SQL Server  - Core DBA Vs Production DBA

Posted on 2010-11-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi All,

Please share your comments/real time experience for my below mentioned topic (because i am little bit confused about core dba vs production dba responsibilities)

1. "Difference between SQL Server core dba and Production DBA (responsibilities)"
2. " Core SQL Server administration (In generally what are the extra skills are required as compared to production DBA)."
Question by:srinivas_ganamur
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Expert Comment

ID: 34228121
as per my understanding the Core DBA has all the responsibilities relate to database administration such as backup/restore, troubleshooting etc. so does the Production DBA. the addition responsibility on the production DBA is to care about the LIve applications, and as the Services are LIVE ( on production) he has be very careful in all the maintenance tasks he is carrying on, ensuring the maximum uptime.
also he should be in sync with the Application Owners to be ready and informed about application uptime and support required.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Jim P.
Jim P. earned 167 total points
ID: 34228274
I'm a Production DBA. By core -- I assume you are talking about development and quality assurance DBA's.

I sit at the front-end, fix user errors and tune the databases. If I find generic/systemic errors that will effect multiple customers -- then I report it back to the dev team to make a permanent fix.

What are you looking for?
LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:Vitor Montalvão
Vitor Montalvão earned 83 total points
ID: 34229057
Interesting. I never heard about those kinds of DBA.
I'm DBA only. Period.
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Expert Comment

ID: 34230748
Looks like an Oracle designation:

Seems that Oracle separates DBAs into App DBAs and DBAs.  The App DBAs can maintain databases and perform application server maintenance while DBAs just perform database maintenance and this gets the "Core" designation.  

Having been in Production Support as a DBA, I'd say a Production DBA is as jimpen described in fixing front-end issues and errors and communicating with development to create permanent fixes for coding issues.  With that as a description, the "Production DBA" would be closer to Oracle's "Core DBA" as it sounds like an "Apps DBA" might actually get involved with middleware too (a la Weblogic).
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Jim P. earned 167 total points
ID: 34230816

I can sit down and code SP/Functions/etc. But it doesn't interest me to do it day in and day out.

I enjoy troubleshooting. It makes my day to find something in a setup that I can get the DB to work better, or get every  possible speed advantage out of a server. Or if the user messes up the data -- get back to the place that it is correct.

There are companies that the DBA is all three. There are other companies that only have dev/QA. They only are shipping SW -- not hosting it. Then the DBA at the end-user company sits there and tunes and tweaks the multiple delivered apps and DBs to get the best performance.

My last company we had 27 apps that used databases. I had to keep them up and running in the best way possible. My current company -- we develop the SW and sell it -- but we also host it -- so about half need the DBA to sit there and tune the server (my job) and then fix the data entry errors.
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 34230974
jimpen, ty for the explanation. Here in my bank we have more than 1000 apps (yes, one thousand) and we are 13 DBA's (lucky number huh?). We do everything less development code but many times we need to support development teams.
I'm so jeaulous of your job. Hope someday we can have same job :)


Author Comment

ID: 34231160
Its something really interest....Thanks for your comments.

Core DBA/Production DBA....i think it totally depends on project.

Some company's are recruiting as a DBA, after joining company only we can know what is DBA responsibilities in that particular project (some times it spoils our carrier).
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Jim P.
ID: 34231678
Here is sort of where I got the description

While I'm not the pure "Production" DBA as described -- that is where my forte' lies.

You have to decide which way you want to go when doing the interview and job development.

I sat there as a production DBA and jumped on the dev team when they were using >60K queries over 25 minutes to produce a  single report. They got it down to 5K queries in 2 minutes. That is my job.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34264208
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Jim P.
ID: 34264285
Thanks for the points.

I hope you have a good career.

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