Leveraging Collective Knowledge and Subject Matter Experts to Improve the Quality of Database Support

The database engine plays a strategic role in the majority of organizations. It provides the mechanism to store physical data along with business rules and executable business logic. The database’s area of influence has expanded to a point where it has become the heart of the modern IT infrastructure. Because of its importance, enterprises expect their databases to be reliable, secure and available.

Rapid advances in database technology combined with relatively high database licensing and (more...)

Database Security Best Practices

Database administrators, by the very essence of their job descriptions, are the protectors of their organization’s core data assets. They are tasked with ensuring that key data stores are safeguarded against any type of unauthorized data access. Ensuring that data is protected on a 24 x 7 basis is a complex task. External intrusions and internal employee data thefts combine to make many IT professionals lie awake at night thinking about how they can secure (more...)

Root Cause Corrective Action Reports

Computer architectures are complex by nature. Actually, stating they are complex is like describing the Titanic as having suffered from “a small leak”. If they weren’t, many of us wouldn’t be in this profession. Our services wouldn’t be needed. However, as we all know, computer architectures are not becoming ”administrator free”  or “self healing” as many industry pundits would have us believe. Instead, they are continuing to increase in complexity.

Computer systems are also inherently dynamic. (more...)

Application Change Management Best Practices

Database and operating system administrators are ultimately responsible for guaranteeing the quality of their organization’s information processing environments. From protecting against unauthorized access to providing 24×7 availability – “the buck stops with the support unit.” Although the database infrastructure (DB binaries, O/S, hardware) doesn’t change much, there is one component that usually changes a lot – the application. This blog post provides readers with helpful hints and tips on application change management best practices.

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Using Customer Surveys to Evaluate Service Delivery Performance

Effective measurements are required to judge the success of any activity. The quality of support the DBA team provides should be reviewed on a regular basis. Customer surveys allow business and application development units to provide feedback on the quality and timeliness of DBA support activities. The survey also allows your customers to measure how well they feel you are meeting your internal Service Level Agreements.

As a remote services provider, we are judged daily (more...)

The Non-Technical Art of Being a Successful DBA – Third Party Product Evaluations

Database administrators are much more than just “table jockeys.” Because of our well-rounded expertise, we are often asked to help evaluate third-party business applications, application development tools and database administration and monitoring products. Over the years, I have developed a Product Evaluation Methodology that you may find helpful.

Introduction

A methodology can be loosely defined as a body of best practices, processes and rules used to accomplish a given task. The task in this (more...)

The Art of Being a Successful Service Provider – Support Services SLAs

We have learned in previous blogs that identifying what our customers expect from us is an absolute requirement in meeting their needs. We probably won’t be meeting all of our customers’ expectations if we don’t have a firm understanding of what they are.

We also know that each IT organization, group, application team and individual user has their own unique set of value drivers they will use to evaluate the quality of service being provided (more...)

The Art of Being a Successful DBA- Soliciting Customer Feedback

Introduction

In today’s business environment, being a successful DBA requires more than just being known as a technical expert. There are thousands of those folks readily available. If you want to excel in this profession, you must be viewed as someone who understands both the business and technical aspects of the applications you support. You must also be viewed as someone who understands the importance of continuous improvement and not be satisfied with the “status (more...)

The Art of Being a Successful DBA- Keeping Customers Happy, Part 1

Introduction

If you have been reading this blog, you probably have noticed that very few posts have discussed complex technical topics in-depth. There is a wealth of information available on database administration and tuning topics provided by a host of qualified (and totally unqualified) presenters.

Being a successful DBA requires much more than just technical expertise. Over the years, I’ve found that becoming lax in non-technical areas of database administration and not following my own (more...)

The Art of the Interview

Over the last few years, RDX has been growing at a rapid pace.   During this time, we have hired literally dozens of database, operating system and Oracle Applications support professionals.   One of our key value propositions is the talent and experience of our support teams.  The quality of the service we provide to our customers depends on our ability to attract, hire and retain the most talented individuals possible.   Our customers (more...)