There are several processes core to the way computers and software work, and managing databases is one of these core processes. Every company of size uses a database, and very large companies use incredibly large, complicated databases. Now, to a large degree, database management can be facilitated by a DBMS – or a database management solution. Nonetheless, managing databases still require human involvement. Sometimes it just requires a system administrator to complete a few tasks, but at other time database management requires the involvement of a specialist.
Database administrators are core to running a database
In short, database administrators are the people responsible for managing databases. Every database administrator ( DBA ) can be involved in a number of activities which manipulate databases. This includes security control, testing and running databases and archiving when necessary – all to do with the database environment.
It’s a key role because almost all the information companies have are now stored in a database. Of course, there are different ways to store data in database, so as a result there are different approaches to data handling and different types of DBAs. Vendors that supply database software also supply certification for DBAs, and provide courses so that DBAs can educated themselves.
What are typical DBA tasks?
Now, every DBA will have a different set of tasks because it really depends on their individual job roles and indeed the way in which a company decides to apply IT policies. It also depends on the way the DBMS they make use of work. However, it is key for DBAs to be able to think logically, and to be excellent at problem solving. Teamwork is important too because large databases require a lot of DBAs and assistants, while DBAs also need to be able to work well with colleagues who do not have any technology training.
Some of the work that a DBA does is similar to the work that system administrators do, supplementing their duties. Think the configuration of hardware and software alongside the installation of new versions of a DBMS. These are all key points to take care of because a database will work well only if the DBMS is up to date. Updates are particularly key because it ensure that the latest security patches and bug fixes are installed – not doing so can cause issues down the line.
Analysing data and managing security
DBAs are also responsible for managing the security of a database as well as data analysis. DBAs must control the security of the DBMS by ensuring only the right people have credentials, removing and adding users and by managing the quotes for a database. Regularly checking for security issues are also core duties. DBAs also need to analyse the content of a database to ensure that it is efficiently stored, and to check that the use of indexes are optimal – or just to enable the execution of “Parallel Queries” if necessary.
As much as DBAs are mainly responsible for the logical and the physical aspects of managing a database, DBAs will also get involved in the designing of databases. For example, DBAs can recommend to developers how a DBMS should be configured in order to avoid future database performance issues. DBAs can also contribute to data modelling, so that the layout of the database is efficient and optimal. Finally, DBAs also help to analyse and set up new databases.