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How to be SQL DBA?

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DBA Roles and Responsibilities

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DBA Responsibilities

  • Installation, configuration and upgrading of Microsoft SQL Server/MySQL/Oracle server software and related products.
  • Evaluate MSSQL/MySQL/Oracle features and MSSQL/MySQL/Oracle related products.
  • Establish and maintain sound backup and recovery policies and procedures.
  • Take care of the Database design and implementation.
  • Implement and maintain database security (create and maintain users and roles, assign privileges).
  • Database tuning and performance monitoring.
  • Application tuning and performance monitoring.
  • Setup and maintain documentation and standards.
  • Plan growth and changes (capacity planning).
  • Work as part of a team and provide 7×24 supports when required.
  • Do general technical trouble shooting and give consultation to development teams.
  • Interface with MSSQL/MySQL/Oracle for technical support.
  • ITIL Skill set requirement (Problem Management/Incident Management/Chain Management etc)

Types of DBA

  1. Administrative DBA – Work on maintaining the server and keeping it running. Concerned with backups, security, patches, replication, etc. Things that concern the actual server software.
  2. Development DBA – works on building queries, stored procedures, etc. that meet business needs. This is the equivalent of the programmer. You primarily write T-SQL.
  3. Architect – Design schemas. Build tables, FKs, PKs, etc. Work to build a structure that meets the business needs in general. The design is then used by developers and development DBAs to implement the actual application.
  4. Data Warehouse DBA – Newer role, but responsible for merging data from multiple sources into a data warehouse. May have to design warehouse, but cleans, standardizes, and scrubs data before loading. In SQL Server, this DBA would use DTS heavily.
  5. OLAP DBA – Builds multi-dimensional cubes for decision support or OLAP systems. The primary language in SQL Server is MDX, not SQL here

Application DBA- Application DBAs straddle the fence between the DBMS and the application software and are responsible for ensuring that the application is fully optimized for the database and vice versa. They usually manage all the application components that interact with the database and carry out activities such as application installation and patching, application upgrades, database cloning, building and running data cleanup routines, data load process management, etc.

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