Databases
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

SOLVED
Go to solution
Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Hi there.
Running systems :

one V2500 / 25 Oracle databases and instances
Oracle Applications for all
databases

two N4000 / 11 Oracle databases and instances
2 BEA weblogic servers
1 BRIO server ( ODS and BQS )

one K460 / 3 Oracle databases

How many people would you suggest to keep the systems and databases up and running ?
Rgds
Alexander M. Ermes
.. and all these memories are going to vanish like tears in the rain! final words from Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner"
32 REPLIES
Khalid A. Al-Tayaran
Valued Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?


Hi,

Are the instances OLTP or data warehouses?
Are you running 24 by 7?

Obviously you need more DBA's than OS guys.

You have:
29 databases.
2 Webservers
1 BRIO server
4 HP 9000 Machines

You didn't mention the most important Oracle instances. Meaning the ones that require more attention (backup, tuning, monitoring.....)

With my humble opinion, I think you need:

1) 1 Sys admin (for 4 HP-UX Machines + OS), also another guy to cover him??
2) 1 (or 2 guys for BEA) they should be able to cover each other on vacations... or maybe let the sys admins do it. They can with proper training.
3) You'll need 2 DBA's in three shifts if you are 24 by 7. So they can share the load. Of course this assuming you will use Oracle Management Server.

4) For BRIO, I have no info.

twang
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

On my site, 7 oracle instances
and 2 A-400, 1 D-390 and 1 RP5430
=> only 1 DBA/SA
Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Hi there.
Some additional info :

Instances are not running OLTP or datawarehouse.

The two N4000 are clustered.
On these machines we have three instances running 24x7, but we don't do shifts ( at the moment ). In case something goes wrong one person with a cellphone ( standby ) will be called.

Khalid, your comment for shifts :

Two dba's in three shifts meaning 16 hrs per day ? Or two dba's per shift ?

Rgds
Alexander M. Ermes
.. and all these memories are going to vanish like tears in the rain! final words from Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner"
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

1 Systems Adminstrator 1 Assistant
1 DBA 1 Assistant

You have about three times the number of instances and the same number of machines, though yours are faster.

We have 1 Sysadmin me, cross-trained in Oracle, for a year we had no dba at all.

We have 1 DBA lightly cross trained in Sysadmin.

We push our people pretty hard though.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Hi Steven.
Guess, what it is at my place.
The reason for this posting is, i justed wanted to know, how it is handled by others.
Rgds
Alexander M. Ermes
.. and all these memories are going to vanish like tears in the rain! final words from Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner"
Michael Tully
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Hi Alexander,

I think it depends on a few things.

1) Does the person or person double up and do other tasks and look after other applications?

2) Are you a 24 x 7 shop?

3) if not is there on-call

We have one oracle DBA who looks after 9 instances on three servers. We also have two informix DBA looking after at least 20 instances on 3 servers.

We have Four Unix admin (including me) looking after 40 odd systems.

Two guys looks after BEA, but this is still in development.

Cheers
Michael
Anyone for a Mutiny ?
Stefan Farrelly
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

In my opinion you havent got enough hardware for > 1 HP-UX Sysadmin and probably same for Oracle DB's (only 1 DBA needed - as long as theyre good). However, this causes problems if someone is on holiday or sick etc so you either need cross training (dba can do some HP-UX Sysadmin and vice versa) or you need someone to back up your DBA and SysAdmin.
Im from Palmerston North, New Zealand, but somehow ended up in London...
Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Hi.
Just to clear the picture.
I am doing sysadmin and dba for all systems.
I have crosstrained a new guy, who mainly works on SQLServer, for HP-UX and Oracle.
This was intense training.
A third man is trained less intense, but he works as database programmer.
Both guys had the basic Oracle training courses for database administration.
We have an on-call schedule setup for the three of us.
Rgds
Alexander M. Ermes
.. and all these memories are going to vanish like tears in the rain! final words from Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner"
Robert-Jan Goossens_1
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Two, one very good admin and one in the learing fase.

