Given the complexities of administering and maintaining large databases, it is natural for the company management to feel more than relieved at having engaged the services of a professional remote database administration firm. After all, they are expected to take the entire responsibility off your shoulders; however this sentiment, though understandable, can be somewhat misplaced as the engagement of a remote DBA does not necessarily take care of all the challenges of database administration.
The task of the remote DBA services is to manage customer databases and ensure their maximum uptime, while keeping the data secure and preventing unauthorized access. While it is true that database administrators are extremely skilled professionals, the quality of the services depends completely on the quality of the data that is made available. The customer remains totally responsible for the data quality as well as the analysis and interpretation. Here are a few tips on maximizing your benefit from remote DBA.
For remote database administration to work effectively, you must have categorized the data adequately for remote management and retrieval. You must also verify that your remote DBA can perform the task of data management adequately. Unless both the aspects are in place, it will be futile to retain the services of even the best team of remote DBA experts because the experiment will definitely end in disappointment.
Have Expectations that Are Realistic
Unlink many jobs that can be outsourced successfully to save money; there is always a question over engaging a remote DBA that operates out of low cost countries such as the Philippines or India. It is quite likely that the data access from countries can be quite difficult and slow and add significantly to your costs. When you also factor in the issues of hardware and software failures, the cost of outsourcing to foreign countries can really be steep. You should instead find out the cost of remote DBA services from American companies based on American soil.
Involve the Entire Organization
The policy and process of operating a remote database administration project and vital decisions pertaining to it should not just be the domain of the company’s top management. There is a significant advantage to be gained with the involvement of employees at various levels who are connected in some way or the other with the database so that their inputs on how the data should be managed can be obtained. These inputs will serve as a valuable contribution to working out the database management policy and the remote DBA deliverables.
Have Confidence in Your DBA Team
After you have done everything to carefully evaluate the competency of the DBA firm and the benefits accruing to your organization, it is imperative that you brief the services provider to the fullest and allow them to take charge. It is highly recommended that you desist fighting every change they suggest as otherwise there is very little contribution they will be able to make to the way the database is operated and maintained. They will also become quickly disillusioned with the client and not deliver their capabilities to the fullest. The top management must make it a point not to micromanage the database administration because essentially that defeats the entire purpose of remote DBA services. This however, does not mean that the service provider need not be monitored and their deliverables measured and evaluated at specific intervals. At least one person who understands database operation should be assigned as a liaison between the company and the DBA firm.
Ensure Contract Flexibility
While entering into an agreement with your DBA services provider, it is necessary to ensure that the contract allows for a certain amount of flexibility. This is required to safeguard your requirements that may change with time, and also to provide for foreclosure of the contract, if so desired.