Why Virtual DBA?

Why virtual DBA indeed?

First, let’s discuss the basics on database and database management. What is database? How is it managed?

Database is the place where sets of data are kept to be accessed in various ways. It’s like a filling cabinet filled with all the information one company needs. Now, if there is millions of data that are being managed in this one cabinet, chances are, everything can get out of hand pretty easily.

This is where a database administrator can come in. They make sure that everything runs smoothly. Now, what is a DBA?

Database Administrator – The Basics

Database administration is the overall managing job of a database overseer. It is a technical level function which requires a person to have a good knowledge and experience in various tasks. A database administrators job includes:

  • Selection of the right hardware or software
  • Designing of physical database
  • Database update on current trends
  • Enforcement of security in database
  • Makes sure that database is at top performance
  • Maintenance of data dictionary
  • Performance monitoring
  • Organizational standards enforcement

What about virtual DBA?

Virtual DBA is still the same administrator that does the tasks above. However, this one is doing their work remotely. They can be tailored to database needs and are much more flexible than the usual DBA. This has become popular since it is a less costly option and offers 24 hour support and consultation.

Experts view the virtual DBA as a business choice that can bring in ROI faster. There are three major reasons why virtual DBA is more of a catch compared to the in-house counterpart:

  1. Virtual DBA eliminates the need to hire in-house DBA
  2. Virtual DBA eliminates in-house DBA training costs
  3. Virtual DBA does all the task remotely

For more information on how a Virtual DBA works, you can check this post, How Virtual DBA Works?

Why hire a DBA?

So we mentioned the major reasons above. However we need to make another point, we need to understand those specific reasons why virtual DBA ticks.

  1. Saves Money. A company or an organization can have a better ROI when they save some money out of a useful product. It can stretch your dollars while taking a big load away from your shoulders. Virtual DBA can do jobs 24/7 in a relatively productive manner. This can mean big savings compared to 8 hour non-virtual work.
  2. Saves time. As virtual DBA do not require an organization’s physical supervision, it will save supervisors a huge chunk of time which can be used for some other important things to do. One of the Virtual DBA feature includes an option of hourly or daily reports about your data and the whole database system.
  3. Save human resources. We mentioned it already, but Virtual DBA frees a couple of your employees from the database administration job. This means they can be used for other tasks which require more attention.
  4. Save you some headache. It brings peace of mind to most managers. There will be no more security checks nor time-consuming and headache inducing problem solving since all is being managed by experts from your virtual employees.
  5. Increased performance among DBA. Since a DBA works in his or her preferred environment, they are more comfortable and more productive.
  6. Increased productivity. Virtual DBA’s employ a team and not just the usual one-man worker. Plus it works 24/7 as said. This will boost your productivity while you relax with your database in the hands of experts.

Here’s a comparison study of productivity between full time DBA versus Virtual DBA from Wardy IT. This is from a study that kept track of both compared variables. So as you see in this first screenshot, the Virtual DBA productivity steadied at 100% while the full time DBA productivity fluctuated between 20-70%.

wardy It

In this graph, the Virtual DBA and Full time DBA comparison were broken down into specific costs by month. The Virtual DBA had the cost all year round steady at $0 to $8,000 only getting a little surge at June, while the Full time DBA is at $10,000- $53,000 approximately.

virtual vs full time All screenshots are from Wardy IT.

Virtual DBA Checklist

A Virtual DBA cannot work if there is no possible intervention from a good provider. And sometimes, good providers are hard to find! And it can get crazy in your database management team when loads of data needs to be done, processed and interpreted everyday.

So how do you choose a reliable and good virtual DBA then? Here are some clues and tips, but don’t rely on these, start building your standard points as well.

    • 24/7 DB Operations Support. We mentioned the 24/7 support and availability of Virtual DBA programs. However, some companies may offer all the virtual DBA features but will only relegate you to voice call center when you check for an ongoing query. 24/7 operation is a good feature since at times, you need to work overtime.
    • Database Changes Complete Audit. Another good feature of a virtual DBA provider is this. It can help database log all tasks in an issue tracking system. Since it is online, you can access it remotely too. This feature also can help you check for maintenance routines.
    • Early warning notification system. Early warnings help organizations detect possible problems ahead of time. This helps create contingency plans. Virtual DBAs often sends this early warning notification before the problem occurs and this is done through the analysis of the analytics and pinpointing of early detection warning sings.
    • Safe Virtual/Remote DBA. Safety is equal to credibility. And it is always best to choose services in which you can trust. The provider’s client and experience can tell a lot about the service they can offer.

In a study conducted by Longhaus, experts concluded that immediate value can be added to an enterprise after using DBA services (virtual DBA is one great example). For further information, browse the links and sources we mentioned above.

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