What does a career as a Remote DBA expert entail?

Whether you are working as an independent contributor or as part of a team, as a database administrator (DBA) your tasks will vary from one company to another.

Response to an SQL database query. (Image via Wikipedia entry on "database," CC 4.0 license)

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2017 — If you are considering a career as a Database Administrator (DBA), the first question you will probably ask yourself is the most basic one: What kind of work does a DBA actually do? Whether you are working as an independent contributor or as part of a team, the answer to that question will vary from one company to another. This post looks at the most typical tasks most DBAs perform.


DBAs are employed to offer technical support. They are primarily hired to fix problems that may arise in an employer’s existing database. For example, if there is a network problem, DBAs will be contacted to help fix that issue. As a result, most companies will require you to help with database backup, updates, testing and network monitoring. These are basically the main roles that DBAs fulfill on the job. However, they are not always the only things you will be doing.

System security

In addition to offering technical support services, as a DBA, you will be charged with keeping and maintaining database security. The company database contains the essential data necessary to run an organization. This is why access to the database generally has to be restricted in order to avoid the danger involved in catastrophic data loss. It is the duty of the DBA or DBA staff to monitor as well as control user access to the database. The database administrator also takes security measures that ensure the database is properly protected.

The case is the same for remote database administrators. They, too, are responsible for the security of the system, but are not necessarily employees of the companies that use their services. Remote database administration is a service generally provided by employees and contractors of a third-party company or by freelance (self-employed) DBAs that monitor the designated database server installation and administer it within the established guidelines. Database Journal regards remote database administration as “one of hottest trends in the market these days.”

System storage planning

Databases usually take up a lot of space. This pertains to both data storage itself as well as the floor space the storage system and equipment requires. It is the duty of the database administrator to allocate physical and system storage, which may include choosing the best location or locations for the servers to reside. The DBA must also plan for any future storage requirements. The key responsibility of a DBA in system storage planning includes managing the storage devices, maintaining a sound network and managing any additional  peripheral devices. A competent DBA is also responsible for the upgrades and the installation of database servers.

DBA management

In the overall scheme of things, the primary responsibility of DBAs is day-to-day database management. This is particularly so if you are working with a company that deals with big data. As a DBA or remote DBA, you will have the responsibility of performing all necessary analysis and giving the management the information it needs to help them make educated choices. The DBA is also responsible for clearing all the faults that may occur on the database. This means that a competent DBA has to be conversant with all the tools that are used in database administration.

In practice, a DBA is required to do a great many things that are key to a company’s business, management and profitability, though various areas of emphasis all depend on the company you are working for. This is an ever-evolving industry. That means you have to make sure that you keep learning and stay current with the state of the art even after getting a job as a DBA. More than in many professions, keeping up with the trends is the key to becoming a more competent DBA.

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