Deliver, Manage and Control Optimal Database Performance


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Deliver, Manage and Control Optimal Database Performance

  1. 1. Best Practices Every DBA Should Know By Bryan Oliver SQL Server Domain Expert Copyright © 2006 Quest Software
  2. 2. DBA 101: Best Practices Every DBA Should Know • With the continued popularity of SQL Server, more and more people are becoming SQL Server DBAs, whether they planned to or not. • Many new DBAs come from the development side, while others come for the IT/networking side. • What these new DBAs have in common is a lack of a basic knowledge of what it really means to be a DBA. • In this session, you will learn the basics of what it means to be a DBA, with pointers on how to make becoming a DBA a smart career choice. 1
  3. 3. My assumptions about you • You currently aren’t a DBA, but are interested in becoming one. • You are a part-time or accidental DBA, and you want to find out more about the career of DBA. • If you are a DBA, and you want to learn how to advance in your career as a DBA. 2
  4. 4. Our approach for today • Let’s make this session highly interactive with lots of give and take. – Feel free to ask questions at any time. – Feel free to offer your opinion at any time. – Feel free to tell us about your experiences. – Feel free to disagree with me, but promise you will explain why you disagree. 3
  5. 5. Here is what we are going to discuss today • Benefits of Becoming a DBA • What Exactly is a DBA? • What Do DBA’s Do? • Specializing as a DBA: You Can’t Do It All • Characteristics of the Successful DBA • Honing Your Skill Set • Is Professional Certification Really Necessary • Participate in the SQL Server Community • Manage Your Career, Don’t Let it Manage You 4
  6. 6. Benefits of becoming a DBA • Why should anyone want to become a DBA? – DBAs earn from US $60,521 to $102,933 per year on average – Developers earn from US $47,911 to $74,626 per year on average – Network administrators earn from US $45,555 to $75,032 per year on average • Data from as of May 2008. Assumes moderately experienced to very experienced personnel. – DBAs tend to be the last laid off during company lay offs, and are less likely to be outsourced. – Experienced DBA’s opinions are often considered highly valuable by management. They often influence major IT decisions. – Because DBAs are usually held in high esteem at most organizations, this often gives them a higher probability for advancement into management. – Being a DBA often affords you the opportunity to travel; to work for small and big organizations, or to be a consultant 5
  7. 7. What exactly is a DBA? • A DBA (Database Administrator) is an IT Professional who is responsible for the ongoing operations of an organization’s databases and the applications that access the databases. • The position encompasses many different job functions and job titles, and these vary widely from one organization to the next. • In short, there is no "standard job description" to which a DBA can refer. This is partly because the job title of DBA doesn’t have a long history and partly because the functions of the DBA are quickly evolving. 6
  8. 8. Typical DBA tasks #1 • Archiving Data • Attending Meetings • Auditing • Application Integration • Backup and Recovery • Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing • Capacity Planning • Database Application Development • Database Modeling and Database Design • Developing and Maintaining Best Practices 7
  9. 9. Typical DBA tasks #2 • High Availability • Installing, Configuring, and Upgrading SQL Server Software • Installing and Configuring Hardware and OS • Load Balancing • Maintaining Documentation • Managing People • Managing SQL Server-based Applications • Managing Test Environments • Monitoring 8
  10. 10. Typical DBA tasks #3 • Needs/Requirements Analysis • Performance Tuning • Project Management • Protector of the Data • Report Writing • Running (and Creating) Jobs • Security • Scripting • SSIS/ETL 9
  11. 11. Typical DBA tasks #4 • Testing • Training Users • Troubleshooting (fighting fires) • Working with Teammates 10
  12. 12. Specializing as a DBA: you can’t do it all • Choose one of the following specialty areas: – DBA Administrator – DBA High Availability Specialist – DBA Database Designer/Architect – DBA Developer – DBA Business Intelligence Specialist – DBA SSIS Specialist – DBA Reporting Specialist – Among others – Many of the above overlap 11
  13. 13. Characteristics of successful DBAs #1 • Enjoys Technology • Enjoys Challenges • Enjoys Problem Solving • Good with Details • Embraces Change • Enjoys Learning • Accepts Responsibility • Maintains Professionalism • Trustworthy 12
  14. 14. Honing your skill set • Formal education • Gaining technical skills • Getting experience • Mastering DBA soft skills Becoming a successful DBA includes a blend of skill sets that can be gained in many different ways 13
