Well I just got back in the country yesterday. I was in search for the perfect margarita and took cruise that stopped in Key West and Cozumel Mexico. Even thought the ship I was on had WI-Fi, I decided not to check in. As I was catching up on my many emails and twitters I saw a twitter on Craig Mullins latest article.
I am a big fan of Craig’s. He is a hands-on DBA that has that ability to see the bigger picture. He has written numerous articles that provide excellent insight into the world of DBA’s. He specializes on what I call the Dark Side, Ie: DB2. Even though he works for the dark side, his many writings carry through the other world of databases. Here is a sample of his latest article:
What Does a DBA Do?
If you are currently a DBA, the title of this entry probably made you scoff. But not everyone knows what a DBA is, does, or why they are needed. Wouldn’t it be in your best interest as a DBA if your job were better understood and appreciated? I’ve written before about the qualities that a good DBA should possess, but not about all of the things that a DBA must be able to do.
Every organization that manages data using a database management system (DBMS) requires a database administration group to oversee and assure the proper usage and deployment of the company’s data and databases. With the growing mountain of data and the need to organize that data effectively to deliver value to the business, most modern organizations use a DBMS for their most critical data. So, the need for database administrators (DBAs) is greater today than ever before. However, the discipline of database administration is not well understood or universally practiced in a coherent and easily replicated manner.
Implementing a DBA function in your organization requires careful thought and planning. A successful DBA must acquire a large number of skills — both technological and interpersonal. Let’s examine the skills required of an effective DBA.
General database management. The DBA is the central source of database knowledge in the organization. As such he must understand the basic rules of relational database technology and be able to accurately communicate them to others.
Data modeling and database design. The DBA must be skilled at collecting and analyzing user requirements to derive conceptual and logical data models. This is more difficult than it sounds. A conceptual data model outlines data requirements at a very high level; a logical data model provides in-depth details of data types, lengths, relationships, and cardinality. The DBA uses normalization techniques to deliver sound data models that accurately depict the data requirements of the business. (Of course, if your organization is large enough a completely separate group of data administrators may exist to handle logical database design and data modeling.)
Metadata management and repository usage. The DBA must understand the technical data requirements of the organization. But this is not a complete description of his duties. Metadata, or data about data, also must be maintained. The DBA must collect, store, manage, and provide the ability to query the organization’s metadata. Without metadata, the data stored in databases lacks true meaning. (Once again, if your company has a data administration group then this task will be handled by that group. Of course, that does not mean the DBA can ignore meta data management.)
Database schema creation and management. A DBA must be able to translate a data model or logical database design into an actual physical database implementation and to manage that database once it has been implemented. The physical database may not conform to the logical model 100 percent due to physical DBMS features, implementation factors, or performance requirements. The DBA must understand all of the physical nuances of each DBMS used by his organization in order to create efficient physical databases.
To read the remainder of the article….. Data Management Today by Craig Mullins
Craig is also on my blogroll. Another great article by Craig Mullins Blog.
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