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Database Administration

Database Administration

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Published by Mohammad RIzwan

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Published by: Mohammad RIzwan on Dec 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Database administration is the function of managing and maintaining Databasemanagement system (DBMS) software.
Nature of database administration
The degree to which the administration of a database is automated dictates theskills and personnel required to manage databases. On one end of the spectrum, a systemwith minimal automation will require significant experienced resources to manage; perhaps 5-10databases per DBA. Alternatively an organization might choose to automate a significant amountof the work that could be done manually therefore reducing the skills required to perform tasks.As automation increases, the personnel needs of the organization splits into highly skilledworkers to create and manage the automation and a group of lower skilled "line" DBAs whosimply execute the automation.Database administration work is complex, repetitive, time-consuming andrequires significant training. Since databases hold valuable and mission-critical data, companiesusually look for candidates with multiple years of experience. Database administration oftenrequires DBAs to put in work during off-hours (for example, for planned after hours downtime,in the event of a database-related outage or if performance has been severely degraded). DBAsare commonly well compensated for the long hours.
Database administration tools
Often, the DBMS software comes with certain tools to help DBAs manage theDBMS. Such tools are called native tools. For example, Microsoft SQL Server comes with SQLServer Enterprise Manager and Oracle has tools such as SQL* plus and Oracle EnterpriseManager/Grid Control. In addition, 3rd parties such as BMC, Quest Softwares, Embarca derotechnologies, EMS database management soloutions and SQL Maestro Group offer GUI tools tomonitor theDBMS and help DBAs carry out certain functions inside the database more easily.Another kind of database software exists to manage the provisioning of newdatabases and the management of existing databases and their related resources. The process of creating a new database can consist of hundreds or thousands of unique steps from satisfying prerequisites to configuring backups where each step must be successful before the next canstart. A human cannot be expected to complete this procedure in the same exact way time after time - exactly the goal when multiple databases exist. As the number of DBAs grows, withoutautomation the number of unique configurations frequently grows to be costly/difficult tosupport. All of these complicated procedures can be modeled by the best DBAs into databaseautomation software and executed by the standard DBAs. Software has been created specificallyto improve the reliability and repeatability of these procedures such as Stratavia's Data Paletteand Grid App System Clarity.
The impact of IT automation on database administration
Recently, automation has begun to impact this area significantly. Newer technologies such as Stratavia's Data Palette suite and Grid App System Clarity have begun toincrease the automation of databases causing the reduction of database related tasks. However at best this only reduces the amount of mundane, repetitive activities and does not eliminate theneed for DBAs. The intention of DBA automation is to enable DBAs to focus on more proactiveactivities around database architecture, deployment, performance and service level management.
Learning database administration
There are several education institutes that offer professional courses, includinglate-night programs, to allow candidates to learn database administration. Also, DBMS vendorssuch as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM offer certification programs to help companies to hirequalified DBA practitioners.

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