  15. 15. Formal education • Very few educational institutions offers degrees in database administration. • In most cases, the best formal foundation to become a DBA is a degree in IT Management, Computer Science, or Application Development. • There are many successful DBAs who don’t have a degree in the above, but who have other four-year degrees. • Most employers will substitute a four-year degree in computers for related job experience. 14
  16. 16. Gaining technical skills • Most DBAs are self taught, and have little or no formal training in database administration. Options include: – Formal classroom training (college credit or non-credit) – Seminars and workshops (1-5 day events) – Conferences – SQL Server/Code Camps – Online training – Attending user groups – Self-study by reading books and practicing on your own – Magazines and other publications – Websites, blogs, forums, RSS feeds – Learning on demand (looking up what you need to know in BOL or the Internet as the need arises 15
  17. 17. Getting experience • Practical experience as a DBA is the key to not only becoming a successful DBA, but also to finding DBA jobs. • As with most careers, gaining experience is the hardest obstacle people must overcome. • Some options include: – Find an entry-level DBA job that doesn’t require experience. – Volunteer for DBA-related work at your current job, gaining it as you can. – Try to transfer to a DBA-related job when available. Hopefully previous experience with your company will demonstrate your ability to take on such a new job. – Accidently falling into a DBA position. This happens more often than you think, especially when SQL Servers are installed in your company and there is no part-time or full-time DBA to manage the SQL Servers. 16
  18. 18. Mastering DBA soft skills • Mastering soft skills is just as important as learning SQL Server technical skills. Key skills include: – People skills – Teamwork skills – Leadership skills – Project management – Time management – Writing skills – Speaking skills – Knowledge of legal responsibilities 17
  19. 19. Is professional certification really necessary? • According to Microsoft, as of early 2008: – 149,590 people have received the SQL Server 2000 MCDBA certification (to be phased out in early 2009) – 24,939 people have received the MCTS: SQL Server 2005 certification (one test required) – 801 people have received the MCTS: Business Intelligence certification (one test required) – 4,006 people have received the MCITP: Database Administrator certification (three tests required) – 1,596 people have received the MCITP: Database Developer certification (three tests required) When SQL Server 2008 is released, the certification options will change somewhat 18
  20. 20. Is professional certification really necessary? • While you don’t have to have professional certification to be a successful DBA, it does provide these benefits: – Helps to focus your training efforts – Broadens your knowledge – Distinguishes you from other DBAs – Some organizations require DBAs to be certified – Helps when you lack practical experience – Company recognition and rewards – Peer recognition – Needed to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer – Microsoft gives you some benefits (You become an MCP) 19
  21. 21. Participate in the SQL Server community • There are many benefits to participating and contributing to the SQL Server community. They include: – Increase your depth of knowledge – Make new contacts – It’s fun to help others – Help’s build your resume of professional experience – Critical, if you ever want to be considered as a Microsoft MVP 20
  22. 22. How to participate in the SQL Server community • Participate in forums and news groups • Write and share scripts • Join and participate in a local and national user’s group • Speak at SQL Server events, both local and national • Write articles or books • Write a blog • Create a SQL Server-related website 21
  23. 23. Manage your career, don’t let it manage you • If you find that you enjoy DBA work and want to make it your career, consider the following: – Take control of your career, don’t let it just happen to you. – Decide what you want from your career, and take actions to make it happen. – Set realistic, short-term goals in order to reach major milestones in your career plan. – If you don't follow through with your goals, then nobody else will do it for them. You need to be self-motivated and ready to take action. – Realize that career plans and goals can change, and regularly reevaluate and revise your career path. 22
  24. 24. Final notes • Making a career as a DBA can be a very rewarding decision for many people. • My recommendation: – If becoming a DBA meets your career goals, work hard to become the best DBA you can become. – If you are a DBA by accident, and it doesn’t really meet your career goals, change your job as soon as you can. – Life is too short to be doing something you don’t enjoy! 23
  25. 25. Find out more • Check these out: – How to Become an Exceptional DBA (free e-book) – www.SQL-Server-Performance.Com – – – 24
  26. 26. Q&A • Send questions to me at: • Send broader technical questions to: • For sales questions, go to: THANK YOU! 25