The role of an SQL Server database administrator brings with it a wide range of responsibilities. On any given day a DBA may have to address performance issues, plan system improvements, and test and verify critical backups. Becoming a DBA is a good choice for computer professionals who enjoy a dynamic work environment.
Many database solutions that may be deployed in an enterprise and the majority of organizations make use of multiple platforms to solve different business problems. SQL Server is among the three most popular relational databases along with MySQL and Oracle. If you are a DBA, there is a very good chance you will be called upon to work with SQL Server systems.
As the value of corporate data resources continues to rise, so does the importance of the database teams supporting them. Companies can ill-afford to have poorly performing database applications that impact their ability to conduct business. System outages or slow response times can result in current and potential customers searching for alternate solutions. The increased focus on enterprise data assets puts additional stress on DBAs to handle their duties efficiently.
Typical DBA Job Descriptions
The diverse responsibilities of a DBA can be seen in these generic job descriptions for administrators working with production or development databases. In smaller organizations, there may not be a distinction between development and production DBAs. Larger enterprises will often have teams that are dedicated to working primarily with the production or development database environment.
The specific responsibilities of the two types of DBAs can be very different based on the particular organization in question. Here is an overview of the duties and skills required to fill both kinds of DBA positions.
Production DBA job responsibilities
In a production environment, some of the duties a DBA is expected to perform are:
- Setting up backups for SQL Servers that meet enterprise recovery point objectives (RPOs) is one of the most important tasks a DBA performs. These backups need to be tested to verify that they provide the capabilities to address the recovery time objectives (RTOs) of the business.
- Installing and configuring new SQL servers and streamlining monitoring applications to minimize the occurrence of false alarms.
- Identifying and resolving service outages no matter when they occur. Supporting critical systems involves providing 24/7 coverage and being available whenever a problem happens.
- Systematically deploying scripts from third-party software vendors to keep databases updated.
- Resolving performance issues by choosing the best strategy for a particular situation.
- Maintaining documentation regarding the enterprise database environment.
Development DBA job responsibilities
DBAs working in a development environment may have a different set of duties which include:
- Verifying the performance and reliability of new database code.
- Identifying and suggesting improvements for queries that use excessive resources.
- Optimizing indexes for existing database applications.
- Working with developers to improve performance and making recommendations about design elements like tables and stored procedures.
As you can see, there are multiple aspects to being a successful DBA. Finding ways to be more productive while balancing the varied tasks can be challenging for the most experienced database professional.
A Valuable Set of SQL Server Admin Tools
The combination of the greater focus on an organization’s databases and the variety of tasks a DBA is expected to perform makes it imperative that the team uses effective tools. Any way to boost productivity will be appreciated by the administrators and management.
IDERA’s SQL Admin Toolset offers 24 tools designed to increase the efficiency and productivity of your DBA team. They can save a substantial amount of time by simplifying daily tasks, enabling DBAs to work on some of the less predictable issues that always seem to pop up.
SQL Admin Toolset provides three different categories of tools to help a DBA get things done in the minimum amount of time.
- Diagnostic tools give your team the ability to check on the status of SQL Server backups, verify connections, and identify weak passwords that make systems vulnerable to attack. They also enable the discovery of SQL instances and let the team search SQL code and database objects.
- Administration tools designed to get things done quickly include a database mover and the ability to copy logins and clone users. You can review, compare, and edit database and server configurations. SQL Server jobs can be edited and moved between server instances.
- Analytics tools include an inventory reporter useful for obtaining the details of SQL Server instances and their host machines. Real-time statistics are made available to maintain system health. Analyzers keep the team apprised of issues with indexes, patches, and space usage for the SQL Server environment.
The extensive features of SQL Admin toolset will make it a welcome addition to the resources available to your database team. If your shop uses SQL Server, you should strongly consider giving the toolset a test drive. Your DBAs and end-users will thank you.