To know more about this, first, you should understand the difference between a managed service and a remote database administration service when it comes to third-party DBA. At first, managed services is the process of outsourcing the management of your IT services to an expert third party. Remote DBA is a dedicated category under managed service in which the management of an enterprise database system is outsourced to a consultant. ‘Remote’ management means the service is offered through remote access to your resources from the consultant’s premises. Let us first demystify some myths about remote database administration.
Myths about remote DBA
- On-site database administration is more effective than remote DBA
You may often hear some unsolicited comments as on-site is the best over the remote. In reality, all DBAs are remote. Database administrators never sit 24×7, just next to the server in the server room. They connect to the server from anywhere from the office, home, or anywhere else. So, the classic difference in on-site is that anyone can walk to the DBA’s desk and meet them face to face on being inside the office. So, being on-site or remote does not detract from the effectiveness of the DBA services.
Compared to having a face-to-face interaction with the DBA, it is equally effective to talk over the phone or get assisted over chat. In an on-site scenario, too, your DBAs will not be available physically out there in case of a crash at midnight, so you have to pick up the phone and call them in. However, in some aspects, the remote nature of communication may need a much clearer written communication. Otherwise, there is a chance that some important information may be overlooked.
- Remote is only for smaller organizations
This common thinking logic is that a small company may not have a dedicated DBA requirement in-house. However, this is not a fact in reality. Irrespective of being small or big, a good DBA service, either remote or in-house, should be able to provide the same degree of mission-critical administration support for database servers. Whether the company has no in-office DBAs or many, the quality of service needed to be optimized. There are many remote database administration services providers like RemoteDBA.com. So, when it comes to professional remote DBA services, they always ensure unrelenting support and anytime availability for organizations of all sizes.
Choosing your right remote DBA
Here are some questions you may ask your potential remote DBA service to understand their service capabilities.
Q: Do they offer proactive DB monitoring?
One major benefit of remote services is that they tend to be more proactive. You need to ensure that the Remote DBA you approach should come into its own and commit for proactive monitoring of your enterprise database resources to capture any potential issues at the first point before they start to affect the database operations.
Q: What level of experience remote DBAs in the team possess?
As like how you recruit a DBA professional for in-office employment, you should ask the same questions to the remote DBA provider, too, in terms of the remote admin’s qualification and experience at your service. However, compared to a DBA you recruit, when it comes to the team’s collective experience at the managed service, you will find it far greater than what a single person can accomplish. Check for their specialist knowledge in terms of database design, performance tuning, disaster management, data recovery, etc.
Q: is the service cost fixed or pay as you use?
This is very important to consider knowing whether you are paying for many extra things as a package or you need to bear the cost for what you need. Ensure that the service provider’s priorities in terms of your enterprise database administration match what you exactly need. This will help them reduce the issues which occur to your DB and fixing any such problems as soon as they occur, if not prevented from occurring.
Q: What levels of service and support staff do they have?
Knowing your service team’s number of levels will help you understand how your issues will be addressed. If the remote DBA provider offers you a 2 to 3 level service professionals as like a junior DBA at the lowest tier, and then a more experienced one to handle escalations, and an account manager who deals with your most complex database scenarios. However, each such escalation may extend the time to take for resolution. On the other hand, if the provider offers only one-tier support means the expert administrators attending your queries at the first point will be able to resolve your issues without delay.
Q: Do they conduct regular health checks or troubleshoot?
You need to understand this question to identify whether the remote service you avail waits for the problems to occur to initiate the troubleshooting measures or they proactively identify any possibilities of database errors and take measures to prevent it from occurring. It is important to be proactive, but you should also evaluate the maturity of the support service as a whole.
Q: Are their services integrable with your other support services?
In a typical database administration situation, the Remote DBA services you explore must function as an extension of your internal services than being standalone external support. By asking this question, you need to gain a fair understanding of whether their services can be integrated with your other support services for better synchronization of your IT operations.
Moreover, you need also to check out your working relationship with the Remote DBA. It is ideal for checking for other user feedback and the provider rating by service takers to identify the reliability and service quality of remote DBA services. You should take your time and do a thorough evaluation of various options to identify which one suits you the best as a remote DBA service is a long-term business association, which can significantly impact your business’ wellbeing and success.