Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Seven Deadly Habits of a DBA and How to Cure Them

Vice widespread appeal in database administration "deadly" appear in May
excessive. However, considering the nature of the most critical, and how can
damaging data loss or corruption in May be a corporation, "deadly" seems pretty

Although these practices are unfortunately prevalent in the database administrators, they are curable with
Some astute management intervention. The following is a list of seven practices that we
examine the most deadly, with a few ideas on how to eliminate them.

Behavior 1. A leap of faith: "We have faith in our backup."

Blind faith can be endearing, but when it came back up a database. Backup
should be trusted only to the extent that they have been tested and verified.


Did you verify that the database administrators are often backup succeed, preferably with a
informed of this script if you have a problem.
Maintain a backup of your backup. Database administrators must always be at least two backup
procedures. The common method is to use the old backup Exports
for online backups.
Test resource recovery as possible. The early signs that your team is dba
is overloaded or not priority is to have a good quarter, without a
recovery test. Recovery test to confirm that your backup strategy is on track, while
that allows your team to carry out recovery activities in order to effectively treat
when the time comes.

Behavior 2. Great expectations: "This will work the way we expected it. Let's go
to come. "

Although it is not easy to use for the traditional definition, Oracle is very power-user
nice-if you worked for a while, you develop an instinct for
the way things "should" work. Although this kind are often right, one of the most --
dangerous habits any dba can have is an assumption that Oracle is "just work"
how it should be.


Instilling a "practice, practice, practice" mentality throughout the organization. Database administrators
you need to repeat the work safely in a sandbox designed to test
closely simulate the behavior of the production system. The organization must
allow time and money for them to do so.
Pair of experience with senior DBAs as possible or get in
your own. New DBAs tend to be chivalrous, but learning other people
experience can help instill some paranoia necessary.
Review plans for all. It's amazing how database administrators often say: "I am a
hundreds of times, I need a plan. "If they were in the implementation mode, they
absolutely need a plan.

Behavior 3. Laissez-faire administration: "We do not need to monitor the system.
Users always tell us when something is wrong. "

If you are depending on users to let the team dba a problem, it May
be too late.


Installing the availability and performance monitoring systems so that problems are identified
and resolved before they cause failures affecting services.
Avoid post-release software issues, working with developers and testers
ensure that all loans to the production of software is robust and high performance.

Behavior # 4. A Memory Test: "We remember how it happened, and what we have done
things are new. "

It seems impossible that in May a team of dba to mention a great strategy for
this week on the right, and yet it happens all the time. To avoid
Currently, the mistakes and learn from the experience, the documentation is


Require that database administrators your maintenance of a library and documentation
activity log, including a level of reasoning, syntax and the details of workflow.
Give your team groupware on your intranet so that the documents
be accessed in an emergency.
Enforce the discipline of documentation and review it periodically. Ask your DBAs:
If tablespace is created, by whom, and what SQL? What activities are
performed on a particular day? If we can not respond quickly, you know went
to rely on memory.

Behavior 5. Reproach: "Do not look to me, is the developer of sin, which is SQL
of production "

Some DBAs have a real "us against them" mentality when it comes to developer
their organizations. No, they see themselves as facilitators help developers
develop quality code from a database perspective, but rather as providers of care
prevent poor quality of the code go to production. It appears in May
semantics, but a confrontational relationship between developers and DBAs results
a lack of initiative and developer downturns in the cycle.


Select DBAs understand it is their responsibility to work as a team
with the developers they support.
Cultivating thinking by a team of structuring dba participation in each project
instead of reviewing Compass.
Consider allocating an individual dba developer supporting role. While it is clear that
job description, with more motivation to do well.

Behavior # 6. LAW Solo: "I know what I do, and do not need help."

Database administration is becoming more complex and the most senior DBAs
probably not know all the details. DBAs have different specialties, who need
were slaughtered and used. When DBAs feel that they know or should know, all
They call and lose the valuable knowledge they can acquire


Promote a culture of teamwork where it is acceptable for database administrators to admit that they do not know
answers and ask for help.
Encourage your DBAs is without a peer group as a forum for
own thinking and test their hypotheses. Corresponding to any person
knowledge and experience of a relatively small group.
Provide a safety net for resources such as technology, reference materials, courses and
outside experts or consultants to the call.

Behavior # 7. TECHNO-thirsty "Things are working to better except that we are ..."

DBAs are often above the latest technology, which can help them make
superlative job. But when the desire for new technologies due to recommend DBAs
the purchase of unnecessary hardware or software add-on, costs tend to skyrocket
quickly, as well as problems.


Do not upgrade your hardware without exhausting all shades
time. Remember ten years ago, large companies are run on servers
one-tenth of all levels through the needs and abilities.
Objection to the use of new or advanced features that you are aware of
maintenance costs during the commitment and results.
Attention to software support dba presents a graphical interface for the poor
activities. This type of interface allows a novice dba acting as an intermediary dba
in certain circumstances, but at the same time prevents you from novice
learning skills behind the actual work. Also, these tools can often hide the real
dba risk, do things that May damaging as easy as point-and --

If a twelve-step program or a small adjustment, all fatal
Dba practices can be kicked. Of course, the first step is to recognize the problem. By
from this list and make a careful inventory of up to
database administration of your team, you're on your way to find a cure.

Paul Vallée
President, Founder

Since founding the company Paul was a major problem Pythian sniper for our most difficult technical challenges. Before launching, he worked as a consultant Oracle brings its extensive expertise in various companies in North America.

Paul is an active participant in the Internet since 1989 and has worked with complex data environments and ERP implementations. He graduated from the University of Ottawa with a B. comm. Management information system.


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