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DBAs know how to keep the lights on. Right?

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Review of article: Keep the Lights On: Dealing with Systems Failure as a DBA By Joey D’Antoni on 04/03/2019. D’Antoni is currently Principal Consultant for Denny Cherry and Associates Consulting.

The D’Antoni article discusses four critical points for the DBA to consider for a complete disaster recovery plan (DR plan).

Backup and recovery plans are a basic part of the overall DR plan.

  • DBAs are on the front lines must get the proverbial lights back on
  • DBA tasks include verifying backups and secondary systems are in place
  • Restoring data is critically important and an undervalued skill

Has your business decided to forgo disaster recovery investment?

  • Don’t rely on “hopes and prayers” for high availability

What to do if your business does not support an investment in a DR plan?

  • Promote the Risk from within
  • Advocate for the health of your systems, data and applications
  • Create a business case for a DR plan investment
  • Try to offer a low cost, medium cost and high-cost option
  • A low cost option is sending backups sent to the cloud
  • A high cost option is real time failover to another geographic region
  • Establish a paper trail and offline record of suggestions just in case no changes are approved
  • If you cannot get CXO funding for a proper DR plan, you might need to change jobs

Public relations side of managing a disaster is equally important in a DR plan.

  • Practice your own salesmanship and PR savvy to get through a disaster
  • Have a communication plan in place for internal and external customers
  • Build and maintain a static web page or a real-time status dashboard
  • If a disaster occurs, be realistic and honest on what happened and don’t blame a security breech for all issues

How you handle disasters is probably the best skill you can have as a DBA. Unfortunately, many DBAs probably have never had to deal with major disasters and outages public relations as their managers or VPs took the heat while they were off in the corner trying to fix the actual problem. I was not the greatest at explaining how these major disasters happened and why we didn’t monitor or fix them before it happened. Today’s DBAs are more likely to need this skill with all the security breeches and faster agile deployments. Be prepared my DBA friends, be prepared!

Thumbs up for the article: Keep the Lights On: Dealing with Systems Failure as a DBA By Joey D’Antoni.

DBAs know how to keep the lights on. Right?


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