Remote DBA Experts — Questions You Need to Ask Yourself and the Service Provider before Hiring


Most of the large companies and enterprises already have their database management options sorted out. If you are on your way to scale up your small or medium sized business, you are possibly asking yourself if its time yet to appoint a database administrator or DBA.

What is the role of a DBA expert in your company?

DBA is a multi-faceted job, and that is the very reason a good DBA expert must have years of work experience on his resume. He is the jack of all trades who is also the master of all. He has to pull all strings to be able to maintain a database successfully.

Although his primary and most important responsibility is to design, implement and maintain databases, he has other nuances to his work as well. Here are a few of his other responsibilities in the company:

  1. Supervision of the technical support staff and daily reports
  2. Strategic planning for the company
  3. Implementing company informational policies including data storage, backup and restoration
  4. Supervision of Oracle and system network in the company
  5. Analysis of company database from time to time and generation of reports
  6. Monitoring system security including both technical failures and unauthorized access of external parties
  7. Liaising with the database management software vendor for solving software related issues for seeking technical support and regular follow-ups

It is a DBA expert’s responsibility to keep the utilities up-to-date and maintain a high degree of reliability of the company database. All previous service outages are analyzed by DBA experts to prevent any future lapses. As a matter of fact, it is also a DBA expert’s duty to plan in advance for any form of natural disaster to exact a swift and coordinated response from the technical teams to make up for the defaulting servers. A good DBA will make sure that the response time and uptime for your company database remainsat a minimum to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

When is the right time to hire a DBA?

The most common scenarios that lead you to this question include sudden growth of your company database, new database management software that comes with vendor recommendation for DBA experts or the inability of your current staff to handle the data explosion of your company. Most of the times, it is rather a rude awakening that helps you realize the immediate need for a DBA expert.

But here are a few scenarios that tell you that you should seek out expert help immediately for database management:

  • You don’t have an in-house DBA –It is difficult to retain an in-house DBA for over 2-3 years. They are always swinging from one job to another for better pays and perks. Here, you have two options in front of you — either you suck up to your DBA team and offer them a healthier pay beyond your abilities or outsource the job to remote DBA experts.
  • Your in-house DBA has bitten off more than he can chew–It is not unlikely for your in-house DBA to feel overburdened with increasing company responsibilities. This is very common in case of companies that are expanding fast oropening new offices at new locations. Your DBA team may feel incapacitated. The best option in this situation is to hire a remote DBA expert who can handle and coordinate the extra responsibilities.
  • Your database has crashed, more number of times than your business can handle–Well, this is the time you know for sure that you need a fresh team to take charge of your company database. This happens when your in-house DBA team is incompetent and slacking off, or they are simply not in tune with the rapid growth of your company. At this moment, going for a fresh in-house DBA team can cripple your company capitals, and the best option is to reach out to remote DBA services.

What is the best choice of database management system for your company?

This is a question that small and big companies ask from time to time. When you are scaling up or thinking about a database overhaul, you can think about switching to a more advanced database management system. In today’s market, there are three names people trust with their database management. The requirement of your company may vary depending on a number of factors including your existing database management software, the capabilities of your DBA team and your management requirements.

Here are the three market leaders of database management mostly sought out by companies today:

  • Oracle –Oracle DBMS tops the list everywhere. It supports Windows, UNIX and Linux systems. The current version of Oracle Database 12c has advanced features including JavaScript object notation support and temporal capabilities.
  • IMB DB2 –This supports UNIX and Linux systems, and is currently Oracle’s biggest nemesis. DB2 SQL is extremely similar to z/OS and LUW platforms. DB2 features JSON support and temporal capabilities just like Oracle Database 12c.
  • Microsoft SQL Server –The latest release is the SQL Server 2016 that is compatible with Windows servers. SQL licenses come with Integration services, analytical services and reporting services that help your company run on a shoestring budget.

Out of all three, Oracle is the most used database management system. Exadata is a new database appliance from Oracle that is a combination of software and hardware to provide stellar performance and excellent availability for running the Oracle Database.

How to recognize a good and responsible DBA?

Choosing a DBA is quite a challenging task since you will need to trust him with your company database management and implementation of company policies. Finding a good DBA is slightly easier than finding your soulmate. A good DBA has some telltale signs that will help you recognize him from a crowd of DBA impostors, but to unearth these signs, you need to ask the right questions.

