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Risk Mitigation

In addition to cost reduction and convenience, Met Sistem DBA and System Experts' customers retain our service to mitigate their risk. Due to the cost and implications of database outages and performance issues, every organization should develop a risk mitigation strategy.
Consider the following questions:

  • How much database risk can your business bear?
  • What is the likelihood of availability and/or performance issues affecting your database environment?
  • What is the potential economic or other impact if that happened?

The Economic Impact of Outages

When a mission-critical application becomes unavailable, it can threaten the survivability of a business. The financial impact of downtime is not the only issue that companies face when critical applications are offline. Loss of customer goodwill, bad press and legal penalties can all damage a company’s reputation. The results of a Cost of Downtime Survey asked respondents to identify the impact the loss of mission critical applications would have on the survivability of their business:

  • 40% of the respondents stated they would be out of business in 72 hours
  • 21% of the respondents stated they would be out of business in 48 hours
  • 15% of the respondents stated they would be out of business in 24 hours
  • 8% of the respondents stated they would be out of business in 8 hours
  • 9% of the respondents stated they would be out of business in 4 hours
  • 3% of the respondents stated they would be out of business in 1 hour
  • 4% of the respondents stated they would be out of business within the hour (Source: 2006 Cost of Downtime Survey Results, 2010.)

The survey results are backed up by data provided by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington. The government agency states that over 93% of the companies that had a catastrophic data center failure that resulted in an outage of 10 days filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of business that lost the use of their applications for ten days or more filed bankruptcy immediately.

Price Waterhouse Coopers performed a recent survey on the cost of a single incident of lost data. The compiled results showed that a single incident of data loss costs businesses an average of $10,000.

According to the National Computer Security Association, without adequate backup it takes:

  • 19 days and $17,000 to recreate just 20 MB of lost sales/marketing data
  • 21 days and $19,000 to recreate just 20 MB of lost accounting data
  • 42 days and $98,000 to recreate just 20 MB of lost engineering data

Database Driven Application Performance

Not only do applications need to be available when needed, they also need to provide the performance necessary to allow business users to access data in a timely fashion. A database driven application that doesn’t perform adequately results in lost productivity which leads to higher business costs and a disgruntled user base.

The Cost of Human Error

Industry analysts estimate that as much as 80 percent of application failures can be attributed to software failures and human error. Downtime causes can range from improperly entered transactions to scheduled outages for required database maintenance and tuning.

Can You Guarantee Your Data Will Be There When Your Business Needs It?

Ensuring that data is available on a 24 x 7 basis is a wonderfully complex task. Hardware failures, software failures, user errors and disasters all combine to make many managers lie awake nights thinking about whether their database driven applications will be continuously available (or not). More key questions to consider:

  • Has my organization implemented the computing architecture and best practices to ensure my applications will be available when I need them?
  • Does my organization leverage all of the advanced availability and performance features that are inherently provided by the products we have purchased?
  • How can I definitively know that I can recover from a catastrophic data loss or performance issue that is affecting my critical applications?
  • How do I know my data is safe?
  • Will my database be able to perform when I need it to?

Our DBA Experts Support Engine – More Than Just Great DBAs

Database administrators, by the very essence of their job descriptions, are the protectors of their organization’s core data assets. It is up to these technology professionals to recommend and implement technical solutions that deal with these unforeseen “technology disruptions.” Unlike on-site DBAs and traditional consultants, Met Sistem DBA Customers are not buying the services of a single database administrator. Instead, they are buying the collective knowledge of an entire staff of expert professionals that are backed by the Our DBA and System Experts Support Engine.

How Our DBA Experts Provides “Peace of Mind”

Met Sistem DBA and System Experts’ customers are able to “kick their feet back” and relax knowing that Our DBA and System Experts’ entire infrastructure is architected to accomplish a single goal: ensuring that all database-driven applications under their control are available when their customers need them and perform as expected.

Our DBA and System Experts dedicates personnel who are responsible for creating, implementing and enhancing a strategic blueprint for the proactive monitoring and trouble-shooting that is required to prevent problems - before they occur. The strategy also includes database and System availability best practices including test recoveries, disaster recovery planning and implementation and error recovery procedures. Since the proactive support blueprint is already in place, companies employing our DBA and System Experts to support their databases do not have to spend the additional monies required to create a proactive support environment.

Met Sistem DBA and System Experts understands that the database is not the only component that can prevent a critical application from being available to the end users. Our DBA and System Experts provides a wide array of monitoring agents that allow members of our Proactive Monitoring and Response team to monitor every component of the application architecture including middle tier servers and network devices. From monitoring the temperature of a computer room to a database buffer cache hit ratio, our monitoring experts are able to quickly deploy a customized monitoring solution that meets each customer's unique monitoring requirements.

When problems do occur, immediate contact with support personnel and 15 minute response times to begin active problem resolution are standard inclusions in all customers' contracts. Advanced telephony, smart phones, and state-of-the art personal computer and server implementations ensure that our support experts are always there when needed. Our DBA and System Experts' support professionals utilize industry leading administrative tools, documentation portals, and time-entry and ticketing systems.

Reducing Database Downtime and Problem Occurrences by Repeatable Processes

Documenting processes, procedures and best practices is a task that is often considered to be boring and mundane. Most DBAs would rather perform virtually any other activity than sit in front of a screen using a word processor. As a result, creating documentation is often postponed until the DBA has a little free time to kill. Today’s database and system administration units are operating with smaller staffs, tighter budgets and ever-increasing workloads. The end result is that the documentation is either never created or created and not kept current. A robust and detailed documentation library creates an environment that is less complex, less error-prone, and reduces the amount of time DBAs spend learning new database environments as well as the overall time spent on day-to-day support activities. DBAs are able to spend more time administering the environment than finding the objects they are trying to support. Repetition, even though it can be boring, is the foundation for a high quality support environment. If the scripts and administrative process worked correctly the first time, chances are they will continue to work correctly in the future.

New personnel are quickly indoctrinated in our DBA and System Experts’ structured approach to database support and all administrators are evaluated on how well they adhere to the predefined processes and procedures. Time is dedicated weekly to discuss support procedures and processes. All support DBAs participate in these discussions ensuring that a continuing stream of measurement data flows in which is immediately used to further improve the existing processes.

Adherence to Customer Support Practices and Procedures

In order for a remote database services vendor to successfully integrate itself into the customer’s support structure, it must adhere to all of the customer’s internal support processes, procedures and standards.

The database environment has become so complex that it precludes database administrators from becoming experts in all facets of the database's technology. Our DBA and System Experts' large administrative staff allows it to increase efficiency by creating specialists in key database disciplines. In addition to expertise in providing day-to-day support, each of our DBA and System Experts' support staff members is required to become an expert in one or more database disciplines including backup and recovery, highly available architectures, SQL tuning and database performance, database monitoring, UNIX/Windows scripting and database security.

Met Sistem DBA and System Experts allocates the support person with the highest-level skill sets in that particular task to provide the service requested by the customer. This TeamShare methodology ensures that the customer gets the most experienced person available to perform the given task.

Reducing Downtime Duration by Faster Problem Resolution

This large staff also reduces the amount of time spent on troubleshooting and problem solving. Our DBA and System Experts is able to leverage the expertise of a couple of dozen database administrators. The support staff averages 25+ years of experience and consists of certified DBA and System and database instructors. Our DBA and System Experts is able to leverage the team’s expertise to provide faster resolution to database performance issues and outages. Since the support staff works with many different companies, they have seen a number of different approaches to most situations.

Met Sistem DBA and System Experts also maintains close relationships with all database vendors and is a certified partner with Microsoft and Oracle.