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Steve Woody, Senior VP Ross Group Inc

Remote DBA - The Top 5 Benefits That Make Remote DBA Practical

Steve Woody, CommitDBA Director

June 6, 2013

Remote DBA support of enterprise databases has been viable and in practice for over twenty years now. Much has changed over the last ten years with improved technologies, improved connectivity and bandwidth, evolving database software tools, robust smart phones, lightweight tablets and other improvements. All of these improvements have elevated the remote DBA standards in place today.

Remote database services, whether it be called (1) Remote DBA, (2) Virtual DBA or (3) DBA Remote, all refer to the same function. Many times these terms are aligned with a specialized commercial service that outsources critical DBA support functions and tasks to enterprise level databases. These specialized “Managed Services Providers” (MSPs) offer an optimized model for Database Administration and Database Management utilizing a best-in-class portfolio of DBA services. A detailed explanation of MSPs that are specialized for enterprise database services can be found in the CommitDBA blog “Why Engage Database Managed Service Providers.

Access to remote databases has become more secure over the years with laptop and mobile device lockdown software, increased authentication, improved database safeguards, security best practices and compliance with security initiatives. The adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOT (bring your own technology) has enabled continuing progress with data safeguard access, policies and licensing.

So what are the most practical and compelling reasons to engage a Remote DBA and Remote DBA Managed Service?

I. Anywhere

Unlike in the not-too-distant-past it was cumbersome to drag laptops outside the office in order to provide immediate coverage for critical database issues. With the advent and continuing evolution of smart phones, tablets and notebooks, it is much easier and efficient to provide Remote DBA support from virtually anywhere. When there are several remote DBAs with support coverage, such as those of specialized database MSP, they can establish and engage escalation procedures where the primary, secondary and failsafe DBA all have mobile devices and can react to database alerts from anywhere. No need to worry about a DBA not being able to react and remediate remotely.

II. Anytime

A Remote DBA can perform support “around-the-clock” for those organizations requiring high availability databases. Most database MSPs provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA) which indicates response and acknowledgement times based on normal business hours (NBH) and after normal business hours (ANBH). ANBH include business week nights/early morning along with weekends and holidays. A Remote DBA should be part of a team that provides 24x7x365 coverage incorporating the processes and procedures necessary for any organization to maintain high availability enterprise databases. With all hours covered, your databases can be serviced anytime with the Remote DBA option. In addition, utilizing sophisticated DBA tools for proactive monitoring permits the Remote DBA to respond to database alerts anytimeand provide remediation based upon the severity level.

III. Flexible

Contracting a Remote DBA provides flexibility to an organization’s infrastructure services and the DBA service becomes an extension of the IT Shared Services. Flexibility is critical in that the Remote DBA can provide service support to compliment other required IT services and offload the database work so that other IT staff can meet strategic milestones. The Remote DBA can fill in service GAPs after normal business hours (ANBH), which include security and maintenance patches, and has the flexibility to provide support to whichever critical database needs are hot at the time. The flexibilitya Remote DBA can provide also includes assisting in specific database functions that other DBAs cannot get to or want to offload.

IV. Reliable

Just-in-time DBA support for database high severity level conditions such as a poor performing database or a database unavailable condition requires reliability. An organization can rely on two or three Remote DBAs as needed if a specialized database MSP is providing support. The Remote DBA can also provide reliable backup support to an in-house DBA team if members of the DBA team are unavailable. A good Managed Service Provider (MSP) specializing in enterprise database services depends upon “reliability” as the foundation built into the Remote DBA service while incorporating the ITIL framework.

V. Proactive

A must for any enterprise database environment is a best-in-class proactivedatabase monitoring tool. The Remote DBA can react to any monitoring tool alert or alarm proactively in order to prevent a potential high or critical severity level issue from occurring causing database outages. The same goes for lower level database issues escalating to severe level database issues. Of course, on-premise DBAs can be proactive with the monitoring tools but the Remote DBA can respond as discussed previously from anywhere or at anytime.

These five reasons to engage a Remote DBA and a Remote DBA service are not exclusive, but these five benefits listed are the most practical and compelling. For further information on how a Remote DBA service can help your organization, please contact us at CommitDBA at 800.734.9304.

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