You have a business with an online presence and you’re looking for a DBA to manage your database so that you can focus on your core business. You soon find out that hiring a DBA is not easy, especially when you’re faced with the question: do you hire an onsite or remote DBA expert? This article provides you with the information you need to make the right decision.
Come Up with Clear Goals
Establishing clear goals for prospective candidates and defining their roles in a detailed and well-thought-out job description will help both your company and the team of experts. Create a comprehensive list of specific periodic and daily tasks that the DBA will undertake. Make it clear whether the DBA will provide development support, production support or a combination of both.
Production DBAs versus non-production DBAs
The main job of the production DBA is to ensure that your business is running smoothly and with minimal disruption. Production DBAs’ first priority in this case would be to ensure that your business processes are streamlined before taking any drastic actions. On the other hand, a non-production DBA’s approach will be quite different. It will probably involve a lot of trial and error and they will more readily perform reboots, maintenance and checks.
The first instinct of DBAs is to isolate the problem, reduce its effect on your company’s workflow, and ensure that your production system is running smoothly. These are therefore the main skills that you should be looking for in potential candidates. Having a DBA that has a tendency to reboot the system is not the best option.
Certainly, some issues are easier to solve than others. Nonetheless, a good production DBA will do their best to make sure that production does not grind to a halt. Rather, they would make repairs after office hours because their main priority is maintaining continuity of the business with as little disruption as possible.
Often, the best DBA firm among the ones you are considering has both production database support, non-production support and coding experience with SQL. Strong coding skills are important because poor coding is a common cause of many databases problems. Developers have in a lot of cases been known to write code that bogs down the system and conflicts with other applications.
In the initial stages of hiring, you can save time by finding out which prospective DBAs have both coding experience and production support. You achieve this by asking very specific questions regarding hypothetical disaster situations.
Choosing between remote DBAs and onsite DBAs
Your company’s standard operating procedures and policies greatly influence your choice between a DBA that works onsite or remotely. Among the considerations you should take into account is your business’s remote access protocol. If your business systems don’t have remote access protocol, it must be put into place, and that process can be cumbersome.
Keep in mind that hiring remote DBA experts will save you the overhead cost of setting up office space and equipment. It also saves you the cost of training new DBA talent and paying them employee benefits.
Sujain Thomas White has worked as a database administrator in the tech industry for 13 years and has written numerous articles and blog posts on topics related to database management, including finding the best database support.