The Day Never Ends for a Database Administrator

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A database administrator, a title often shortened to DBA, is the person responsible for installing, configuring, upgrading, monitoring, maintaining and planning the computer databases within an organization’s direct control. A DBA will also be involved in the design and development of databases for new applications, as well as discussing the related costs with management.

The daily life of a DBA spans the entire 24-hour period. Because a DBA is the one responsible for the continuing operation of computer databases that must be available 24×7, most DBAs set up email, text and messaging alerts within the systems for which they are responsible. These alerts will let a DBA know about emerging problems any hour of the day or night.

Still, the workday of a DBA is tied to the business day. When arriving at work in the morning, the first check is on the overnight log files to see if anything unusual or problematic has happened. If there is a problem, the DBA either goes to work on it or assigns the task to a staff member to handle.

Next, the DBA begins to handle the flood of access requests that go along with database operation. A DBA may be asked to set up new access to a database for a new worker, modify access privileges for a staff member or remove access for a staffer leaving the organization.

A DBA always keeps a eye on the current performance of every database and its systems. Scripts and batch files run in the background of these systems all the time and a DBA must always be ready to respond to any slowdown in database access indicated by the performance metrics received in a flow of continuous online reports. A DBA may also allocate new storage as needed. In addition, a DBA must allow time during the day to install and test database patches and new versions of software.

A DBA will also be a member of specific application development teams, participating in regularly scheduled status meetings. The goal for the DBA is to ensure efficient code is written for the database access modules of the application.

Before heading home for the evening, the DBA must check the setup of overnight database functions, such as data imports and exports, backup, and performance monitoring. Overnight, the DBA may receive an alert and have to connect remotely to fix a problem. The day never really ends.