The short and silly answer is that a remote database administrator (DBA) manages databases remotely. The longer answer is that a database manager is the party responsible for the installation of a company’s database. In order to do this, the manager must evaluate the features of various database-related products and secure the ones judged most beneficial for the company.
Once underway, the DBA continues to oversee the development of the database to ensure it functions optimally. This includes close monitoring and tuning of the database, maintaining the documentation, planning for growth and responsibility for assigning user roles and privileges and looking after security concerns.
This management is a 24/7 responsibility. After all, this software usually contains a company’s most valuable information: accounts receivable, inventory, customer names and addresses. If it goes down, somebody should be aware and ready to fix the problem instantly. That will take a support team with the DBA as manager. He is also capable of communicating effectively, should a particularly difficult technical problem arise with the software manufacturer’s engineers. Managing a database correctly is a business in itself.
At this point, it should be obvious that this manager is not someone off the street and trained hit-or-miss on the job, nor is it a minimum wage occupation. It requires an IT education and experience. Many employers insist that the manager be certified in particular skill programs. There is a lot of competition for the services of these employees.
Internet businesses need these people and the big companies are willing to pay whatever it costs. Smaller businesses have a more difficult time finding the right people. Still, if they wish to continue the dynamic growth and performance that brought them to where they are, they are going to need help. They can bite the bullet and pay the money for the right full-time employee, hire a part-time manager and hope disaster does not strike after-hours or engage the help of a remote specialist.
A remote manager can do and does anything an in-house manager does, but does it off the premises and off the database owner’s payroll. These DBAs usually work as employees of database administration services, companies that exist with one mission, managing databases for other businesses. They have the expertise and experience as well as the employee depth to handle any company, large or small and do it 24/7. They will usually charge depending on the degree of administration requested and it will likely be a good deal less than the cost of in-house administration.
At some point an expanding Internet business will find itself outgrowing its IT support. One of the most important additions to support personnel will be the DBA. While the services do not come cheap in-house, remote DBA services can help keep these costs in line.