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Who wants to be a DBA? Roles and Responsibilities


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There are a lot of great careers in information technology (IT) these days. The US Bureau of Labor Management predicts years of shortages in many IT career tracks, and one of the most highly paid and respected of IT professions is the database administrator (DBA).

This session will teach you all about the professional expectations, roles, and responsibilities of a DBA. We'll show you what they do on a regular basis and how they operate within medium and large IT organizations. You'll learn not only what is most commonly expected of a DBA from a technological standpoint, but what your future boss and your future customers need to be satisfied by your performance.

This is the first of several sessions in a series about DBA skills and professionalism. This session is beginners. Video available at

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Who wants to be a DBA? Roles and Responsibilities

  1. 1. WHO WANTS TO BE A DBA? ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES Kevin Kline • Technical Evangelist, SQL Sentry • SQL Server MVP since 2003 • Twitter, FB, LI: @KEKline • Blog:
  2. 2. YOUR CO-HOST • Richard Douglas • Sales Engineer at SQL Sentry • Blogs: • • • Twitter: @SQLRich • Email: • Slides:
  3. 3. Tuning blog,, and videos, Five eBooks ($10 in the Kindle bookstore), free at
  4. 4. Book a Demo with me (Richard Douglas) by going to
  5. 5. AGENDA • Technology Skills • Interpersonal Issues oWhy am I here? oWho do I need to satisfy? oWhere is the work done? oWhat’s really expected? • Summary • Q&A
  6. 6. DBA TECHNOLOGY SKILLS 1. Planning, Installing and configuring 2. Basic hardware understanding 3. Security basics 4. Backup and restore 5. Database maintenance 6. Troubleshooting 7. Basic HA/DR
  7. 7. WHY AM I HERE? • Accidentally or Intentional? • Involuntarily or Voluntary? • Great career prospects and better earning potential than most other IT careers
  8. 8. WHO DO I NEED TO SATISFY? Peers CustomersBoss
  9. 9. WHERE IS THE WORK DONE? [Sandbox] Dev [Test/QA] [UAT/Staging/Pre-production] Production
  10. 10. WHAT WAS I THINKING? • Most new/involuntary DBAs are aware of these responsibilities: oKeep the database running oHardware oDatabase maintenance oSQL queries and working with Devs What I’m really getting into… What I was Thinking…
  11. 11. • Keeping People Happy • Ensuring Uptime • Owning the Platform • Other duties as assigned WHAT’S REALLY EXPECTED?
  12. 12. KEEPING PEOPLE HAPPY • Keeping boss happy oMeetings, TPS Reports • Keeping users happy oAnswering their service requests oTraining • Liaison between many groups oSys admin, Network admin, SAN admin, Ops, Microsoft support, Hardware vendor support, Dev teams, QA teams, Business owners
  13. 13. ENSURING UPTIME • Keeping the database running • Performance troubleshooting • Database Maintenance • HA/DR/BC oMany technologies to fit your budget oTrade-offs are usually a choice between cost and latency + manageability
  14. 14. OWNING THE PLATFORM • Security oDon’t make this an afterthought, especially SQL Injection • Monitoring oStop surprising me! • Planning for the future oPreparation today saves work tomorrow
  15. 15. OTHER DUTIES AS ASSIGNED… • Licensing is mysterious to most and scary to some. Don’t forget: oMulti-instancing oVirtualization • Installing, upgrading and configuring SQL Server is generally easier. oRemote or unattended installation oRemember, the defaults suck!
  16. 16. SUMMARY
  17. 17. QUESTIONS
  18. 18. Book a Demo with me (Richard Douglas) by going to