Below are the Frequently Asked Questions about the remote DBA/database administration services offered by Virtual-DBA to address the database system administration and management needs of clients.
- What is Virtual-DBA?
- How does Virtual-DBA work?
- I don’t have or want a full-time DBA. Why do I need Virtual-DBA?
- I already have a full-time DBA. Why do I need Virtual-DBA?
- What does Virtual-DBA cost?
- What do I do if I want some help with my database system?
- Does Virtual-DBA include backup and recovery?
- Is Virtual-DBA a tool that can automatically tune the database engine?
- How will this service work in conjunction with my software vendor support?
- What are the primary ways Virtual-DBA will save me money?
1. What is Virtual-DBA?
Virtual-DBA is a remote DBA/database administration service offering from XTIVIA to address the database system administration and management needs of its subscribers. Virtual-DBA remotely monitors critical IBM Db2 LUW, IBM Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and PostgreSQL database operational functions and statistics on a daily basis to help ensure system availability, optimum performance, and trouble-free operation, so you have expert database administrators available when your system needs them. Our expert database administrators are also on-call and can be contacted by you with questions, or to get help when you need it.
2. How does Virtual-DBA work?
- Statistics about your systems are collected throughout the day and sent to Virtual-DBA service centers at regular intervals, where they are automatically filtered and centrally stored. A heartbeat process monitors the availability of your system and the communications channel to the Virtual-DBA service centers. A primary and backup Virtual-DBA database specialist are assigned to manage and monitor your systems and account.
- When the statistics arrive, if monitored indicators are out of tolerance, an alert is generated automatically and Virtual-DBA database specialists are notified. The Virtual-DBA database specialist immediately notifies you of any critical issues and will work, with you, to a resolution. If non-critical issues are discovered, they will be documented and discussed with you during your regular status briefing, and then tracked to resolution.
- Your Virtual-DBA database specialist, for operational trend analysis identification, reviews past and present operational and performance data. Operational trends are important to system planning and in troubleshooting performance issues. Any trends will be documented and discussed with you during your regular status briefings and available reports.
- The statistical information collected about your system and a complete case tracking history of our database specialist’s actions are available, in the My Database area of this website, for Virtual-DBA subscribers. A quick online tour is available.
- You will have a dedicated Virtual-DBA available for database administration services and advice regarding any aspect of database design, troubleshooting, administration or management. These assigned Virtual-DBA engineers will already be familiar with the key aspects of your system, installation, application and requirements, so when you have a problem or want some coaching you can speak to someone who already knows the basics about your system. These services are available by telephone or on-site consultation. The key feature is that expert help is available when it is needed, whether the need is for 30 minutes or several weeks.
3. I don’t have or want a full-time DBA. Why do I need Virtual-DBA?
An often overlooked fact is that most business information systems, whether developed in-house or purchased “off the shelf” from application vendors, are designed to utilize a commercially available relational database management system. In order to properly maintain optimal performance and ensure system availability, someone who understands the technology must be assigned the task of supporting the database component of the business application. In most cases a full-time DBA is not a perfect fit, but Virtual-DBA allows you to have a DBA on your terms, only when you need one.
4. I already have a full-time DBA. Why do I need Virtual-DBA?
Are you looking to augment your current DBA staff? Do you need more coverage due to increased workload or attrition? Do you need coverage while your current DBA takes a vacation or goes to training? Want to free up your DBA from doing routine maintenance to work on critical new business issues? Virtual-DBA can support your current DBA by taking over the everyday monitoring and tuning tasks and alerting your DBA when issues are found. Short term coverage is also available for those times that your DBA needs to be away from your business. Your DBA gets support when it’s needed and wanted.
5. What does Virtual-DBA cost?
There is a monthly fee that covers the basic database operation monitoring and management features of the basic service and up to a set number of hours of remote consulting support per month. Since the service can be customized to meet your specific needs it is best to contact a Virtual-DBA representative. Please contact
or fill out our information request form.
6. What do I do if I want some help with my database system?
Your assigned Virtual-DBA database specialist is a phone call away and is available for telephone, remote and on-site consulting, support and coaching. Since specific database specialists are assigned to monitor your systems they will already be familiar with your installation and setup which should save you and us time.
7. Does Virtual-DBA include backup and recovery?
The monitoring of standard backup completion is included with the basic service. Virtual-DBA does have the experience and resources to help you meet your entire backup and recovery needs and can customize the service offering as required.
8. Is Virtual-DBA a tool that can automatically tune the database engine?
Not exactly. Virtual-DBA is a tool to be used by you, where our experienced DBAs gather and analyze the information about your IBM Db2 LUW, IBM Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and PostgreSQL database to allow for its proper tuning. Expert guidance or consulting in tuning your database engine is always available from our experienced engineers.
9. How will this service work in conjunction with my software vendor support?
Relying on the vendor of the application that rides on the database does not yield an adequate level of database management. Their main focus is support of the application so they are not equipped to offer database support on a widespread basis to their client base. They cannot provide the regularly scheduled database management program required to meet the need. Often times, the vendor is familiar with the database only as a platform on which the software was built and is not able to give the necessary level of support. The Virtual-DBA service is primarily focused on the database portion of your application. Since the service is highly customizable we can work with your software vendor support staff just as we would work with you. Your Virtual-DBA can work with them on your behalf to represent your needs as they relate to your business and your database.
10. What are the primary ways Virtual-DBA will save me money?
A few good examples of how Virtual-DBA can provide return on investment are as follows:
- The cost of database system downtime or of a poorly performing database system cannot easily be measured. Virtual-DBA can keep your system properly tuned, even as your business or usage changes, through its regular monitoring of critical database operational functions and statistics ensuring system availability, trouble-free and optimum operation.
- The time spent finding a qualified candidate to fill a database management position can be long. Virtual-DBA has a staff of experienced professionals available when you want or need them.
- The cost of a highly skilled database management professional can be high. Virtual-DBA shares these professionals between a limited set of accounts. You get the quality support you want when you desire or require it.
- The problem of retaining or training your skilled professionals can get expensive. You no longer have the worry of the training or retention cycle for your skilled professionals since Virtual-DBA has the expert staff working for you from our offices.
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