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Remote DBAs Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 8:44 AM
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I think remote DBA would be much better solution and I would trust them to do a good job than some internal DBA, at least they would response much faster, otherwise they would lose the contract. As for the confidential data concerned, they had to sign the confidential agreement just liked the rest of the internal employees.

My former company had three SQL Server DBAs. They had a schedule that every week one DBA on call, one DBA worked at home for two days and another DBA worked at the office the whole week. So if something happened it was off hour, we called the on call DBA, since all the developers could not see touch the production database, that meant we could not even see the DTS packages, jobs and anything, we depended on the on call DBA to find out what happened, the average time that the on call DBA returned the call was 45 min to 1 hour !!!!! How efficient!!!!! The other two DBAs supposed to be the backup, you could never find them, especially the one worked at home, you could not even able to contact him even at office hour.
One time the whole department had a "OFF SITE" team building meeting. One of my production job went down. We tried to call every DBA including the on call DBA for four hours, and no one returned any phone call. Of course I could not fix the production problem. The next day I went to complain to the DBA manager and he said I did not follow the production problem tracking procedure. I went to find the person who took care the problem tracking system and he said I did the right thing but the DBA manager insisted that I did something wrong.
When the on call DBAs did not return the call, the DBA manager actually was on their side. Yes he was a good manager, lousy to the users though. Ironically the DBA manager wrote a book called 'You're Fired! Firing Computer Professionals: The IT Manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause" '.
Post #400391
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 9:36 AM


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Some great points being brought up and I agree there are definitely problems and challenges. However picking a remote DBA firm isn't like hiring an electrician or plumber for the day. It's something you enter into for the long term, with the idea you'd use the group regularly.

And for smaller environments, even if they don't know everything, they can provide some valuable peace of mind for a DBA going on vacation (for both the company and employee), especially if he/she's one of 3 or 4 in the IT department.







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Post #400413
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 1:50 PM
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I'm actually VERY interested in those on call DBAs.

 

I'm a single DBA shop and when possible prefer to handle development more than administration.  I'm confident that my servers are safe and secure, but I KNOW that I'm working harder than I have to with tasks that should/could be automated and there are some areas related to analysis and integration services that I don't know nearly enough about.

Has anyone used this consulting firm, or have a rough idea of their prices?

I wouldn't be against calling them and having them remote in and go over some server configuration, and "double check" my servers to make sure I wasn't doing anything blindingly career endingly stupid

Post #400514
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 7:20 PM


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I know the people running the company and they're solid DBAs. No idea on rates, so ping them and see what they offer.

Search on Google as well and call a couple others.







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Post #400594
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 9:10 PM


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I've been working as a "Remote DBA" for the past nine months and we have clients across a very broad spectrum. Retail, Finance, Legal, Automotive, Travel, etc...

Each client has their own requirements in terms of security. One client does not allow us to plug in any equipment or install any software. Another just hands us the proverbial keys to the server and expects us to deal with any issues that arise. We also use about five different VPN solutions, including ones with security tokens. A few of our clients also have us onsite on a regular basis.

From my point of view this job has been the best move of my career. I've come across many varied installations of SQL Server, many of which I wouldn't have had exposure to in a regular DBA role. I get to look after a vast range of servers in many different environments. One client has a 24x7 db that is 100GB, another has 20 dbs with the largest being 2GB. Yet another client has servers in two countries with data replicated between them. We also act as a specialist support for companies that already have DBAs.






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Post #400618
Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 1:08 PM


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First of all I would like to thank Steve for making mention of SQL on Call.

I admit that a remote DBA is not always 100% of the time the best way to go. Developers for instance that may need some face to face time learning their ways around SQL. When we speak to a perspective client we try to make sure that we express that we are a tool that they can use so that the other resources they already do have can be used more efficiently.

Think of it this way. You had a staff of 2 DBA's but one of them is spending most of the work day checking backups, error logs, jobs, replication and so on. Then that same DBA is creating user accounts and completing work that really is not helping the company "make money". If you could free up this DBA's time so that they are focused more on the aspect of moving the company forward while someone else helps to "keep the lights on". You now have hired an on call DBA that will help you produce more.

For single DBA shops we are the backup or even the assistant. Or a sounding board to help with issues that come along.

Thanks,
Post #407557
Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 2:26 PM
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I could not tell you too much about on call DBA in my former company. Even the on call DBA supposed to be on call 7/24, first not one single DBA answered the phone immediately, even they answered the phone, it might be hours later. One time it was production problem and no one answered the phone, I tried to call every hour. The next day the DBA manager said they had an off site team meeting. I was about to kill him. I should go and talk to his boss but I did not.

In my old days when I was on call programmer (I was talking main frame IBM COBOL time), I got call 3 am and there was no VPN. I had to go to the office and fixed the problem, then went back to work at 8 am.

Time had changed or just me ??
Post #407592
Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 2:42 PM


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Times haven't changed, its just some people don't accept responsibilty for the their systems after hours. at my last company we had an on-call rotation with three individuals. There was one individual when first on-call was never available, it always fell to the 2nd or 3rd on-call developer for production issues (yes, we were developers and production support; with the small team we had, that was the way it had to be).




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Post #407603
Posted Saturday, October 6, 2007 7:46 AM


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At my last "real" job with JD Edwards, our on call was paged out by the help desk (24x7). If they didn't get a call back in 15 minutes, they re-paged the person and paged the manager. If they didn't get resolution within a reasonable time, the manager's manager could be paged.

Tended to get people to answer their pages :)







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Post #407693
Posted Tuesday, October 2, 2012 6:52 AM


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It's interesting reading the posts from 2007 on this re-run article...I have worked as a DBA, DBA manager, and warehouse development manager over the last 5 years (same company) all exclusively from home, as do most all my colleagues. We work at a global bank, so security is an issue but plans were made and the rate of incidents has been extremely low. Anyone finding a different attitude toward working from home now compared to 2007 when this was published?

I think its a great incentive to retain employees, the thought of commuting every day makes me nauseous after 5+ years of working at home.




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