Dr, Dr, my data is corrupt!

Five signs that you need a Remote DB2 support solution!

We speak to our very own in-house Dr about the signs to look out for which can tell you that it’s time to start thinking about a remote DB2 support solution.

“In my time as Head of Managed Services at Triton I’ve seen many different types of customers with different issues and priorities for their DB2 database management but there are five key triggers to look out for. If any of these apply to your organisation then it really is time to book an appointment with the DB2 experts!” Dr Iqbal Goralwalla, Head of Managed Services, Triton Consulting and IBM Gold Consultant.

 

1. Continually struggling with competing priorities for your IT budget
2. Feeling the strain of 24/7 support
3. Overworked DBAs
4. Struggling to find DB2 skills
5. Feeling insecure about the future

Each organisation is different and their specific reasons for choosing a remote database support solution will vary but there are many common themes. The need for quality support and technical excellence is of course paramount.

1. Continually struggling with competing priorities for your IT budget

“No prizes for guessing that cost is a major factor for many organisations that choose remote database support. However, it’s not as clear-cut as you may think.” Says Iqbal

When we looked at this issue more closely we discovered that under the umbrella of “Cost” there were many other factors at play. It is often the perception that organisations need to cut cost and so will simply choose to reduce headcount by outsourcing large chunks of business processes in a bid to save money. This may be the case for some IT and business processes but when you look at more niche IT services such as database support this is rarely the case, especially in the midmarket sector.

It is especially difficult for small teams to cope at busy times of the year or holiday season.
We have also seen some organisations using DB2 only for a niche part of their overall IT infrastructure. It is often difficult to make a business case for employing a full time DB2 DBA in this instance and so the organisation is forced to rely upon existing Oracle or SQL Server DBAs. This can become a problem if any serious DB2 support issues arise.

In both of these scenarios, by utilising an external support provider, organisations can benefit from additional DBA support far more cheaply than if they had to employ another permanent member of staff. This combination of in-house and external support works well for many organisations.

2. Feeling the strain of 24/7 Support
“The demand for 24×7 services can put a huge strain on overstretched DBA teams. Have you felt the strain? Our customers have found that working alongside a partner who can provide 24×7 DBA cover with contracted response times down to one hour provides the insurance they need.” Says Iqbal

High or continuous availability (24×7) is a common requirement for today’s “on demand” IT systems and this can put pressure on small or overstretched DBA teams. Teams can have difficulty providing cover for holiday, sickness or maternity and paternity leave. Adding to this, the increasing requirement for systems to be available 24×7 with DBA cover required at all times, the pressure on small DBA teams is clear.


3. Overworked DBAs

“I think anyone who has worked in a DBA team can identify with this one. Overworked DBA teams may not have time to proactively monitor the database. Instead, only reacting once a problem has occurred and business users are already feeling the effects.” Says Iqbal

Expert DBA skills are often needed on different projects and so DBAs can find themselves spending more time on non-core functions. This means that the vital monitoring and management of the database can be sidelined.

Don’t forget! It is important when taking out a remote support contract, to check whether the service provider can offer the option of proactive monitoring. This takes away the concern of problems cropping up unexpectedly and more often than not potential issues are noticed and dealt with before users are even aware of an issue.

4. Struggling to find DB2 skills
“Is searching for DB2 skills becoming a problem in your organisation?” Asks Iqbal.

We work with organisations who do not have any DB2 skills in-house and organisations who have skills in-house but access to those skills is limited.

Some organisations may have inherited DB2 systems through expansion or acquisition and do not have the skills in-house to support it. Whilst their own IT team may be able to cope for a while, if any real issues come up, a support organisation with DB2 expertise will be needed.

We have also seen customers facing the need to replace a DBA quickly but who have struggled to find a new individual with the required level of skills. Bringing in a support organisation is a useful way to plug this gap fast with the assurance that you will be getting the highest level of DB2 skills.

5. Feeling insecure about the future
“This one is slightly less obvious but important nonetheless. If your organisation is in the process of changing it’s strategic IT direction then this is one to look out for.” Says Iqbal

An “insecure future” may not be the most obvious reason but sometimes organisations are unsure of their strategic IT direction, particularly the choice of database platform. Investing in permanent staff to support and maintain a database that may not be in the long term plans for the business does not make financial sense. Finding a provider who can take control of ongoing database maintenance until a final decision has been made is a good way around this problem.

Organisations face many challenges in delivering a stable, efficient database infrastructure. Budget pressures, demands for higher availability and increasing workloads can all mean that pressure is building on IT Management to find a cost effective and reliable way of managing the organisations’ DB2 infrastructure.

RemoteDBA from Triton Consulting provides the highest level of stability for business critical operations. Our clients receive a superior level of personalised care – day or night – from our team of highly experienced DB2 professionals.

 

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