Database Administrator: The Modern-Day Atlas

Picture the mythical Atlas not with the weight of the world on his shoulders, but with a computer at his fingertips and the security, recovery and integrity of a company’s entire database on his shoulders. Now multiply that one database by 12, and that sums up Dave Geis’ job as a database administrator (DBA) for dbaDIRECT.

A DBA, as the name portrays, is responsible for the totality of a company’s database, including assessing performance, planning security measures, providing backup and ensuring the integrity of a database.

Geis is one of dbaDIRECT’s 67 database administrators who deal with more than 3,000 corporate databases 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. With such a breadth of responsibility, Geis, who is the team lead for the Sybase platform, has remarkably normal working hours. He starts around 8 a.m. and leaves between 5 and 6 p.m.
“We do get a lunch in there, so we are allowed to eat, contrary to popular belief,” he joked.

Although Geis has working hours much like the rest of corporate America, there are days when work extends beyond those predefined times. For instance, one week each month, Geis and his team are on call, which can lead to some sleepless nights.

“If I’m on call and I’ve been working the issue throughout the day, I’ll just go ahead and take it that night because I’m the one more familiar with it, although I can hand it off to our off-hours support,”…



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