Data environments have become larger and more complex, while many IT departments face continued pressure to do more with less and deploy technologies more strategically. In response, the practice of looking outside the organization for not just short-term consulting but long-term, ongoing services has exploded. This is particularly true among organizations that have deployed the fastest-growing enterprise database management system – Postgres.
The growth of organizations tapping remote subject matter expertise or administrative help for databases through services liked RemoteDBA offered by EnterpriseDB (EDB) range in size as even small companies have recognized the increased value of their data and are seeking to do more with their environment.
Small companies may lack the resources internally to support strategic planning or ongoing management for their data environments. Other organizations, even larger companies, may have some in-house capabilities but need resources focused on strategic issues and not day-to-day database administration. Still other enterprises, even large global brands, have chosen to tap external expertise for specific Postgres deployments to take advantage of specialized knowledge.
“Even highly complex tasks can be handed off to external resources if these [external] teams have the expertise, and that’s what RemoteDBA provides,” says Douglas Hunley, System Engineer at EnterpriseDB. “Our customers can come to us from everything as simple as creating a new user to standing up off-site disaster recovery on another continent. And with an ongoing relationship, there’s no brain dump required; there’s no explaining how this task has to work, or what it has to entail. It’s just a nice, clean hand-off.”
Managing upgrades and optimizing performance leads the priorities among organizations that tap EDB’s RemoteDBA. Upgrading a data environment requires a broad knowledge of emerging technologies as well as how best to implement new solutions while ensuring constant uptime. As new systems get up and running, remote DBAs can monitor performance around the clock to identify and diagnose fluctuations. Remote resources can also ensure systems operate optimally during pre-determined events such as the opening of a new office or performing backups.
DBA Service Levels to Meet Anyone’s Needs
EDB offers three levels of RDBA service: Monitoring, Basic and Premium. Organizations choose the level of service that best fits their needs. If you have DBAs on staff but you just need extra resources because you can’t hire fast enough or provide 24x7 support, we can complement your existing resources. Or, if you already have the basics covered but want access to subject matter experts for complex tasks such as performance improvements, query tuning advice, or standing up a new data center, there is a level for you. If you simply don’t want to or don’t have the time to deal with your Postgres database at all, we can effectively be your DBA.
Premium service does everything for the customer. We monitor the system, identify and react to any problems, perform improvements and tune the system, and make sure the system is running in world-class fashion. Subscribers get a named contact who performs capacity planning and setups for point-in-time-recovery, replication, dev/test environments, users and security. The RemoteDBA professionals tune queries, partition tables and offer tuning advice in many other areas for total worry-free care of your database infrastructure.
For customers who don’t need the Premium level of service, and maybe have some in-house capabilities or want a different pricing plan, we have a Basic service. The Basic service makes sure the system is running at all times, and any alerts are handled 24x7. Subscribers get the added services of keeping software up to date and patched, database technical support, escalated issue management, backup verification and an Architectural Health Check that reviews critical characteristics of your database for best practices.
For customers that have good in-house DBA capabilities, but don’t want to have to constantly monitor their systems, we offer a 24x7 Monitoring Service. The Monitoring Service keeps an eye on the system at all times, every day of the year, and checks every fifteen minutes that the system is performing optimally. If there’s any degradation of service or issues that threaten operations, we generate an alert. We also keep you appraised of the ongoing health of your database through regular status reports.
Our goal is to remove any worries about your database systems. We have direct access to more Postgres expertise than any organization in the world, including key leaders and developers of the open source project. We have years of Postgres experience to apply to your systems and a deep set of community resources to utilize should any issues arise.
Debra Brucato is Director, Services Product Management at EnterpriseDB.