they don’t know what they don’t know about database management, and in many cases what they don’t know might hurt (or cost) your company down the line.  Here are a few important points that should not be overlooked, and can make your databases and your company run more efficiently.

Your database backup architecture should match your service level agreements (SLA).

Database backup architectures should be built around a company’s service level agreements.  If your agreement states the organization can tolerate no more than two hours of data loss, you need a system in place to honor that agreement.  Inconsistencies between your data recovery plan and your agreement occur when SLAs are out of sight and out of mind and this can create problems.

What’s the solution? Make sure you have a documented description of your SLAs that is agreed upon by all parties and do regular reviews of backup processes.  Whether that’s a monthly or quarterly review, just make sure it’s regularly tested.  Also, if you  have a disaster recovery site and plan, ensure proper testing in place that is also documented. Make sure they’re all working and have appropriate backups in place.  

Your database servers should be monitored daily.

So often, we see companies that have a reactive system in place where a proactive one should be.  Putting regular monitoring and maintenance of your systems aside until they become a problem can create issues down the road.

Database management should BE PROACTIVE.  Companies need systems in place to make daily monitoring a simple task and provide proactive alerts when problems appear to be developing.

Your database’s performance should be tracked closely.

Database monitoring (whether Oracle, SQL Server, NoSQL, etc.) is important for understanding space usage, allowing you to forecast and plan ahead. For example, with the right data, you may see that your database is growing at 50 gigs/month. With that information, you can plan ahead and make preparations to ensure that you don’t outgrow your database. This governance is particularly useful in a cloud context.  Or, maybe you’ve added new applications, doubling your workload. If you’re not regularly checking the right data points you may miss the impact until it starts seriously affecting the speed of your system.

Again, the solution here is being proactive and having plans in place, that are agreed upon by all important players. Having the right balance of strategy and proactive support in all of your practice areas from database management, managed application or IT services, functional support, or highly specialized development customization is difficult, but important to running your business efficiently. If you don’t have the resources to cover these responsibilities, it may be in your business’ best interest to bring in an expert who can focus on these business-critical functions and efficiently scale up and down to match your individual corporate IT needs throughout the year — a term we like to call rightsourcing.  ManageForce can help you assess the situation with a free 15 minute consultation. (You can schedule it here.)

And learn more about how rightsourcing can assist you with your database management needs in this complimentary strategy brief:

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Topics: Database, Database Management, Database Administration

Written by Dan Ryan

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