Oracle SQL remains one of the most popular database management systems. There are many oracle DBAs offering outsourcing services, but some are better than others. Understanding the services to expect from good remote Oracle DBAs will ensure you get value for money.
A good remote DBA should give you at least 3 hours’ consultative engagement. This is the only way your DBA will know exactly what you want. The session will also help you determine if the DBA knows what he is talking about.
Solving complex DB problems
Some DB problems are quite complex. Examples are engineering of self-learning matching algorithm for more efficient and effective data mining and new daily processes that require the importation of tens or hundreds of millions of records without taking your DB online. A good DBA should have the necessary skills to use advanced DB techniques to fix such complex DB problems.
Design of a new DB
If you are starting out, you want a remote DBA who will assist you design a new DB. The DBA should come up with a solid architectural blueprint and he/she should work with your team to come up with a DB design that meets your specific business needs. This process should lead to the development of a complete DB schema that is ready to implement.
DB architecture review
If you have an existing DB that is not performing as it should or that needs to be upgraded for another reason, your DBA should do a comprehensive DB architecture review. This should cover all aspects of the architecture design from details of the data types you are using and DB schema to the overall environment and system architecture configuration. The DBA should then present the findings in a detailed and easy-to-understand report. This report will help you make informed decisions on what is needed.
Collaboration with your DBA team
If you already have an in-house DBA team that is overstretched with the demands of DB rollout or maintenance, your remote DBA will collaborate with your team, giving valuable technical advice. You could also offload some specific DB-related tasks, such as the reengineering of one of the reporting DBs to your remote DBA so that your team concentrates on the day-to-day running of the DB.
Version upgrades and migration from legacy systems
If you are planning to upgrade to a new version of Oracle this year or to migrate a legacy application, a remote DBA can assist you. Go for a remote oracle DBA who can do this with minimal business interruption. The DBA should verify compatibility before deployment to minimize interruption.
Implementation of a disaster recovery plan
A good DBA will ensure there are relevant backups and that the DB design is scalable and high-performance to ensure it performs optimally for a long time. The DBA should always be available, even after the project, for updates and any necessary changes.
Monitoring a DB is very important because identifying a problem early means quick resolution. Note that your DB may appear to be running smoothly on the surface, but changes are made every hour and these incremental changes sometimes significantly affect the underlying performance characteristics of the system over time and shutdown or degradation can happen suddenly. A good DBA will help you develop processes for monitoring and trending key metrics.
The DB is at the heart of a website. Poor DB performance impacts on operation efficiency and on customer experience, which leads to revenue repercussions. Your DBA should use performance optimization techniques, such as targeted schema and application code optimization for improved performance.
In an increasingly competitive market place, your data might be at risk from competitors who want an edge over you. There is also a risk of people trying to get customer information for criminal purposes (such as identity theft). You should, therefore, ensure your DBA works on securing your DB using the latest Oracle DB security solutions.
You expect a good DBA to offer other services that will improve your website. A good full-service DBA will offer such services as search engine optimization to ensure your website ranks high in SERPs and responsive web design to ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
So, what makes a good DBA?
A good DBA will have a good track record and will be part of a team in a reputable firm. Ask for a list of clients served and ask for referrals to ensure the DBA is credible and reliable. You could get tips on credible and reliable DBAs from referrals from people you know, from industry publications, and from online reviews, testimonials, and comments.
Longevity in the business is a sign credibility and reliability. Experience is more important than training and even certification.
A good DBA will not be an intangible online ghost – he/she should have a physical presence. This helps build trust since you will know where to go in case of any eventuality.
Go for a DBA who has good interpersonal and communication skills. This is important because it is only when you understand each other that you will get the exact solution you want.
You should note that you expect to pay for quality service and any DBA who charges overly low rates is likely to be fraudulent. Most DBAs have different prices for different packages. Go for a monthly contract since the DBA will be motivated to earn your business in the next month.
The DBA should be able to administer your database online (without a GUI). If you were to rely on a GUI, this would mean logistical complications (such as setting up a connection and ensuring one machine is always available) and there would be cost implications and the risk of regular disconnections.
Consider hiring a professional for database administration, as this ensures you concentrate on running your core business. You will get professionalism since a DBA will have the training, experience, and tools necessary for the job. You also save money since you will not need a permanent in-house team for the job.
Lucy Jones is an Oracle DB expert. She offers everything from DB design to monitoring. She also offers other website optimization services to ensure your site stands out.