There is no getting around the fact that most of us have jobs which involve at least some degree of repetitive and routine tasks. It really doesn’t matter what type of work you do, there are bound to be aspects of your responsibilities that become tedious when faced with revisiting the same processes and procedures every day. Depending on your particular situation, a large percentage of your productive time may be spent performing the same or very similar tasks over and over again.
Handling the recurring duties required to keep their systems viable is very familiar to the DBAs in your organization. The life of a database administrator becomes more stressful as the amount of data a company maintains and the diverse platforms on which it is stored increases. This creates tremendous pressure on a DBA’s time as they try to balance the daily administrative functions they need to perform with the unexpected challenges that can arise in a complex computing environment. They may be spending up to 80% of their time on routine administrative tasks.
Why Automate Database Administrative Tasks?
Most DBAs would welcome a method of lightening the burden imposed by executing their day-to-day duties. You would be hard-pressed to find any employee that did not welcome the opportunity to reduce the number of persistent tasks that must be revisited every time they come to work.
The advantages of automating some of a DBA’s repetitive processes include:
- Fostering increased consistency of the output and results of a process
- Providing gains in productivity and throughput
- Producing stability in the automated processes
- Freeing employees to be involved in more value-added activities
- Creating high-level jobs revolving around the development, deployment, and maintenance of the automated processes
- Reducing the possibility of human error
As you can see, there are benefits afforded by automation that extend beyond streamlining the work-life of your DBAs. Processes can be optimized before automation, returning productivity each time they are executed. Enabling your DBA team to concentrate on solving problems and optimizing their systems will result in a higher degree of job satisfaction and improve employee morale. No one wants to do the same boring things every day if they can be avoided. Instituting automation in your database administration will be beneficial to both the DBAs and the company as a whole.
What Kind of DBA Tasks Should Be Automated?
There are many opportunities for automation in the daily activities of a DBA. In some cases, these tasks are performed daily and are easily identified as candidates for automation. Other processes are used less often but can still be automated to save time and reduce the possibility of error when they are required to be executed.
Deciding on the tasks and processes that should be automated and the order in which to implement the automation requires some planning. Ideally, you want to maximize the advantage of your efforts by identifying the most time-consuming tasks that are not difficult to automate. Over time this palette of processes can be expanded with the end goal of automating as many procedures as possible.
Some good places to begin looking for projects for your automation attempts are:
- Server maintenance – Tasks such as rebooting a host on a scheduled basis or shrinking database files can easily be automated.
- Database maintenance – Many repetitive tasks are involved in DB maintenance such as performing backups, index maintenance, and conducting database consistency checks.
- Synchronizing QA and production databases – While these process may not be regularly scheduled, they are used often enough that automating them with a script can save substantial time for your DBA team.
These are just a few examples where automating DBA processes makes sense. Your DBAs should be able to supply a more extensive list of the daily tasks which they feel can be automated. They deserve your attention as they are working in the trenches every day and have the best perspective on how to use automation to increase productivity.
How to Implement Automation for Database Administrators
Automating your administrative procedures can be a daunting prospect without the proper tools. Exacerbating the challenges are the diverse platforms with which DBAs need to operate on a daily basis. Aqua Data Studio provides a unified database administration interface which allows you to easily handle the demands of multi-platform support.
Aqua Data Studio presents your DBAs with a scripting development environment that includes a set of Open APIs. You can take advantage of the full functionality of the application when developing, testing, and debugging scripts to automate database tasks. It also offers your team a method of administering all of their various databases from a single interface. Aqua Data Studio is sure to increase the productivity of your database team and enable them to focus on more creative endeavors.