  • Does your DBA service provider have reliable/verified credentials?

This is the litmus test for any DBA expert and RDBA service provider. You can check his personal website for client testimonials and certificates that will give you an idea about his expertise and experience. You should really put your heart into researching about the DBA you are about to hire since you are about to trust him with your company’s database.

  • If you are approaching a DBA agency, what’s their location?

Even though you may think the location of a DBA agency to be irrelevant since you will be seeking remote DBA services, you may want to consider the difference in time zones before you get into an agreement. We have seen companies land in trouble simply because their RDBA counsel was unavailable due to time constraints. Keeping these restrictions in mind, it is wise to look for reliable service providers within your country (or at least a nearby one).

  • Will you have to go through a call center every time you need help?

Going through call centers every time you have an issue with your company database is more than annoying. There are quite a few service providers that siphon their calls through call centers, and every time you seek their aid, you will have to brief the executives individually. This causes loss of valuable time and patience. We advise you to clear this out with your DBA service provider before you enter any kind of agreement. Make sure you are assigned a specific administrator for managing your company database. This will make the process a lot faster and foolproof.

What are the differences between in-house DBA experts and remote DBA experts?

In-house DBA is your company’s very own team of DBA experts who are at your beck and call all the time. This is a reliable option for most large companies since they have a lot of data that is possibly growing at an exponential rate. However, hiring your own team of dedicated DBAs may not be an option for SMBs. The cost of hiring an in-house DBA ranges from $140,000 to $200,000 per year. It means you may have to pay a single employee about $175,000 per annum. This is not a small number for a fresh endeavor. Also, if you are new on the Oracle journey, you should get ready to spend about $75,000 per person for training every year to get them up to terms with the latest modifications.

Switching to remote database services can save you quite a few grand’s, if not more. Most RDBA agencies price their services on per-instance basis rather than per hour basis. The cost can vary from company to company, but it usually remains in the range of $3,000 to $6,000 a month. That is less than 40 percent of what you would have to pay a senior in-house DBA every month. Remote DBA service handles all its own expenses for employee training, salaries and vacation pay. You will not have worry about the selection process of a new team for your company, and outsourcing the responsibility ensures that the daily database services become the DBA company’s headache. It is also true that a remote DBA team will have more collective experience as compared to a new team of DBAs you may be willing to put together. Data integrity is also a huge factor for putting together a team of new DBAs. While a DBA company that has been in service for years already has its technology and DBMS software sorted, getting a new team in sync with the latest tech required to maintain the integrity of your company database is a massive challenge.

What are the advantages of hiring remote DBA experts?

While cost cutting is the biggest advantage of opting for a RDBA service, there are other associated advantages as well. Here are a few instances where your company could be benefiting from a RDBA service:

  • Wholesome service –most of the Remote DBA Experts are trained in more than one DBMS software programs including Oracle, SQL Servers and DB2. They have more collective experience than the superstar DBAs who get paid over $150,000 per annum for their in-house services. Their active involvement in training programs and DBMS upgrades makes them perfect for maintaining your company’s database integrity.
  • Better monitoring – since you will be hiring the service of a company and not just an individual, your company’s database will get more attention. You can actually expect 24/7/365 monitoring of company data. They have their own remote monitoring software for generating:

  • Trend Reports – reports on the details of CPU consumption, I/O, internal metric of the database and memory usage.
  • Tuning Report –this helps in identification of I/O issues and alerting experts of any performance issues that may arise during regular database checks.

Most of the experienced agencies have dedicated teams of on-demand consulting services and database support to help your company achieve maximum database availability.

  • Better knowledge of latest Oracle versions and updates – with individual DBA services and in-house DBA services, the regular update of technology may become an issue. Most in-house teams find it difficult to keep up with the evolution of DBMSs. In this regard, the RDBMS services easily ensure that your company database is well protected with the latest technology. The trained team of DBA experts ensures greater accessibility of Oracle that helps in better maintained of your company db.

What should be your ultimate goal during hiring Remote DBA Experts?

Choosing the right RDBA service for your company should not be a solely financial decision. You need to weigh the pros and cons before making your choice. You need to check the credentials, experience and client list of each and every prospective RDBA service agency before making a move. It should be a wholesome decision that benefits your company.

If you still have questions about how to find the right remote database administrator for your company, feel free to contact us any day, any time!