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Duties of a DBA [message #532454] Tue, 22 November 2011 14:12 Go to next message
lynndba
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Hi

I hope to get real answers to this question.

what are the duties/tasks of a DBA broken dowm into daily, weekly, monthly.

Thanks
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532455 is a reply to message #532454] Tue, 22 November 2011 14:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michel Cadot
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First to be able to find the answers by himself/herself, for instance searching on the web for a FAQ and ot wait for other ones to give you the answers.

Regards
Michel

[Updated on: Tue, 22 November 2011 14:16]

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Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532457 is a reply to message #532455] Tue, 22 November 2011 14:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lynndba
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cant make sense of your reply, seriously people who ask questions need real answers
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532461 is a reply to message #532457] Tue, 22 November 2011 15:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
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Linda, what are you actually asking? For example: is this a question in your homework for an IT course? Or are you preparing for a job interview? Or are you writing a job description?
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532469 is a reply to message #532457] Tue, 22 November 2011 23:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michel Cadot
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lynndba wrote on Tue, 22 November 2011 21:47
cant make sense of your reply, seriously people who ask questions need real answers


This is a real answer.
When you are a DBA you are most often alone in front of a problem and have no one to ask "what can I do now?" or to say "do it for me".
So if you are unable to find the answer to this FAQ, you are unable to be a DBA.

Regards
Michel
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532476 is a reply to message #532469] Wed, 23 November 2011 00:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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OK, but then there are "normal" days when nothing special happens, i.e. there's no problem to be solved. Does it mean that a DBA sits for 8 or so hours and does nothing? Most probably not. So, what does he/she do then? For example:
  • verifies whether backup (that ran during the night hours) went OK
  • switches backup tapes
  • self-educates, as he/she promised him/herself that the Concepts book (or pick any other) MUST be read once again
  • drinks his/her first coffee
  • solves today's Set puzzle
  • another routine task that I don't know as I'm not a DBA
  • blabla

Is there such a list?
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532487 is a reply to message #532476] Wed, 23 November 2011 01:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ramoradba
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So many other daily tasks Depends on product and project based companies ...
Most of time similar to your list Little foot Wink

Quote:
This is a real answer.
When you are a DBA you are most often alone in front of a problem and have no one to ask "what can I do now?" or to say "do it for me".
So if you are unable to find the answer to this FAQ, you are unable to be a DBA.

Regards
Michel


This is perfect !
Sriram Sanka
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532493 is a reply to message #532476] Wed, 23 November 2011 02:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Well, my Answer would be:

1) Daily tasks.
- None. Anything that needs to be done "daily" needs to be automated.

2) Weekly tasks.
- None. Anything that needs to be done "weekly" needs to be automated.

3) Monthly tasks.
- Check the log files of all automated tasks for errors that for some reason didn't get mailed to you directly after they happened.
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532505 is a reply to message #532493] Wed, 23 November 2011 03:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Hm, it sounds as if you don't need a DBA at all (as an employee, that is) - simply hire one to do monthly tasks (how much time do they take? A few hours or so?).
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532511 is a reply to message #532505] Wed, 23 November 2011 03:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
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Quote:
it sounds as if you don't need a DBA at all
Trust a developer person to say that Smile
I've just spent thee hours (before breakfast) emergency tuning code that the developers deployed yesterday evening which is crippling an entire production database because it was generating awful execution plans. I know what they will say when they get start work (which they will probably do only after a long breakfast with a pot of decent coffee, reviewing their facebooks and doing some twattering, playing a few computer games, checking their personal emails, and everything else): "it worked fine on our test system".
This is one major job of the DBA: monitor code and exec plan changes.
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532517 is a reply to message #532505] Wed, 23 November 2011 03:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Littlefoot wrote on Wed, 23 November 2011 10:18
Hm, it sounds as if you don't need a DBA at all.


Pretty much true, as long as there are no changes to a system, and you can live with a few hours/days of downtime when something breaks to get a DBA to take a look at it. Wink

When there are changes you need a DBA. And then there is a break-even point where it is easier to have dedicated DBA employee that know the system in-house full time, than to have changing contractor DBAs that need more time to figure out the system than to do the change.

The thing is that the stuff really cant be broken into "daily / weekly / monthly" tasks. It's just one constant task of "keep the DBs up and running.", interrupted by changes to the DBs that need to be done. (New hardware, updates, developers that want to install something, etc..)
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532520 is a reply to message #532511] Wed, 23 November 2011 03:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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OK, I'll rephrase my previous statement (which might also be changed in the future, as we read and learn more about DBA's duties): "you don't need a DBA at all if you don't have naughty developers around (simply hire one blabla)".

