What does a DBA actually do? The role of a DBA may not be immediately obvious—and attention isn't generally called to it unless critical support is in need or something has gone horribly wrong. But a DBA cannot be appropriately managed if there isn't a thorough understanding of their capabilities. DBAs are essential to the efficient performance and maintenance of vital databases and the business-critical apps they support, impacting business performance as a whole. Backups, optimization, maintenance, monitoring, training—DBAs do it all. So let's dive into their day-to-day lives with a walkthrough of "a day in the life" of a ManageForce DBA.
The Daily Life of a ManageForce DBA
The daily life of a ManageForce DBA is mostly structured: there are tasks that absolutely need to get done if the business they support is to remain efficient and protected. Of course, DBAs are also called upon to perform incidental tasks, but these will need to be prioritized based on need. On a daily level, Manageforce DBAs must:
Backup. DBAs must ensure that backups are running smoothly and that the backups themselves are stored and encrypted properly. As requested, DBAs may need to sync, recover, or simply inspect data that has already been backed up or archived.
Maintain. All IT systems require maintenance. Patches, updates, and issue resolution need to get done regularly if the system is to remain both operational and efficient. A backlog of maintenance tasks—however easy they may be—could leave a system either vulnerable or unstable.
Monitor. A significant portion of a DBAs day is spent on monitoring. Monitoring may occur passively throughout the working hours, but it still requires conscious effort for the DBA, who must respond to any potential issues in a timely fashion.
Tune. DBAs who are proactive rather than merely reactive will seek to optimize their infrastructure on a regular basis. In a modern organization, any improvements made at an IT-level will radically improve the organization's efficiencies as a whole.
Train. As new employees come on board, it is necessary for the DBA to bring them up to speed on the organization's data-related operations. DBAs may not have a forward-facing IT role, but they nevertheless do perform occasional training especially in highly data-centric organizations.
Optimizing DBA Performance through ITSM and Program Management
Organizations that seek to optimize their database performance and impact on the overall business growth should consider a database managed service provider with a comprehensive IT Service Management (ITSM) platform. An ITSM platform will streamline and optimize the necessary tasks that the DBA performs, ensuring that all necessary tools, systems, procedures, and governance are appropriately controlled to deliver a consistent managed database service experience. The more consistent the operations of the DBA, the smoother the operations of the business. An ITSM platform will tailor both tools and services to the unique operational needs of an organization.
ITSM platforms should include valuable tools, designed with the goal of facilitating the work of the DBA: ticketing systems, monitoring tools, data backups, project status, time management, content management, and HelpDesk functions. In addition to the ITSM toolset, make sure there is also a comprehensive program management system supporting the tools, which will include procedures and governance. Technical program managers responsible for managing the DBA as a resource will also be a valuable role for your business; they will leverage both their experience and expertise to provide strategic database management services with long-term operational benefits as the main focus.
Comprehensive standard operating procedures will provide an outline for all processes and the use of all tools. The final component is the use of Service Level Agreements, which is an external-facing set of standards and requirements to which the database management service must follow to provide full value to the client. The ITSM toolset, technical program managers, SOPs, and SLAs all work in concert to provide a consistent and predictable managed database service experience. All of these elements are woven together for the support and the management of your key database environments.
A comprehensive, detailed, and forward-thinking ITSM platform and Program Management System shows that an MSP can provide long-term benefits and improvements for your database environments. Not only will it add value to your organization's IT infrastructure, but it will optimize, streamline, and improve your DBA's day-to-day tasks. Through a forward-thinking managed service provider, organizations can delegate their routine, mundane "chore" IT tasks—such as backups, monitoring, and updating—offloading them to a consistent and conscientious database service provider. The internal IT team can then focus purely on revenue generating tasks and innovative projects, for the growth and the improvement of the business.