by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : April 30, 2014
Commentary | THOMAS LAROCK THOMAS LAROCK is senior database administrator and technical evangelist at SolarWinds, a provider of IT management software. Some things in life can be consid- ered happy accidents. Just ask gov- ernment IT administrators, many of whom nd themselves in the unexpected position of becoming accidental database administrators (DBAs). Data has become the center- piece of new government ini- tiatives in the areas of health care, social welfare, biometrics and intelligent inspections. But although data has grown, the size of federal IT teams has remained stagnant. A recent survey by my company, SolarWinds, found that most IT organizations have not added any new headcount in the past two years. As a result, many federal IT administrators have, by default, become DBAs. But maintaining mission-critical databases can be a stressful job, especially for those who are new to the role. Here are ve things administrators should understand and embrace if they are to be successful: 1. Grow soft skills. DBAs responsibilities are often regarded as hard skills --- teachable abili- ties. But as IT continues to evolve, DBAs will have to hone their soft skills, such as the ability to under- stand agency objectives and com- municate effectively with other teams. They need to soak up what the organization needs as a whole and apply that knowledge to IT goals. It s a tricky thing, especially for those who are used to working in silos, but it s also a necessity, especially for administrators who wish to continue to advance their careers. 2. Become a security expert. DBAs roles revolve around access- ing the data and keeping track of what happens to it. This is espe- cially important in the government space, where security is para- mount. Government agencies are continually monitoring for security breaches, particularly in today s bring-your-own-device environ- ments. DBAs must possess the knowledge to recognize potential breaches and react quickly when a breach occurs. 3. Know how to maintain con- tinuity. Agency employees need access to data at all times, mak- ing data availability and business continuity key priorities. DBAs must understand which systems absolutely must be available 24/7 and which can afford to have some downtime. That involves know- ing recovery point objectives (the age of les that must be recovered from backup storage in case of fail- ure) and recovery time objectives (how long a DBA has to recover and restore processes after a fail- ure). Deep understanding of each can lead to minimal disruption. 4. Understand the cloud. It s not enough for DBAs to understand data; they must also understand architecture, virtualization, infra- structure and cloud technologies. That includes working knowledge of the bene ts of infrastructure as a service, software as a service and more. DBAs need to be more than caretakers; they must be on the cutting edge, learning and explor- ing new cloud technologies, which are the future of agency IT and data management. 5. Improve response time. In government, maybe even more so than in most institutions, time is of the essence. People do not care how something gets done so long as it gets done on time. Therefore, it might be prudent for DBAs to investigate technology that auto- matically analyzes database perfor- mance. Such solutions can identify potential performance problems in real time, allowing DBAs to quickly x them. The role of the federal DBA will not shrink; in fact, it is likely to expand as agencies become even more data-dependent and continue to add systems. Having a little working knowledge can go a long way toward helping accidental DBAs avoid serious accidents. ■ The accidental database administrator Here are ve things administrators need to know to successfully manage mission- critical databases, whether they have trained for the role or had it thrust upon them DBAs need to be more than caretakers; they must be on the cutting edge, learning and exploring new cloud technologies. April 30, 2014 FCW.COM 13
April 15, 2014
May 15, 2014