The Secret to Doubling DBA Productivity with dbWatch Control Center

By:   |   Updated: 2023-10-03   |   Comments   |   Related: More > Database Administration


Problem

Database Administrators (DBAs) and organizations face growing data management challenges. For organizations, finding talented and conscientious DBAs is tough. DBAs are scarce, and job opportunities are bountiful with growing compensation packages. Conversely, DBAs face complexities related to exponential data growth, multi-platform support, multiple cloud platforms, round-the-clock support, and geographically disbursed data centers. How can DBAs and organizations meet these new demands and be well-positioned for the future?

Solution

Hiring more DBAs is not the answer; organizations cannot find, train, and retain talented professionals. The required path is improving DBA productivity, knowledge, and expertise to meet organizational needs. So, how can this be accomplished?

Training is one option, but building the local knowledge on your platforms, with your workloads, does not make it into training manuals. Hiring consultants is another option. Talented consultants can dive into the issues and resolve them, but they are generally expensive, and long-term support is typically necessary. Turning to a third-party product is hit or miss. Many products only provide graphs, do not solve the problem, do not help with operational automation, lack support for multiple database platforms, etc. Building a comprehensive home-grown solution across numerous database vendors, versions, editions, etc., will be a full-time job for a team already stretched thin. This generally results in silo-based database management aligned with the platform.

So, what’s the correct answer to boost DBA productivity?

DBA Productivity Boost

For a team facing numerous complexities with multiple database platforms, inconsistent operational management, tedious processes, poor performance, security questions, and more, I recommend turning to dbWatch Control Center to boost DBA productivity. dbWatch Control Center delivers significant functionality beyond typical monitoring, including operational consistency, automation, and multi-platform support.

All-in-One Tool

In a single interface, dbWatch enables DBAs to manage SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Sybase, MariaDB, and MySQL databases, as well as Azure, AWS, Google, and private clouds. This all-in-one tool, dbWatch Control Center, allows for the management and correction with the appropriate security permissions. No need to open another tool, flip between tools, or login to each database instance. A single tool helps productivity and reduces the learning curve by knowing the intricacies of each database platform, edition, and version. This is all accomplished with a granular security model and access controls to properly protect the data.

Learn more about the dbWatch Control Center’s technical capabilities.

Prioritization and Time Savings

Regarding data, the dbWatch Control Center loads with a global view of the environment and a priority list of issues, enabling DBAs to focus on the most critical issues. The intuitive interface allows the exploration of the issues with detailed performance metrics – CPU, memory, disk, waits, page life expectancy, query optimization, indexing, and more. Proactively finding and correcting issues quickly minimizes the impact on the organization and demonstrates the DBA’s value.

Consistent Daily Operations

With organizations requiring 24x7 staffing to support users around the globe, dbWatch Control Center is a solution for Senior DBAs to set up and Mid- to Junior-level DBAs to provide first-line support, including nights, weekends, and holidays. The single interface to manage multiple platforms reduces the complexities of each database platform, resulting in a cost-effective solution where DBAs can easily manage 2X the number of instances. This enables the DBA team to address the growing business requirements better. In some circumstances, DBAs can scale their management to 600+ instances in environments with a single application and uniform instance configurations supporting individual clients.

Check out - Enterprise SQL Server Performance Tuning and Management with dbWatch.

Automation and Consistency

Many daily operations should be consistent across the environment or a group of database instances. To ensure consistency, dbWatch includes pre-defined jobs (not SQL Server Agent Jobs) to address operational needs – deployments, configuration, maintenance, backups, restores, etc. This ensures that as changes are made, they are done consistently and without the need to login to every instance. One change can easily be applied across the group of instances. This gives DBAs peace of mind that critical daily operations are not lost in the myriad of priorities.

