Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects simply to a non-technical, business audience. Over…
Database administration refers to the whole set of activities performed by a database administrator to ensure that a database is always available as needed. Other closely related tasks and roles are database security, database monitoring and troubleshooting, and planning for future growth.
Database administration is an important function in any organization that is dependent on one or more databases.
The database administrator (DBA) is usually a dedicated role in the IT department for large organizations. However, many smaller companies that cannot afford a full-time DBA usually outsource or contract the role to a specialized vendor, or merge the role with another in the ICT department so that both are performed by one person.
The primary role of database administration is to ensure maximum up time for the database so that it is always available when needed. This will typically involve proactive periodic monitoring and troubleshooting. This in turn entails some technical skills on the part of the DBA. In addition to in-depth knowledge of the database in question, the DBA will also need knowledge and perhaps training in the platform (database engine and operating system) on which the database runs.
A DBA is typically also responsible for other secondary, but still critically important, tasks and roles. Some of these include:
It is clear from all the above that the database administration function requires technical training and years of experience. Some companies that offer commercial database products, such as Oracle DB and Microsoft’s SQL Server, also offer certifications for their specific products. These industry certifications, such as Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), go a long way toward assuring organizations that a DBA is indeed thoroughly trained on the product in question. Because most relational database products today use the SQL language, knowledge of SQL commands and syntax is also a valuable asset for today’s DBAs.
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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.
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