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 Argument for SQL Server DBA
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Onamuji
Aged Yak Warrior

USA
504 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2003 :  13:23:07  Show Profile  Visit Onamuji's Homepage  Send Onamuji an AOL message
I'm looking for good suggestions/reasons on how I can argue with the powers that be that we need at least one dedicated (maybe someone that just ADMINISTRATORS the databases) SQL Server DBA. Currently we have a team that handles all NT servers. They also get the chore of configuring the hardware/network schema and the software (OS, applications) on the servers. Though they know how to click around, they are by no means experts at any one field (they handle the OS, network, exchange, firewall, database servers, iis servers, etc). We do have a DBA, but she only deals with INFORMIX and ORACLE, though she is currently trying to get up to speed on SQL Server 2000 (her last SQL Server experience was 6.5)

Now what I am going to propose is that we designate someone within a team as the SQL Server DBA, maybe someone that works with our current DBA until she can comfortably handle the responsibility. I'm just looking for all the reasons anyone can come up with. I can't think of them all, and I want to have to many VALID reasons that they can't say no.

Thanks for any feedback you can supply.

MichaelP
Jedi Yak

USA
2489 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2003 :  13:46:26  Show Profile  Visit MichaelP's Homepage
Well, I've got a few reasons for you
1. DBA save money by setting up a system in such a way as to reduce the hardware costs of the system, as well as helping with performance monitor and tuning.

2. DBA's can secure the system against hackers etc. How much would it cost you if someone stole all the data you had in your database, or ERASED all the data in your database.

3. A DBA can properly setup disaster recovery plans, which are generally a bit more involved than a standard "network server backup." Here again, how much money does it cost for you to lose data, or for the system to be down for any period of time?

To me DBA's are insurance for your database. You don't need them all the time, but when you need them you are REALLY glad you have them.

Michael

<Yoda>Use the Search page you must. Find the answer you will.</Yoda>
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robvolk
Most Valuable Yak

USA
15655 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2003 :  14:00:18  Show Profile  Visit robvolk's Homepage
Also:

A DBA would also be primarily focused on the database server as a whole, and would act as a brake on those know-it-all accounting people (or developers) who run monster queries that bring the server to its knees. The DBA would either stop, control, or educate those kinds of users, and would essentially be (and need to be) the expert on databases.

They would also promote and practice a sense of balance amongst several databases/projects on the same server, so that competing groups do not monopolize it. The DBA would also review and deploy everything and prevent people from wantonly changing things without regard for the consequences. Not to mention having some perspective on how a particular database design might be bad for administration (backups, DBCC checks, and so on) and can guide or provide insight in improving that.

And you should also ask what your DBA does for the Oracle and Informix stuff, she's bound to have more input.

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Onamuji
Aged Yak Warrior

USA
504 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2003 :  14:26:29  Show Profile  Visit Onamuji's Homepage  Send Onamuji an AOL message
sadly I think or organizations strategy for developing applications is very poor. They usually have long running queries that need to be VERY fast. As I sat in a discussion on whether to use .NET or Java I also got some background on how they develop. They are not the top developers, but they get the job done.

As far as what our DBA for ORACLE and INFORMIX does, is she sometimes, not very often, helps people build and conform to the standard she put in place for designing tables. She doesn't help much with the actual DML that is used. Thus poor performing queries and these wackos having to write C programs that extract the data.

I'm trying very hard to make sure we don't make the same mistake with at least our internal SQL Server data warehouse ... because no DBA setup the last one when i got here and i inherited it ... thus i'm pushing to be the numero uno in-house SQL Server DBA/expert... and as I go around people are just planning on oh yea we have a SQL server ... well we are going to use it ... they never mention what is going to go on it and i'm sure, no I know no one is looking at the impact it will have on the other applications, thus the problem with the old db server that i just had replaced... applications kept getting thrown on it and by the time anyone really complained it was too late...

heh ... so keep the suggestions coming ...

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robvolk
Most Valuable Yak

USA
15655 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2003 :  14:41:29  Show Profile  Visit robvolk's Homepage
That's probably the best argument you can make: "Well, no one gave these databases and servers the proper attention before, and now they're a mess." And here's something for your developers: "Hey guys, I don't give a shit whether you use Java or .Net, SQL Server uses SQL, and that's what the procedures that use SQL Server will be written in." I'm sure you'll have a bunch of Java or Oracle junkies pushing the fact that Oracle supports Java. Shut them up by asking them to write their queries in pure SQL. And watch their faces when they see how much faster it runs... You might also want to look at their code and make them defend all of the cursors they're using.

These are the kinds of things a good DBA does.

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Onamuji
Aged Yak Warrior

USA
504 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2003 :  14:57:41  Show Profile  Visit Onamuji's Homepage  Send Onamuji an AOL message
LOL well all(80%) of our programmers were once either COBOL mainframe programmers or stock boys in our stores. I'm pushing as hard as I can (with what little political power I have gained) for at least a stinking code review team (or group of people with efficient skills to do such a task). Right now, as it stands no such group of people exist. So the code usually goes into production without ever being looked at by anyone other than the developer and/or development team.

The best thing I heard, at that meeting, made me chuckle at least, was that they are giving up the mainframe for data warehouses, and are migrating their developers (about 4 cobol, 8 power builder developers) to .NET -- will be interesting times ahead, considering the PB developers have trouble working with VB and ASP.

Came in as a developer, who knew I would be focusing so much on SQL server. I enjoy it almost more than I do writing applications.

Oh and I just talked to my manager and she's behind me with whatever I propose, which was sort of shocking. Now its just a matter of getting those TechNT people to hand over the control for the server.

I'm always scared when I have to give them a transmittal to put a DTS package or script change into production. 90% of the time I sit with them and help them do it, which was 300% slower than having me do it myself. *PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE*

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