Workflow Management

Unfortunately, unexpected issues occur. It is an unfortunate part of the technology landscape. Sometimes, those issues are related to a deployment, hardware issue, dependent system outage, or unexpected situation. dbWatch Control Center understands that DBAs need to prepare for the unexpected by including an incident workflow system to properly manage and bring closure to critical events. Trying to bring a process to the chaos minimizes the outage and overall organizational impact.

Check out - Efficiently Manage SQL Server Farms.

Global Data Access

Accessing business or DBA-related data across an environment is challenging. Some organizations setup databases per client, others setup multi-tenant databases, and others have distributed databases around the globe. In all these circumstances, accessing data for reporting, configuration validation, code deployments, etc., for each database is manual and time-consuming. SQL Worksheet from dbWatch enables DBAs to query across numerous instances, database engines, versions, and editions for a consolidated result set.

Customization

Customization in a monitoring and management tool? YES! dbWatch Control Center is built on Farm Data Language (FDL), which is used for data collection, interfaces, and reporting across the database farm. dbWatch enables DBAs to build interfaces easily to meet their unique needs. All the underlying code is available within the Control Center to understand how the data is loaded and presented. DBAs can quickly assess the situation via a single pane of glass.

DBA Productivity Boosts with dbWatch

dbWatch can radically improve DBA productivity. However, your organization’s mileage will vary based on the unique characteristics \ needs of your environment and your willingness to automate processes and corrections with the dbWatch solution. For example:

  • If DBAs deploy dbWatch to monitor and manage database instances but perform all of the corrections manually based on the unique needs of each environment, then the DBAs typically can double the number of database instances they can support.
  • If DBAs use the dbWatch maintenance routines and structured templates for monitoring and deployment with predominantly similar systems, then the DBAs typically can double the number of database instances they can support.
  • If DBAs use the development module to build dbWatch Jobs to detect and auto-correct common monitoring issues to move to a “self-managed” paradigm, then the DBAs typically can double the number of database instances they can support. With dbWatch, numerous templates, jobs, and rules can be created and deployed to instances to address known issues in your environment.

The DBA productivity boost and financial savings recognized by the organization really depend on how dbWatch is implemented. To achieve these types of DBA productivity gains, take a step back to logically group database instances to simplify management and consider dbWatch built-in options to automate historically manual and time-consuming processes.

Next Steps

How do I get started with dbWatch Control Center?

  1. Identify your database and business needs to improve productivity
    1. Prioritized issues across multiple platforms and geographies
    2. Consistent management to meet business needs
    3. Proactively address performance and operational issues
    4. Organizational confidence in the DBA team
  2. Discuss the needs and options with your team
  3. Reach out to dbWatch for a personalized demo by emailing [email protected]
  4. Download a trial edition of dbWatch Control Center
  5. Work through a proof of concept in your environment
    1. Getting Started with dbWatch Control Center Guide
  6. Contact Support ([email protected]) with any questions
    1. dbWatch FAQ
    2. Video Resources
    3. Enterprise SQL Server Performance Tuning and Management with dbWatch
    4. SQL Server, Oracle, Postgres, Azure and AWS Performance, Monitoring and Management with dbWatch Control Center
    5. Efficiently Manage SQL Server Farms
  7. Demonstrate the value of dbWatch Control Center to your team and organization
    1. Double the productivity of the DBA team
    2. Invest in a cost-effective database management and monitoring solution
    3. Reduce pressure for the business to hire new DBAs
    4. Increase DBAs’ comfort to monitor and manage numerous database platforms
    5. Provide consistent database management across the entire environment
  8. Discuss the next steps with your team


About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Jeremy Kadlec is a Co-Founder, Editor and Author at MSSQLTips.com with more than 300 contributions. He is also the CTO @ Edgewood Solutions and a six-time SQL Server MVP. Jeremy brings 20+ years of SQL Server DBA and Developer experience to the community after earning a bachelorís degree from SSU and masterís from UMBC.

View all my tips


Article Last Updated: 2023-10-03

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