Just kidding; I just thought that you, experienced DBAs, might want to share these information with inexperienced people (such as me & Linda). A dozen of messages after the initial one, we surely know much more than at the beginning of this discussion.
Please, keep posting! Microsoft promised to donate a cent for every new message in this topic /forum/fa/9000/0/
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532529 is a reply to message #532520] Wed, 23 November 2011 04:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
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There is a difference between "production" DBA work and "development" DBA work.

One could say that the prod stuff is as described above: planned (and unplanned) change control, plus the routine business of monitoring your various scheduled activities (the most obvious: backups) which should be mostly automated. It can be exciting stuff. For example, if the database is doing flight control for a satellite, or managing the intelligent network platform for a cellphone network, or running an online sales website, any downtime or performance issue is going to cost zillions of dollars. Do you want to take responsibility for that? Even the less time-critical environments (perhaps an accounting system) will cause major problems if the DB doesn't perform as expected. You get a lot hassle from a lot of people, who rarely say "thank you".

Development DBA work can be much more interesting, because you get to investigate all the new (or obscure) features of the product set and plan how to exploit them. The DBA is often the liaison between sys admins, developers, users, and everyone else. Typically, it is only him who has the holistic view of the environment, so he gets to study everything.

As for an EBS Apps DBA: that is a life of pain.....

Now it is only fair that one of you developer types should start a Duties of a Developer topic, to say what you do for a living (apart from playing Facebook Mafia Wars)
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532535 is a reply to message #532520] Wed, 23 November 2011 04:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Well, I'm somewhat of a mixed case since I'm basically both DBA *and* Developer, but for example the "DBA-ish" things I did last week:

  • Analysed a couple of database to estimate the growth they will have the next five years, so that the hardware guys can size the storage they are going to buy.
  • Copied a test database to different storages and ran some specific batch jobs to do speed test to decide some parameters for that new storage.
  • Updated application packages in the production system for that pesky developer (me)
  • Went through logs of one application/database and did some test to figure out whether a memory fault last week caused any hidden damages that haven't shown up yet.
  • Copied some data back from an old restored database into production because of PEBKAC user.
  • Made sure the "The system is slow" call logged into support was definitely not caused by database issues (but by general network problems on the terminal server side as it turned out).
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532536 is a reply to message #532511] Wed, 23 November 2011 04:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cookiemonster
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John Watson wrote on Wed, 23 November 2011 09:31
Quote:
it sounds as if you don't need a DBA at all
Trust a developer person to say that Smile
I've just spent thee hours (before breakfast) emergency tuning code that the developers deployed yesterday evening which is crippling an entire production database because it was generating awful execution plans. I know what they will say when they get start work (which they will probably do only after a long breakfast with a pot of decent coffee, reviewing their facebooks and doing some twattering, playing a few computer games, checking their personal emails, and everything else): "it worked fine on our test system".
This is one major job of the DBA: monitor code and exec plan changes.


Sounds like you're suffering from a lack of skilled DB developers. I'm not a DBA but I do most of the performance fixes, and I know how better than most of our actual DBAs.
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532538 is a reply to message #532536] Wed, 23 November 2011 04:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ramoradba
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Quote:
Sounds like you're suffering from a lack of skilled DB developers. I'm not a DBA but I do most of the performance fixes, and I know how better than most of our actual DBAs.


Sounds like you're suffering from a lack of skilled DBA

Razz
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532540 is a reply to message #532538] Wed, 23 November 2011 04:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ramoradba
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And here I agree with John "Development DBA WAS much more interesting than Production".


Sriram Sanka
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532541 is a reply to message #532454] Wed, 23 November 2011 05:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mahesh Rajendran
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As Thomas said,
tasks cannot be broken into daily/weekly/monthly etc.
Cronjob does it for you. Smile.

Depending on the shop,
some might call themselves "development" DBA or "production" DBA or a dozen other fancy titles.

For a production DBA (an individual or a team), keeping and maintaining the databases up and
running with an acceptable performance is the primary task. You need extensive skills in
OS, Backup and Recovery, tuning and troubleshooting. You must work off hours, provide production support,
work closely with system admins. Must love dark screens, drink lots of coffee, be grumpy and get old soon.

Developer DBA's need to be a jack of multiple trades. Primary task is to work with other developers/programmers
and help 'em do their job with respect to applications / coding / database design etc. You need think in a developer's
perspective (database and non-database), must keep updated with all the new technologies and facilitate the programmers.
The more technologies/methodologies/programming you can "understand" (not just oracle or pl/sql) you will be appreciated.





[Updated on: Wed, 23 November 2011 05:42]

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Re: Duties of a DBA [message #532575 is a reply to message #532476] Wed, 23 November 2011 09:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lynndba
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really helped thanks like your reply
Re: Duties of a DBA [message #547763 is a reply to message #532575] Fri, 16 March 2012 06:45 Go to previous message
leahsguide
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Great thread, helped me a lot as a newcomer
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