It can be tough to get a good handle on government agencies’ increasingly complex database environments. Today, federal database administrators are in charge of everything ranging from on-premises solutions to cloud or hybrid systems. DBAs are like the central nervous system of the human body -- they are in charge of disseminating information throughout the entire agency.

 

That’s a big responsibility, and things are not going to get much easier anytime soon. The amount of data will skyrocket, and concerns surrounding security, efficiency and cost will continue. Fortunately, there are a few ways DBAs can reduce headaches and database management complexities.

 

1. Make sure that everything is on the same page, especially when it comes to application response times.

 

In order to streamline processes, it’s vitally important to ensure that all databases have a common set of goals, metrics and service-level agreements. Acceptable application response times will vary depending on unique needs.

 

Work with management to determine appropriate response times, and then implement the solutions that can deliver on that agreement. If applications aren’t responsive, or databases aren’t doing their jobs, then productivity and uptime could be significantly impacted, affecting the delivery of the agency’s mission.

 

2. Carefully document your processes and implement log and event management.

 

To help keep a close eye on all of the data that’s passing through a network and to ensure its security, establish a documentation system. Begin by documenting a consistent set of processes for database backup and restore, data encryption, detection of anomalies and potential security threats.

 

Log and event management tools can send alerts when suspicious activity is spotted in the log data. By doing so, you’ll be able to respond to them in a timely manner and automatically kill suspicious applications.

 

3. Reduce workload costs by planning ahead.

 

If you are considering moving to the cloud, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, carefully map out a strategy and establish guidelines. Be sure to deploy on a certified platform, and plan everything to ensure that the transition is seamless.

 

Second, consider moving to cloud solutions with lower licensing costs or to open source software, which is often less expensive. Remember that the goal of a DBA is not only to help provide colleagues with better, faster and more secure data access, it’s also to help save the agency money.

 

4. Keep things in perspective so you don’t go crazy.

 

No one said database administration was going to be easy. Government data is a tough business, and it’s only going to get tougher.

 

But, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Think of it: DBAs are the foundation of everything that happens in the agency. They control where the information goes, whether or not critical applications are working properly and, in effect, how effectively the agency completes its mission.

 

Yes, a DBA’s role is extremely complex. But making a few simple adjustments can reduce that complexity, ensuring that information keeps pumping and the agency’s vital operations stay healthy.

 

Find the full article on Government Computer News.