Benefits of a Database Administrator for Holistic IT Environments


Database administrators, or DBAs, are responsible for managing, creating, organizing and securing the data within a database or multiple databases. Yogesh Badwe, CSO, Druva, shares how the need for the DBA to ensure that an IT environment is holistically sound goes beyond items like overseeing group authorization or the management of data objects in a system.

DBAs controlOpens a new window the centralization of data and the process in which the data is stored, secured, and accessed by the company as a whole. In order for IT management and other teams to reliably and securely access data to do their jobs, the DBA must resolve complex acute issues and implement stringent security measures that keep the database resolute, as well as ensure it is properly backed up in case something were to directly impact the database.

How exactly does the DBA keep the system secure and the IT environment holistic, and how can performance across the IT sphere be optimized through the DBA?

The Holistic IT Environment and the DBA

The reason why DBAs are essential to holistic IT environments is that their role is directly related to how well the business can scale the architecture to meet its growing need for data – both in security and data management.

For example, increasingly complex needs in data governance emerge as companies adopt architectures like hybrid cloud or multicloud to store customer and company data. Usage of this data by IT and developers doesn’t just require routine troubleshooting and maintenance for optimal performance; the DBA is necessary to establish the proper protocols for teams to access this data with minimal hiccups.

For this to happen, the DBA must ensure that the operating system (OS) and database application are kept fully up to date and that any legacy software is addressed to minimize disruptions. The DBA must keep track of all vulnerabilities to ensure the process’s efficacy.

For example, in an Oracle database, product defects or bugs identified by the DBA should be addressed with interim patches or individual patches released ahead of the official patch so that teams and customers can continue operations. The DBA can also automate the application of these patches for more efficient maintenance practices.

When it comes to accessing and using data, authentication protocols are key to sound data governance, and maximizing both security and speed for data access is a priority for the business and the DBA. As the data distributor, DBAs use role-based administration to define users with set privileges that enable access to the data they need to fulfill their job’s responsibilities and nothing more. This concept, called least privilege, allows DBAs to assign super IDs to users and grant them special authorizations to access sensitive data for a particular task or need.

See More: Is the Role of CISO a Poisoned Chalice?

Data Recovery & Resolution To Support the IT Environment

When the DBA combines security with efficiency, the IT environment can operate at its cleanest. Should a ransomware attack occur, the DBA is fully prepared to address any ad-hoc issues and eliminate unauthorized points of access because of the setup of the system and the protocols around database operations. 

In the event of a data leak, data compromise or ransomware attack, recovery and resolution are essential aspects of maintaining the IT environment. This is so that cohesion between application programmers, developers, IT management and the DBA themselves can remain intact.

According to the 2022 Verizon data breach investigations report, ransomware attacks surged dramatically in 2022Opens a new window , with ransomware involved in 25% of all breaches. This makes ransomware a real threat to protect against. The DBA must consider defenses that are formalized for the business.

The Database Trinity: Database Administrator, Database Architect and Recovery Manager 

A distinction between the DBA and the database architect role must be drawn. Database architects are able to assist in the implementation of new databases, develop their blueprints and help model the data managed in the database. DBAs can work with the Database architect to design an accurate database model for new databases and their accompanying backups, protecting the data of their consumers and business operations.

Database repairs can be completed via a recovery manager, and data backups can be facilitated through a designated backup team led by the DBA. DBAs will typically tag databases that need to be backed up, enabling automated software solutions to build the database backup with the relevant information. For example, they may use tags like #Oracle, #RDBMS, or #NoSQL to automatically assign the appropriate backup configuration to each type of database. Older processes required manual backups and manual monitoring of servers, leading to them being forgotten, which makes legacy hardware and software updates so important.

DBAs must consider their preparation in the event of a ransomware attack and look to protect versions of the existing data within the business through “air-gapped” data backups. As saturation in multicloud environments continues to grow, these air-gapped data backups, or backups removed from access to external information sources like the internet, become essential. Cloud-based databases are vulnerable to attack due to the nature of their connectivity.

A holistic IT environment with team cohesion is necessary for the process to work smoothly. Allowing DBAs to run the system as they intend, like having backup schedules and more, enables smooth database operations when needed most.

How are you ensuring cohesion in your holistic IT environment? How does the DBA role enable that? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!

Image Source: Shutterstock