A Day In The Life Of A VDBA

April 11, 2013   //   Managed Services, , , , ,

As part of SWC’s managed services offering, we provide virtual database administration (VDBA) services. We have found that the majority of the mid-market organizations we serve have SQL databases, but don’t always have a fulltime SQL database administrator on staff dedicated to maintaining them. This can lead to network performance problems, backup issues and slow running applications. SWC provides VDBA services to help these organizations optimize SQL performance and improve the reliability of their environment.

I thought it might be interesting to share the following blog on ‘a day in the life of a VDBA’ at SWC to further explain what our VDBAs do on a daily basis to ensure that our customer’s environments are optimally performing.

  1. Get a cup of hot coffee!
  2. Open and review email from clients and the Managed Services team regarding SQL Server issues requiring our support
  3. Check Network Operating Center (NOC) dashboard for thresholds that have been breached (failures and warnings) for VDBA clients. NOC team sends alerts and emails on issues with SQL Servers to the client and the VDBA team.
  4. Review job success failure emails from overnight VDBA maintenance jobs. Failure jobs are reviewed daily, investigating the reason of failure and resolving and researching any remaining issues. Failure is documented in a report for the team. Any issues needing client approval are entered into a ticket and contact is made with the client to discuss resolution.
  5. Perform a quick review of client SQL Server systems in order to head off any potential problems in regard to capacity or performance. Trends regarding disk capacity and memory usage can be reviewed over the last 90 days to help identify potential pain points. This is done weekly.
  6. Software team had performance issues on a client system overnight. Meet to discuss the issue and research possible cause. Map out a strategy to monitor, and discuss ongoing performance enhancements.
  7. Assist a developer in finding the best way to test data compression.
  8. Test a cool new script to see if it would solve ongoing space issues.
  9. Find a known bug in client’s SQL 2000 server causing a job to fail. Build a workaround solution to allow job to succeed, but reminded customer again that we need a plan for migration off of SQL2000!
  10. Help a Managed Services client with space issues and failing backup jobs. Build a script to perform after business hours process to restore space back to the system and reduce the footprint of the database. Backup, shrink, backup, and rebuild indexes after hours.
  11. Take a break to grab some candy from the receptionist’s desk.
  12. Work with engineering lead on a client’s SQL server to open appropriate firewalls to allow replication between two systems.
  13. Work with Engagement Manager and Account lead on a client’s request for SQL support; develop strategy to meet their needs.
  14. Assist Account lead with a client SQL system having performance issues. This could be due to poor application or database performance. Perform very quick high level review of system to identify potential performance issues and offer ideas on resolutions. Often poor performance is a result of inadequate database or query design, with things like missing keys or indexes on tables or improper join construction on queries being the usual cause.
  15. Notified of free lunch in the kitchen, so sprint to the kitchen to enjoy pizza with co-workers!
  16. Respond to client request for after business hours SQL work. Contact client and discuss details and best time to perform task. Notify NOC team of potential outage after hours.
  17. Create documentation for build of a new SQL Server instance for VDBA client. Include best practices to follow in any SQL Server installation considering server function, scope and client preference.
  18. Work on client’s monthly VDBA report.
  19. Throughout the day, we check that there are no new alerts emails that need attention.
  20. Go home and spend time with family and relax, knowing SWC’s managed services team has my client’s covered!

Please click the following link to learn more about SWC’s VDBA services or join us for our next information Managed Services event.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please take a moment to read a few past posts on IT managed services.
SWC Managed Services – A More Strategic Approach to IT
The Top Five Signs You Need A Managed Services Partner Or Are Ready To Outsource
2013 IT New Year’s Resolutions
Chicago Area SWC’s Managed Services VP Susie Cummings Honored