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Database – Why Engage Database Managed Services Providers (DMSPs)?
Steve Woody, CommitDBA Director
February 2, 2013
The Enterprise Corporate Database
The enterprise corporate database environment is the most important intangible asset of any organization. All raw data is vaulted or stored within the database domains in order to be accessed, mined and processed by tiered enterprise applications for transactions, business intelligence, business processing, web service information access, Big Data integration and other purposes. These enterprise databases have largely evolved over the last few decades from hierarchal structured databases hosted on mainframes to relational (RDBMS) database environments using various architectures and structures based on data characteristics. Typical database structures include OLTP, Data Warehouse, Consolidated or Centralized Database, Replicated Database, Distributed Database, Very Large Database (VLDB) and others. Typical database categories include Mission Critical, High Availability, Enterprise/Non-Enterprise, E-Business, and others.
Increasing Database Support Challenges
Organizations that house “on-premise” Enterprise Databases continue to evolve into more complex environments posing challenging “in-house” Database Administration (DBA) support requirements. With e-commerce, web services, mobile apps, and enterprise application software (EAS) the norm, the enterprise database infrastructure must be managed today with industry’s highest standards, best practices and a foundation that includes all coverage essentials. Solid and cohesive Database Administration (DBA) execution is a key component for database productivity and remains one of the critical success factors in overall IT Continuity Strategy. The DBA must deal with rapidly increasing storage demands, scalability constraints, constant security threats, ever evolving database complexities and many other critical enterprise database components required in today’s business processing.
Meeting the Database Support Challenges
Many small-medium business (SMB) organizations do not have full-time qualified DBA’s as part of their IT infrastructure. Some may have non-DBA IT technical staff attempting to service difficult DBA tasks. Other SMBs may have a DBA, but they are also assigned to perform other IT duties. Some do not provide a qualified DBA at all to manage their critical databases. All of these scenarios promote high risk for those organizations trying to manage increasing enterprise database support challenges while protecting their most intangible asset – the data. Risk factors become problematic when issues such as database high availability, quality assurance, maintenance, performance, security and other enterprise database essentials are not met.
Database Managed Service Providers (DMSPs)
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) offer outsourcing alternatives for IT infrastructure needs so that any organization can off-load various IT support requirements. The good MSPs specialize in technology best practices, embed ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) based Service Level Management (SLM) and implement risk management policies. Many of today’s MSPs concentrate on the traditional support model of Desktop, Network, Systems, Hardware and sometimes include Database support. However, there are a few MSPs that provide specialized Enterprise Database services and focus completely on servicing the complex components that enterprise databases make up. The Database Managed Service Provider (DMSP) offers outsourcing options to fulfill the professional Database Administration (DBA) support requirements of reducing risk while increasing productivity.
A DMSP Makes Business Sense
Since data and information assurance are so critical, it makes business sense to engage a specialized provider that focuses completely on enterprise database services which empowers best possible care and proactive measures for optimal sustainment. This is true especially for those businesses and organizations that fit the profile for high risk database support environments as described previously. A DMSP service model focuses on complete and comprehensive enterprise database solutions unlike the standard MSP model. In addition, the total cost of services (TCS) is usually less than hiring a qualified DBA.