Putting a number on the full value of having a great Database Administrator (DBA) would be a nearly impossible task, to say the least. This role is responsible for not only managing the data that keeps your business up and running, but finding ways to truly optimize those systems to help your business thrive.
Database downtime is not only expensive, but it could prevent your company from completing even the most basic of functions (and who can afford their business to stand idle?). Attributing a number to the value of that would be near impossible. That’s why the decision of who is managing that data should be treated with the same reverence. So, why would you leave that responsibility to anyone but an expert?
For a variety of reasons many companies end up with the less than ideal solution of an “Accidental DBA” managing this business critical technology. This is usually a member of the IT team who has the most experience with related technology, but isn’t necessarily up to speed enough to truly optimize your databases and likely doesn’t have the time to commit while balancing other critical projects.
Does any of this sound familiar? Don’t worry, in the “Definitive Guide to Enterprise Database Management,” we’ve outlined the many other options companies have when it comes to the management of their databases.
Here’s a closer look at an unintentional and in most cases less than ideal management solution that a shocking number of companies rely on:
Telltale Signs of an Accidental DBA
An Accidental DBA is the IT team member who knows “enough” about database management and therefore gets tasked with managing all databases in addition to their primary job responsibilities. The challenge with an Accidental DBA is they “don’t know what they don’t know,” and that’s where costly errors can occur.
Here are a few signs to be on the lookout for to determine if your accidental DBA is over his/her head and needs additional support:
Setup and Configuration Errors - Most Accidental DBAs don’t know how to configure a production database so that it will perform properly.
No Disaster Recovery Plan - A thorough, and tested disaster recovery plan takes significant forethought, strategy, time, resources, planning and deployment to put in place. An Accidental DBA is most likely managing your databases without a comprehensive disaster recovery plan due to their lack of expertise, and/or time, focus, and expectations put upon them in their role as DBA.
Overlooked Maintenance - Accidental DBAs may work with developers to fix immediate problems, but they may not fully understand how changes to applications can (and often do) negatively impact other processes that can cause more problems in the future; and haven’t put proper measures in place to assure the most optimal configuration (and tuning) of the databases.
Spotty Security - Oftentimes Accidental DBAs rely on third-party tools that require a certain level of security, but without proper oversight and consistent management, these tools can become a hole for hackers.
Unfocused Monitoring - Many Accidental DBAs fail to closely monitor databases, either due to a lack of time or understanding of necessary tools, so they’re left being reactive instead of proactive.
Finding a Database Management Solution That Works For Your Company
Although no company would make this choice intentionally, getting by with an Accidental DBA is a situation that is all too common. As with all management options, cost can present a challenge. That shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice on the quality of management your databases are receiving. If this sounds like your DBA situation, don’t worry, there are other better options for database management.
For many companies, the solution is partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) for the management and optimization of their databases. A strong MSP partnership means having a full team of experts dedicated both to the ongoing management and optimization for your databases.
In our “Definitive Guide to Enterprise Database Management,” we’ve defined the ever-changing role of the modern DBA, the most common support options, how to avoid an Accidental DBA, and more. Download your copy here: