The DBA Dot Com Bust

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  • Steve,

    Once again, a well written, well timed (at least for me) article. I have to agree with Brian in that the market is not that great and the employers know it. Unfortunate.

    Oddly enough, there are still TONS of Oracle jobs out there. Is that because of the 5:1 ratio of Oracle DBA's to SQL Server DBA's?



    “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” - Jim Elliot

  • My guess is there is a combination of a couple factors.

    1. More Oracle physically installed. That accounts for more jobs in general.

    2. Oracle is a more complicated product and SQL Server is (perceived) as a simple product that doesn't necessarily need a DBA. I'd argue against that, but the fact is that more network admins or developers are comfortable installing SQL Server than are confortable installing Oracle. Especially on a *nix platform.

    Steve Jones

  • The market has definitely slowed down. There is work but you have to be willing to compromise becuase it is an employers market. Those DBAs that have other collateral skills like good solid systems knowledge, cluster technology, multi-platform knowledge like and SQL Server(UNIX and Windows) OLAP etc. These are colateral skills that make us more attractive to customers. Hang in there and try out new stuff you never had an opportunity to do before.

  • Nice job Steve,

    What caught my eye was the configuration of your SQL servers at your present job:

    1 SQL Server 2000 production server driving our website and internal site. 2 databases, both under 1GB

    2 IT SQL 2000 servers matching the production server, 1 for development, and 1 for QA. A few other misc. databases (bug tracker, release tracking, etc). All databases under a GB.

    1 SQL Server 7 server hosting Goldmine CRM in one database (2GB), and Dynamics (MS, formerly Great Plains) accounting software( < 1GB).

    I work for a company about the same size as yours (30 emp.). I am transitioning our company from FoxPro 2.6 and 6.0 files to an SQL server. As a beginning SQL server developer/admin, I have a couple questions:

    1)Did you have all of those databases on the same box ? (I think not, but any specifics wil help)

    2)How you guys like Goldmine and Dynamics ? Our small company is concidering both and is looking to me for input.

    Thanks, Ken

  • Our server setup is:

    1 SQL Server 2000 - Production and live site.

    1 SQL Server 2000 - Demo Site (also hosts web)

    1 SQL Server 2000 - QA, bug db, release db, perf stats.

    1 SQL Server 2000 - Development.

    1 SQL Server 7 - Goldmine and Dynamics.

    Goldmine - so-so. Customization was expensive and not so great. Interface is ok. Sales somewhat likes it, but I think they got used to it. bottom line: We could have written something similar in 4-5 months. Not all the prettiness and bells and whistles, but probably would have run better. Don't know much about CRM, but IMHO this was a waste of $$.

    Dynamics - Have used Dynamics (now MS) and Solomon in client/server. Both seem to work fine. Fairly stable. Not sure our Acctgs are that swift, so I can't say much about it. I think most accounting packages are about the same. I'd buy on price and service in your area.

    Feel free to email for more Dynamics /Goldmine questions.

    Steve Jones

  • Dear Steve,

    I am a DBA having 1 year of experience. In our company we have total 60gb size of 3 databases on Sql Server 7.0. Here my daily work contains..taking Backups(weekly once Full and daily differential),Regular weekly updation of Local servers using BCP utility, which are replica of production servers and other miscellaneous works like security, taking scripts weekly maintainace of Databases.

    I would like to know that what exactily a DBA performs??

    what is the live Performance tuning ( I read in BOL)but would like to know from a person who really done this ??

    I would expect as explaination of above soonly...




  • Those are mostly administrative tasks for a DBA. You should be controlling the server, patching it with MS patches( after testing), as well as what you mentioned.

    Performance tuning can be reactive or proactive. Reactive - Someone has problems with performance and you troubleshoot their issue. Might change some server settings, but likely you are tuning queries.

    Proactive - Similar, but you are watching the server and looking where it runs slow. Then working to change the performance of the queries before someone complains.

    Steve Jones

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