The world of database management is changing rapidly and has a huge impact on the way we work and think. The traditional database administrator, dedicated to full-time management, will increasingly give way to a coordinating spider in the web. Infrastructure advice, scripting, applying best practices in the deployment of resources, thinking together about the most efficient way of working instead of regular, manual management tasks. Of course, you could bring in such a database expert as a permanent employee, but you might be better off spending your time on things that will benefit your business. How do you select a good database support partner?
Step 1: Check knowledge and experience – and partnerships
Before you choose a partner, it’s important to check whether the company has experience managing different DBMS platforms. Preferably, the company is even a certified partner of vendors such as Microsoft, MariaDB, Codership (Galera Cluster) and EnterpriseDB. If you work with open source databases, it is important that you choose a partner who not only masters the technology of the open source platform, but who is also active in the community of the open source product or project. You will ultimately reap the benefits of this.
Step 2: Determine your desired support package
What are your wishes and needs when it comes to support, security and training? Do you want support during office hours, do you want flexible support windows, or do you want 24/7 support? And do you want it on-site, remote or in a hybrid form? What are your requirements in terms of average response time? What are your needs in terms of backups, health checks, security and training? Determine this for yourself and then check whether a potential partner can offer this.
Step 3: Do a quick scan
At some point you have a shortlist of partners. How do you find out that your partner’s knowledge and experience matches your needs? Ask your potential support partner to do a so-called QuickScan, or database assessment, of your database environment. This not only gives you insight into the level of knowledge and experience of the partner, but you also get a better idea of what you need to work on. Although such a QuickScan comes at a price, it gives you a good idea of your potential partner. Are you dissatisfied? Then you can start implementing the recommendations yourself or decide to take it up with another party. Are you satisfied with the partner? Then the QuickScan has given them a good picture of your organization. This makes it much easier to come up with a realistic offer. Win-win.
Want to know more?
In our next blog we will zoom in on the steps you need to take when you decide to outsource your database management. Want to know more about the route to effective database management? We wrote a white paper about it. Download the whitepaper here.