DBA Database Administrator

What is a DBA? Job description, responsibilities and skills

In today’s world where there is a large number of databases with different technologies, managing them is an important task. A DBA’s role is to make sure databases are optimized, secure and fast while preventing and solving any issues that arise.

There are 2 types of database technologies in which a database administrator must be proficient in:

  1. Non relational databases – such as MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, Redis, Couchbase and Apache HBase.
  2. Relational database management systems (RDBMS) – such as Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server and PostgreSQL, NoSQL databases or BigData platforms.

A good DBA has to be knowledgeable in many different fields and techniques. Knowing and managing these database platforms optimally so that the organization’s systems run properly without performance issues, crashes, and various malfunctions of information loss or database replication issues is today called DataOps.

DBA Responsibilities

DBA’s main responsibility is managing an organization’s databases. Once the data enters the databases, a DBA makes sure that:

  • It’s quickly written
  • Stored persistently 
  • The information is reliable, without duplicates and discrepancies
  • The data can be queried quickly and analyzed by the various systems and users.
  • Database servers are not consuming high CPU, memory or disk resources, analyze the cause and solve it.

The database administrator role in organizations includes being responsible for the different data platforms. This is done by making sure they function properly and have high availability. Ensuring databases continue to function in the case of server or main data center failure is also critical. A DBA also takes care of backing up the various databases and recovering the information in case of infrastructure failure, application bug or human error.

Aside from the infrastructure which must be run with the best performance, a DBA must make sure that the content of the data is stored properly in the database. all while being responsible for the schema design and ensuring that the schema structure of the database is correct and optimal. 

A database schema defines how data is organized within a relational database; this is inclusive of logical constraints such as table names, fields, data types, and the relationships between these entities. It’s the DBA’s responsibility to make sure there are indexes on required fields so that queries will run quickly, create partitions on large tables and more.

Database administrators must also regularly make sure that the SQL queries run properly and optimally. This is done to prevent cases of one query running for a long time and taking resources from the database machine, which causes general slowness to the whole system.

Popular DBA tools

All RDBMS databases support stored procedures, functions and triggers that allow users to write code and add logic to the database layer. The DBA’s job is to write this code or alternatively make sure that the various developers write the code efficiently.

Today, when more use is made of open source databases, NoSQL and BigData DBA platforms, a significant part of the DBA’s role is to also serve as a Data Engineer. This includes writing data pipelines in Python to extract information from different sources, to transform it and load the data optimally (ETL) to the database. 

In today’s “cloud era”, when many of the databases run on the cloud, a good DBA must know his way around popular cloud platforms such as Google Cloud, Amazon AWS and all other database related services. This must be done in order to know how to manage them optimally on both the infrastructure and the application side.

Currently organizations are looking for: DBA Oracle, DBA MySQL, DBA SQL Server, an all purpose DBA that does everything and Big Data DBA.

Who should use DBA services?

Any organization that has a large amount of data with high amounts of writing and reading operations per second needs a DBA expert so their data platform will run optimally and to proactively avoid issues. 

Performance issues and production database problems cost a business a lot of money. A professional DBA expert will:

  1. Optimally build the data platform to reach the best performance and high availability.
  2. Prevent and solve production problems. 
  3. Optimize application performance by doing machine, database, schema and SQL performance tuning.
  4. Work Closely with R&D teams to design the database to fit the product and application requirements
  5. Have the ability to write code and automation scripts to speed up repeating infrastructure tasks.

Does your business need a DBA?

If your business gathers big data loads quickly, there is no room for error when it comes to managing your databases. In the case of not being able to manage your databases on your own, resorting to an experienced professional database administrator poses the perfect solution to save you trouble, time and money.

Sea Data is a leading expert in big data, cloud and DBA services. Contact us to help you manage your data more efficiently.


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