Remote DBA services prove useful in safeguarding effectively your critical data. They are responsible for the complete management of your database. You could hire a single DBA expert as a freelancer or a team of DBA experts or even hire an efficient DBA company as per the specific requirements of your company. Each type of remote DBA services has its own pitfalls and plus points.
Remote DBA Services Type 1: The Lone Crusader
You could hire DBA experts who are on their own, not attached to any firms as such. You can employ them and enter into a contract. In times of an emergency he would be providing remote database administration services. He may be charging hourly fees and would be glad to respond to your emergency requirements. He is basically a freelancer DBA specialist with a number of clients to attend to and multiple servers to take care of. His charges would definitely be pretty low as compared to the charges of a structured DBA Company.
The Plus Points: Fortunately, for him emergencies do not crop up too often so he is able to respond to his clients’ emergency requirements well and is generally able to keep his clients satisfied and happy. He is definitely cheaper as compared to a full-time DBA. The greatest advantage is he knows his business well, he is smart and conversant with his servers and he immediately responds to his client calls whenever there is any issue.
The Downside: He is a one man army. When you hire a freelancer DBA expert, you take a major risk. He may not be able to attend to your emergency as he may be busy with somebody else’s crisis, or he could be unwell or on a vacation. Are you willing to take such a big chance?
Remote DBA Services Type 2: The Global Team
In this scenario, a company specializing in remote database administration services hires a team of DBA experts. It is financially not viable to hire a team comprising only the top-notch executives or the senior people. The company would have to pay senior people real good salary if they have to be on-call on a full time basis. Senior people also, do not enjoy on-call duties and are happy to get out of it.
The Plus Points: In such a scenario, it is best for the company to hire several tiers of diverse skills ranging from senior DBA to junior DBA. They follow the practice of on call rotations as well as escalations. This works well if the junior executive is unable to come up with a proper solution, the company still has the option of bringing in a senior executive.
While operating as a remote DBA team, standardized runbooks are introduced to make the job of juniors easier. A junior now gets a guide to follow in case of failed back-up, a drive that is clearly out of space, a disrupted SQL Server etc. When the company gets a new client, they have a precise process for it.
The Downside: Everything is fully standardized. All members can handle calls. Any member can step in for another and respond to a call. There is a chance that as the DBA company becomes larger; your call would be answered by someone, who has very little knowledge about the unique requirements of your database management. He must have seen your systems hardly once or may be twice before.
This is also, a very expensive proposition as it offers the services of a support team 24×7. Building, training as well as managing a support team, that is active round the clock could be pretty expensive.
Remote DBA Services Type 3: Cloud Services
The cloud vendors are in complete control of the platform. They provide proactive round the clock coverage. They promise accountability and reliability, reduced costs, optimization of the entire database environment and increased coverage. This ensures that critical data will be in safe hands and your critical business applications would be running well.
This is definitely much cheaper and far more flexible. You are able to solve multiple issues all at once. By exercising economies of scale and well-designed resource sharing, you can have access to the perfect quantity of database power and all the people you require.