Sourcing expert database administration (DBA) skills is essential for any business. This ensures that customer data is looked after and protected.
Systems run more efficiently and effectively when there is dedicated DBA staff looking after databases. This is essential not only for the day-to-day function of IT infrastructure, but it ensures that the data stored is of the highest integrity and quality.
When management request statistics and data for reports, the information is sourced from the database. That’s why data not only needs to be stored correctly for ease of extraction, but it also needs to be correct.
Here are five of the best DBA practices.
1. Hire the right staff
Databases come in all shapes and sizes. Hire specialised staff with skills in the database technology of the business. Database administrators gain experience on the job and can attain certification training in specific technologies. Hiring an expert puts businesses at ease that their databases are in good hands.
2. Frequent backups with appropriate storage
It’s the database administrator’s job to ensure that the database is backed up regularly. How often depends on the amount of data being saved to the database. The more data there is, the more often it needs to be backed up. Transactions should be backed up at least once daily, with a full backup at least once a week.
Backups should be placed in a different location to the database itself. The server which the database sits on could become compromised. Or the server itself might be damaged in a natural disaster. Having backups saved externally means that if the unthinkable happens the database environment can be replicated quickly.
Database backups should be tested regularly as part of the business’s disaster and recovery planning.
3. Keep data as secure as possible
Database security has multiple layers. Firstly, internally within the business. Making sure that staff only have access to the data they require for their job. No need to give everyone access to everything. This safeguards customer data from unauthorised access.
Secondly, safeguarding databases from unauthorised use external to the business. This keeps business integrity at the highest level. Unauthorised access to data can hurt businesses badly. Make sure your business is abreast with the latest database security.
4. Performance tuning
Database staff should monitor the database to assess if there are any possible improvements that can be made to increase its speed and reliability.
What hardware is the database running on? Can it be upgraded to increase speed? Is all appropriate software, including the operating system software, up-to-date with the latest releases? Has the server’s memory allocation and disk usage been checked? If your database is growing, making sure there’s enough disk space to absorb it.
Is the database itself setup in the best way? Have appropriate indexes been created on the database tables?
These are just some of the factors a database administrator needs to monitor to make sure the database is working at its best.
5. Monitoring database logs
A well-setup database will have an appropriate data log which logs writes and reads from the database. That way if there are any system errors, these can be traced and unpacked to find the cause of the problem.
The database should also have an error log file to log any database errors. Appropriate alerts should be set up so that if an error does occur, database staff are notified.
This type of logging is paramount to catching problems early and avoiding any unnecessary downtime.
Database administration is an intricate process that requires specialised skills from an experienced team like Everconnect. Contact the DBA experts at Everconnect today to see how they can help your business.