Seperation of Duties - How many DBA's do you have?

  • Looking to get a feel of what other DBAs are doing. Need some feedback to confirm or deny my expectations.

    My company is looking to out source the DBA group (3) and others. We will have the opportunity to go with the new company or stay. The separation of duties have fallen into "Operations" and "Applications". Basically, the new company will take over all hardware (server/network/san) and on the operations side the job will be backups, promotions, performance monitoring, service packs, installations, ect. On the application side, know the schema's, help developers write efficient code, tune. What it looks like to me is a "DBA" role and a "Database Developer role". Mainly because the new company will not allow admin access to any piece of HW or SW that they take over. Management is touting this is also popper "separation of duties". And a Gartner consultant is telling management that this is how it is done now and the only way to have speration of duties with promotions. I don't agree. Both SOX and SCC state that separation of duties means that the creator of a database object should not be promoting the object. If one DBA creates an object, they can't promote it. We have approvals and paper trails on all promotions from Dev to Stage to UAT to Prod.

    My objective is to keep my team together. I am countering management that make all of us be "new" DBA and let us continue to work on everything we are doing. Not to have this "Operations" VS "Application" DBA roles.

    So, with those with 2 or more DBAs. Anybody doing this? any one out there have "production DBA" and "development DBA"? Any one have "Operation" VS "Application" dba?

    Joe

  • Depends on the company and the size of the systems that they have to maintain. Bigger companies tend to go for the "pigeon hole" which means you do 1 job and thats it. Smaller ones have a need for you to cover certain aspects but they dont need a full-time position covered.

    I started off in a smaller company and I am now at a very large company....

  • How bid is your company? How many DBAs?

    We are a large company. We have 1500 instances on 1200 servers/vm guests. We have 3 dba. Right now we cover everything related to SQL Server including promotions/tuning/patching ect.

  • I left a company that split the duties between development and administration. Further, administration was split between operations and systems. The systems guys literally built servers, clusters, virtuals, and managed lots of the details of that. The operations people were responsible for deployments, monitoring, backups, maintenance jobs. The development DBAs built everything, including many of the processes and tools for the operations people (who were primarily more junior DBAs).

    I don't think there are extremely hard and fast seperations of duties. It really depends to a large degree on the needs of the business. What yours is proposing, while the names are odd to my ear, doesn't sound too crazy for separation of duties.

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  • devereauxj (4/13/2011)


    How bid is your company? How many DBAs?

    We are a large company. We have 1500 instances on 1200 servers/vm guests. We have 3 dba. Right now we cover everything related to SQL Server including promotions/tuning/patching ect.

    I work for one of the big investment banks, no idea how many DBAs... but we have teams of them (me being one) 😀

  • devereauxj (4/13/2011)


    Looking to get a feel of what other DBAs are doing. Need some feedback to confirm or deny my expectations.

    My company is looking to out source the DBA group (3) and others. We will have the opportunity to go with the new company or stay. The separation of duties have fallen into "Operations" and "Applications". Basically, the new company will take over all hardware (server/network/san) and on the operations side the job will be backups, promotions, performance monitoring, service packs, installations, ect. On the application side, know the schema's, help developers write efficient code, tune. What it looks like to me is a "DBA" role and a "Database Developer role". Mainly because the new company will not allow admin access to any piece of HW or SW that they take over. Management is touting this is also popper "separation of duties". And a Gartner consultant is telling management that this is how it is done now and the only way to have speration of duties with promotions. I don't agree. Both SOX and SCC state that separation of duties means that the creator of a database object should not be promoting the object. If one DBA creates an object, they can't promote it. We have approvals and paper trails on all promotions from Dev to Stage to UAT to Prod.

    My objective is to keep my team together. I am countering management that make all of us be "new" DBA and let us continue to work on everything we are doing. Not to have this "Operations" VS "Application" DBA roles.

    So, with those with 2 or more DBAs. Anybody doing this? any one out there have "production DBA" and "development DBA"? Any one have "Operation" VS "Application" dba?

    Joe

    While you may end up with this division of labor at first, the people who stay in the long run will likely end up performing many of the duties of the people who are outsourced. The less contact you have with the people who are outsourced, the sooner the people that stay will begin performing these duties. The Gartner consultant is telling management one way it can be done, but certainly isn't any kind of industry-wide standard. However, that kind of consultant usually is expected to state black and white choices and make difinitive statements. As such, they're usually wrong.

    Expect fights with the outsourcing company over speed of response, permissions, performance, etc...

    Last time I worked with a company that had that arrangement, the outsourcing company was essentially fired, having their contract bought out just a few years into a 10 year contract. I hope you have better luck than that.

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