Friends of the DBA

No, this is not a new Charity I am setting up although maybe it should be.

One of the biggest complaints I hear about fellow DBAs is their failure to provide adequate explanations to issues that have arisen to either key business owners or fellow Infrastructure colleagues. Often I’ve heard or seen emails where the business owner has been shrugged off with comments like ‘the error was spurious’, ‘It’s rather complicated’ or ‘You’ll need a strong coffee or two beforehand’.

I’m sure most DBAs have been in the position where they have spoken to the business or other members of IT and you’ve watched their eyes glaze over as you talk databases at them. If not, then you’re very lucky but this isn’t always the case.

Yes, it can be disconcerting but if someone actually asks you for a detailed explanation then we should provide one as best we can. Draw diagrams if that helps someone understand. Ask someone how much in monetary terms does a business lose if they are without a major application/database for just one day.

Someone who wants to understand is someone who cares as much as you do about their data therefore they are a strong ally. Especially if the reason for the problems arose due to an issue you have raised before. The more non DBAs jumping up and down demanding more security, higher availability, better hardware, regular patching, version upgrades (the list is endless) can only help your cause for a more secure SQL estate.