SQL Server - Core DBA Vs Production DBA

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)."
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Jim P.Commented:

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.
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.
Jim P.Commented:
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.

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Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Interesting. I never heard about those kinds of DBA.
I'm DBA only. Period.
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).
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
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 :)

srinivas_ganamurAuthor Commented:
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).
Jim P.Commented:
Here is sort of where I got the description http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Administration/dbaroles/517/

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.
srinivas_ganamurAuthor Commented:
Jim P.Commented:
Thanks for the points.

I hope you have a good career.
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