You are here possibly because you have a business but you do not have a DBA. This problem is more common than you would think. Mostly because, hiring a full-time dedicated DBA is an expensive affair. A good DBA never runs out of jobs, and it is also very common for other companies to poach your DBA with better offers. So, it is not uncommon to find yourself struggling without an expert data administrator to take care of your company’s valuable data. Now the question boils down to – do you need an in-house DBA? Or, should you go for a remote DBA?
In-house DBA vs. Remote DBA
You should definitely go for an in-house DBA if your company can afford one. Having a DBA at your disposal 24×7 is the best option for any company. But as you must already know, having a DBA on-call, 24×7 is costly, and it can also seem very unnecessary if you can make do with on-call talent. Hiring remote DBA is often the best available option for small and medium sized businesses. But how do you decide if it is time for you to hire a remote DBA for your firm? You can find the answer to that question after evaluating your company’s needs. If you are facing either one or all of the following problems, it is time to make that call!
- Problems with scalable IT infrastructure that is unable to keep up with company growth
- Performance issues that simply refuse to go away
- Multiple locations of company front where on-call DBA talent is not always available
- Issues related to data security and database stability
- Struggles with multiple database platforms that require simultaneous management and maintenance
- Trouble in finding and retaining qualified DBAs
When does it become difficult to retain a skilled in-house DBA?
It is not very uncommon to find yourself without an in-house DBA frequently. Many companies around the world find it extremely challenging to retain DBAs over a prolonged period. This may not be a bad thing in the larger picture. Let us find out why:
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- Retaining a DBA may be difficult for a fast growing company since the databases also grow 3-5 times their size each year.
- The company databases need scalable support 24×7, and that makes the required technology more complex with every passing day.
- Database administration skills require years to perfect. So, it’s fairly common for in-house DBAs to jump ship after years of unhindered database growth.
What are your remote DBA options?
When your company’s server is down, you need someone who is quick on his/her feet, and is capableof troubleshooting all the problems without losing valuable time. You need someone fast, and someone who knows your system inside and out. Their location simply does not matter. Hence, we say, always go for a remote DBA who is at your disposal. The only hiring criteria should be his availability at your beck and call.
Before you plunge into the classified ads or LinkedIn profiles to look for that perfect remote DBA Oracle consultant for your company, let us acquaint you with the different kinds of remote DBAs and remote DBA firms:
The lone wolf
This is a DBA who has quit his job for some soul-searching, and is now contracting full-time. He makes an offer of beaming you out of emergency situations and at a rate that you cannot refuse. He is experienced but bored, and generally swings for an hourly fee.
His recent portfolio may show a few clients in recent history. But he is available during NFL shootouts and Presidential debates. He is way more affordable than a full-time, in-house DBA, but offers a skill-set that he has acquired with years of service at a DBA consultancy firm or data management corp.
It is unlikely for an experienced lone wolf to falter. But he is just human and just ONE human. So most companies just take the gamble, and hire him as their database management solution for at least the time being.
The Global DBA Team
A senior DBA earns about $115,000 per year. Can you imagine paying that kind of money to a team of in-house senior DBAs? If the answer is a “No”, then we suggest you to check out the companies that specialize in remote DBA services. These companies hire a number of different skill levels from different tiers (junior DBA to senior DBA). They are put on call-rotations and escalations. The complexity of an issue dictates the tier that will address it. When a junior fails to solve a problem, a senior DBA is usually brought in. They work by standardized runbooks that guide juniors to handle a failed backup and stagnated SQL server service. The best part about going for a remote DBA company’s service is the standardized protocols they have for addressing most common database issues. That way, any member of their DBA team can handle a call.
Remote Cloud Services
When you opt for a cloud based service like the Oracle database, you are opting for complete platform control by these services. You cannot get involved in HA or DR Failovers. Anything goes wrong with your servers and databases, your vendor fixes them.
It is both simple and cheap. You can solve multiple problems at one go. The only problem is that most companies do not want to shift their databases to the cloud to address their part-time DBA problem. Most companies endeavor to keep their infrastructure in-house and prefer the services of either the lone wolf or the global team; if neither is an option, they simply try to wing it without specialized DBA attention.
The services provided by DBAs cannot be replaced by automated cloud services. If you are looking for a new DBA for your company, be sure to check his experience levels and acquaintance with Java. A good DBA has a good grip on SQL servers, and also has a working knowledge of big data. As long as your DBA has these, his location should not matter.
Article by Sujain Thomas