A day in the life of an IT pro: How to don the database superhero cape

Batman and Superman are set to battle it out in the “Dawn of Justice” later this year, but when it comes to the IT team there’s only one real hero saving the day: the database administrator (DBA).

While “DBA-Man” might not appear in blockbuster movies, he does play a leading role when it comes to managing multiple database platforms, including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL.

Managing one database presents a challenge, but juggling several can be as challenging as Batman taking on the Joker and Penguin simultaneously. To avoid folding under the pressure, SolarWinds shares its best practices to help these every day superheroes save the day.

One

Superheroes start out with a good origin story, tackling injustice and challenging the status quo to shape a brighter future. Similarly the DBA superhero story starts with learning to disregard old methods of database performance management. Outdated methods of database monitoring, including scripts, tools and reports for separate systems, are not going to cut it for today’s challenge.

Just as Batman utilises all sorts of gadgets, database superheroes need to use multi-dimensional analysis to approach each problem. This leads to instant and complete insight into database performance, from production code to performance data.

Metrics need to be easily decipherable to ensure they are an asset rather than complicating matters. By correlating metrics with response times, you can better understand how things like resource contention can impact the health of your database.

Two

Just as Batman relies on the utility belt for everything when tackling bad guys, IT pro superheroes should use a single solution to monitor everything. Your IT utility belt will help you securely streamline IT and increase efficiency by managing various tools and resources through a single solution.

Instead of separate tools to monitor on-premises, virtual, cloud, or as-a-service databases, deploy a solution that can help you cover everything in one go. You’ll be able to gain rich visibility into every aspect of your database infrastructure, making things much easier to manage. This means you’ll also have the ability to easily lockdown performance issues across hybrid environments. The easier they are identified, the quicker these issues can be rectified without any manual digging.

Three

While Batman and Superman might be strong as lone figures, the IT pro superhero is better off when supported by a team. Success depends on the whole team being on the same page, from developers to service administrators.

Working across different databases shouldn’t be a battle against collaborative working, there’s enough battles for database superheroes to fight. By instilling a sense of teamwork and allowing developers, QA engineers, architects, and others to have access to your database performance metrics, including historic baselines, your team will all be ready to do battle against evil together. That way, the team will be able to ascertain the performance of applications, allowing them to incorporate this information into their development cycles and freeing you up from having to provide production data.

While this will create an all-round more efficient operation without sacrificing performance, it’s important to remember to restrict administrative rights appropriately and provide limited access as necessary, so you have secure collaboration.

The burden of a DBA is heavy. You’ve been bestowed with great responsibility. Fortunately, now you have great power to help manage that responsibility. Use it wisely and you too can become a DBA superhero.

Kent Row, IT admin and superhero, SolarWinds

Image source: Shutterstock/3dlabs