Five Common Mistakes of Database Administrators


Database administrators should already understand about the critical nature of their data. There are many things that could go wrong, such as corruption or complete data loss. Here are some of the mistakes that database administrators may do:

  1. Trusting too much on backup: Blind faith is endearing. Backup is great for preventing data loss, but it doesn’t always work. Even backups could be corrupted and you can’t access it. Instead of relying too much on a single backup storage, you should make multiple backups. In fact, you should have backups of your primary backup. A good database administrator should have at least two layers of backups. Also, it is important to test recovery methods. So, you should be sure that you could actually restore backed up files.
  2. Thinking that everything will work well: There are many database platforms that we can use today. As an example, Oracle is user friendly and it’s quite powerful for database-based operations. Because Oracle and other similar platforms are generally reliable, we develop a conviction that they will work the way they should. Most of the time, our confidence is proven right, but thinking that everything will work is a dangerous habit that a database administrator shouldn’t have. Administrators should practice worst-case scenario, because any system could fail in some situations. Use a safe sandbox that can be used as a test environment to mimic the situation of database failures. Any company or organization that relies on database should allocate enough time and money for testing these scenarios.
  3. Not monitoring the system: Your database system may have been working for many years without any serious issue, but something wrong could happen. You need to monitor problems and if there’s already an issue, then it could be too late. Use performance monitoring system to automatically notify you when there are problems. So, these problems can be resolved before they could more serious damage. Automated monitoring system should reduce workload, while ensuring that reliability is maintained.
  4. Thinking that you will remember everything: Database management can be quite complex and it’s easy to forget massive procedures to complete certain tasks. Not doing procedures completely could cause recurring mistakes. To ensure that all tasks are performed correctly, having an accurate documentation is essential. Database administrators should maintain comprehensive library of documentation as references for certain tasks. Database team should work closely as a group and discipline of documentation should be enforced.
  5. Blaming the developer: Developers need to use database and SQL to deliver information to users through their software. So, when users are complaining about certain issues, database administrators that it’s the fault of the developers. Confrontational relationships between database and development teams in the workplace won’t deliver anything good. Database administrators and developers should work as an integrated team, by supporting one another. In order to provide good results, a team-based attitude should be cultivated. Each member in the team should be assigned with proper roles depending on their experience and expertise. Any problem can be resolved quickly with proper cooperation.