The job of a DBA is certainly not one that anyone would classify as stress-free or easy going. A DBA's day is filled with 11th-hour requests, emergency fixes and meetings. In between all of this, there is also the task of performing backups.
Backups must be scheduled to execute outside of normal business hours, at a time when most transactions have concluded and are ready to be backed up.
Most DBAs use command operating scheduling tools like "cron" or Windows scheduling which are difficult to use and only run locally. Hence, most DBAs end up supporting scheduling across many servers and must log in to each server to perform administrative tasks related to scheduling.
Issues with backups may differ from organization to organization and DBA to DBA. That being said, the following is a list of common problems that a DBA may encounter when tasked with running backups.
Most backups run on local servers and do not run for a central location; logs can only be reviewed by logging onto the server where records live.
Reviewing logs can be challenging and historical logs are often removed to conserve server file system storage.
A DBA's day is jam-packed with tons of last-minute requests and fires to be put out. For this reason, scheduling is essential. However, many of the scheduling tools that exist today are difficult to use and only run locally.
Most DBAs are experts at using the backup capabilities for one database platform. However, they may struggle with platforms that they do not primarily support.
Back up processes have many parameters that are developed through considerable testing and development.
These parameters are usually local to the server being backed up. Without care and attention to detail, parameters can easily be lost, or managed in an inconsistent manner across multiple serves.
In other words, changing the parameters for 10 servers requires the DBA to login to all 10 servers.
Staying privy to what's happening in your environment is crucial. However, most tools and platforms used by DBAs for backups do not feature notification capabilities to issue alerts when a backup finishes or worse, an error occurs.
Without notifications, a DBA must literally log in to every server to personally check to see if a backup process has successfully run.
Our proprietary software, MAS (master automation solution), changes the way DBAs execute backups. It address each one of the above issues with innovative solutions specifically designed to make the DBA more efficient.
MAS maintains logs for backup processes in a database. These logs can be kept indefinitely. Additionally, these logs can be searched or filtered by date ranges.
MAS has scheduling tools that allow all backups to be scheduled from a centralized location. Schedules can easily be edited with a web-based user interface.
MAS provides support for multiple database platforms and eliminates the need to learn backup technologies for every database.
To put it another way, your DBAs no longer have to be experts in backing up every database.
"Configuration Management" allows parameters for all backup processes to be managed from one central location.
This is easily accomplished from fillable forms within the MAS user interface. Additionally, one set of parameters can be used for many servers.
Never will a DBA have to manually log in to every database to check the status of processes again! MAS has notification capabilities that can send email messages based on when a backup job starts, finishes or has an error.
Each of these events can be selected and notifications can be designated to be sent to a single user or a group of users via email.
MAS makes DBAs more efficient and thus make their lives easier. Whether it's Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB or PostgreSQL - MAS helps DBAs perform backups better!
"Time is money". It may be a cliche, but it is none the less true. By making DBAs more efficient they have more time to devote to other projects and otherwise be productive rather than being bogged down in the quagmire of navigating backups.
If MAS sounds like something that would benefit you or your organization, we would love to talk and learn more about your environment.
We're all ears and are here to help organizations and technologists meet and accomplish their goals. To get the conversation going, drop us a line here!