What Is Database Administration and Why Do You Need It?

13 Jun

Database administration is a necessity to every organization. Today we’ll talk about what database administration is, how a database administrator operates, and why it’s essential to the success of your business to have someone monitoring and managing your database systems.

First, let’s go over the basics of database administration. What is database administration, exactly?. Database administration is defined as a set of activities or practices performed by a database administrator that ensures a database is always available when needed. A database administrator or overall database administration is considered a crucial part to an organization that relies on one or more databases.

So, what are the “set of activities” or tasks involved in making sure the database has maximum uptime? There are a number of things a DBA must do in order to ensure that an organizations database is there for them when they need it. These tasks include, but may not be limited to:

  • Database Security: Database security is about making sure that only authorized users have access to the database, and protecting it against any unauthorized external access.
  • Backup/Recovery: We all make mistakes, and we also know technology can be a fickle beast at the worst possible times. A DBA also makes sure that there are suitable database backup and recovery procedures in place to backup data on a daily basis and to recover the data if it’s lost.
  • Database Tuning: Just like your car, databases need a tune up every once in a while too. In fact, a database needs consistent care to make sure it’s running optimally. It’s important to monitor and “tune” a server for things like memory allocation, file fragmentation or disk usage so it can perform at its best.
  • Running Reports & Queries: A DBA must also run queries and reports against the database for those that are less technically inclined or don’t have the ability to query the data themselves.

There may be other tasks involved for a DBA as well including code deployments or even creating new databases, the list goes on. But all in all, a DBA’s primary task is to make sure the database is up and running and doing so at max performance capacity.

The final question I’m sure many are asking is…where do you find a person with these skills? Database administrators aren’t something you can just pick up off the street, they aren’t a dime a dozen or flooding into the market. It’s a specialty field with special people with a special set of skills. Ok, enough with the special puns. In all seriousness a DBA doesn’t just come along. Plus, while you do need someone to manage the database, a DBA can come at a high price if you hire a person exclusively for the position within your organization.

Luckily, there are other options such as managed database services. Managed database services refers to having another company or organization manage your database administration including monitoring, backup, and other roles. This is not only cost effective, but ensures you have experts at the helm. As far as cost, you can save your company money but not having to dedicate a certain amount to one or more employees – who may or may not have the expertise or training you need – and you can save effort knowing that experts are handling the day-to-day management and administration of your database.

At Neovera, database administration is one of our specialties (see, there it is again!), and our DBA services include everything your organization needs to stay on top of things, including:

  • Tuning
  • Creating New Databases
  • Database Consulting
  • Production Data Restore
  • Capacity Planning
  • Database Maintanence
  • Database Code Deployments

Neovera also pefrorms a number of other Oracle Datbase Services including storage & management, security, and backup and recovery.

As we close out today’s discussion, we’ll leave you with a quote from Spanish poet and writer Miguel de Cervantes that we believe describes database administration well:

“To be prepared is half the victory.”