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The DBA Financial Analyst


The DBA Financial Analyst

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The DBA Financial Analyst

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Jeff Moden
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the cloud might be more trouble than it's worth


'Nuff Said! ;-) Next problem please. :-D

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

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Nelson Petersen
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"The DBA job is somewhat nebulous..."

And for those DBAs who find themselves working in the Cloud, the DBA job is very nebulous.
jeff.mason
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Our company's concept of "cloud" is that you have a large set of servers clustered by Polyserve that have many instances of SQL, and when an app needs a database, they pay for it by a fraction of the cost it originally cost the company to buy the hardware/software and don't care where in the matrix they live. We have a mechanical method of calculating the cost to the project. That sort of thing I can handle. But we stop at the DB and file/backup level. To calculate how much it would cost to add an index is not what I would want to do. What if you reindex? Drop indexes temporarily and readd them? How would you track costs for that? IMO going beneath the database level in calculating charges is too excessive for a DBA to have to deal with.
Steve Jones
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I definitely like the idea of a cloud like Polyserve. That seemed like a great technology.

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jvanderberg
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As a systems/business analyst, my job borders on accounting a little more than I like sometimes. Every aspect of my job is financial: my time has a very real cost, and my job is to analyze that cost versus the benefit of a new program or project. Projects with the highest benefit to cost ratio get done first, projects with low benefit to cost ratios sometimes never get done. Also, I spend a lot of time with both the accounting and sales departments. Both departments send me on errands that inevitably end me up digging through the GL transaction table, or some other financial data. When our auditors need data, who do you think retrieves it? I've actually learned quite a bit about accounting from my job.

I'm also the DBA; more of an incidental DBA than anything else, but I am the sole DBA/database developer for our company. I manage two servers, including backups, disaster recovery, and monitoring. I'm a developer too in that I manage all of the code on the database servers, complete with version control. Implementation of a project often requires that I be all three: business analyst, DBA, and developer.

I've also worn a few other hats at my company. I did end user tech support for some time, as well as general troubleshooting for employee computer issues. I've gone away for both roles, however, as the system analyst role creates a lot more value for the company. Eventually, I'm sure I'll move up to senior systems analyst, but I will probably still be the lead DBA, and I will always be a developer. I'm sure I'll still be a little bit accountant, too.

I don't think my role with the company is a very unique one. This jack-of-all-trades role may not exist at very many large companies, but I'm sure there are plenty of small companies cutting cost by having people performing multiple roles.

Either way, the idea of being both a DBA and a financial analyst is far from new to me.
jeff.mason
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Steve Jones - Editor (8/25/2010)
I definitely like the idea of a cloud like Polyserve. That seemed like a great technology.


Is is SO much easier to support than MS clustering. You install, as an example, three local copies of SQL on three boxes with the same instance name and details, then Polyserve creates the virtual server and binds together the three installs into one. It's flexible, all nodes can see all drives (in contrast to another post elsewhere, Polyserve CAN share all of its drives across multiple instances) and it is easy to use. Only major issue we've seen is SharePoint -- Polyserve and SharePoint don't play nice together.
Alan Vogan
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As always Steve, your commentaries seem to come at painfully appropriate times! I just helped accounting with a big financial analysis. Turns out the program they use to 'query' the database doesn't really build queries as much as it just adds a multitude of where clause criteria with no relationships.

From this experience, I would say either the DBA will need to begin to take on more of a financial analyst role or the financial analyst is going to need some basic training in db queries and table relationships.

Oh, and I liked that last little bomb you dropped on the cloud...forecasting clear skies? :-P
RalphWilson
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While I can see the point of determining the incremental costs of not only adding indexes but also things like stored procs, temp tables, and triggers as well as the cost of vs the savings from tuning queries, I can also see where it could easily cost more to do the analysis than it would bring in.

However, if one is charging for the space and execution time that a client is consuming (especially in a database hosting situation), I wonder if it might not be possible to create an application/process that could be provided a set of parameters (possibly saved in a CostBenefitAnalysuis database? ;-) that would allow for the automation of the analysis. Thus, you could have a monitor (e.g. my preferred tool, Ignite) that provides you with information about the Wait States of queries and then, based on the other information from the system (e.g. data storage, cycles consumed, bandwidth consumed, etc.) you could hit the client with an offer to tweak, say, their worst 5 performing queries at a cost of $X with a potential savings of $Y / month which (hopefully) would pay for the original cost in Z months (hopefully within the current fiscal year).

Ralph D. Wilson II
Development DBA

"Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the ax."
A. Lincoln
david_wendelken
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jeff.mason (8/25/2010)
Steve Jones - Editor (8/25/2010)
I definitely like the idea of a cloud like Polyserve. That seemed like a great technology.


Only major issue we've seen is SharePoint -- Polyserve and SharePoint don't play nice together.


That's an unfair comment about Polyserve.

Sharepoint doesn't play nice with anything, even SQL Server.

Just issuing a SQL query against the Sharepoint SQL databases violates the support agreement.

If that isn't the definition of not playing nice with your own database, I don't know what is.
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