This editorial was originally published on Oct 28, 2012. It is being republished as Steve is out of the office.
There was a time when I managed two production databases on SQL Server. Two. I had a development version of one database where we paused development for testing, and only two production databases to manage. Since I had to also handle development, application support and hardware repair/replacement, that seemed like plenty to me. I was the accidental DBA, with database administration being the lowest priority of my day.
After that I moved on to administer databases in a number of jobs, sometimes as a priority, sometimes not, but in each case, I learned to work more efficiently and effectively. My goal was to automate as much as possible of the routine work so that I could spend my days adding value to the company. I learned to use scripts, alerts, jobs, and more to keep systems running while I was doing other work.
I'm sure many of you work in a similar manner, or at least I hope you do. This Friday I wanted to ask you at what scale do you need to become efficient, based on the size of your organization. The question this week is:
How many databases does each DBA in your organization manage?
I know some of you manage lots of databases in raw numbers, but also let us know if you need to do much with these databases. Is maintenance automated, or is there much active management you need to do in order to ensure these databases are running on a weekly basis. Let us know the size of your load as well, perhaps the amount of data is a better way of measuring the DBA load.