Robert-Jan
Khalid A. Al-Tayaran
Valued Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?


Hi Alexander,

I menat 2 guys per shift.

Our env. we have 8 HP-UX machines and 4 Windows based. 4 HP machines are running Oracle databases and 2 Windows machines are also running Oracle...

Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Alexander,

You need at least two people that are well cross trained. A third person that could cover for either of the other two would be ideal. Finding such multi-talented people is the hardest part.

We're a smaller shop: 2 HP servers and a few workstations, several Informix databases, one SysAdmin/DBA, one DBA/SysAdmin, light on the cross training.


Pete


Pete
Con O'Kelly
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Hi Alexander

My view is that often the number of people required is related to how well the systems are setup.

If the systems have been properly setup with good system monitoring in place, smooth backup process, regular cleanup scripts, good filesystem sizing, systems that are properly sized for the workload etc etc then 1 person should easily handle the HP-UX side with time left over to get involved in DBA side of things.
Its often when backups are regularly failing, filesystems are filling up & systems are completely overloaded that you need more people.

I am not as familiar on Oracle side of things but I'd guess that 2-3 DBA's should be fine. With that in mind I say around 3 people should be enough - 2 good DBAs and a good HP-UX Admin with some Oracle knowledge.
Definitely need some cross training so can cover holidays, sickies etc.

Cheers
Con



Khalid A. Al-Tayaran
Valued Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?


I forgot to mention that we are currently two people managing these servers...
Keith Bevan_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Alexander,

The answer to you question really depends on the scope and magnitude of system documentation,procedures and level of resiliance you want to build into day to day operations and support.

ie do you want cover when staff are off sick.
are the systems fully documented and
supported internally or externally.
Cost implications of head counts

Keith
You are either part of the solution or part of the problem
Keith Bevan_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Alexander,

The answer to you question really depends on the scope and magnitude of your business,the systems involved, IT documentation/procedures and level of admin work required.

You may wish to consider how much resiliance you want to build into day to day operations and support.

ie do you want cover when staff are off sick.
are the systems fully documented.
are your system supported by external
vednors or internal only.

You may also have to consider the cost
implications associated with more staff,
salaries,training etc etc.

Keith
You are either part of the solution or part of the problem
Keith Bevan_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Alexander,

Oops !!!!

I sent a minor revised reply after the original.

Please read the second one but as you have already assigned points to the first, I would be grateful if you would not assign any to the second one.

Keith
You are either part of the solution or part of the problem
Yogeeraj_1
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

hi,

As Robert-Jan said,
Two, one very good admin and one in the learning phase.

If your systems have been properly designed and tuned, one DBA will be sufficient.

Give him the right tools and access to all the information he need, you can be sure everything will go smoothly.

Cheers
Yogeeraj
No person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave (clavin coolidge)
doug mielke
Respected Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

we are 24 x 7, on based in US, but with offices in Asia, Australia and Europe. 600+ users.

9 HP 9000s
5 Wintel apps/Oracle servers
12 instances

1 dba
1 Apps speclst.
1 sysadm / ops manager

And when systems are set up well, and automated processes in place, it's tolorable.
New system, or problems in the mix, and we suffer. Holidays always a problem.
John Payne_2
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

I think you have a pretty good setup, idealy so if you can get those guys good at sysadmin. (And good at DBA.)

I was 1 sysadmin for 50 HPUX servers. I was always busy. When I went one a trip and something really bad happened that the other UNIX sysadmins could do anything about, I dialed in. (I had to rebuild a server over a dailup at my parents house back in March. Took all night and part of the next day.)

Now we are 2 sysadmins for 50 HPUX servers. We are busy all the time, but I can leave once in a while and if something really bad happens, I know that I can at least talk someone through things, at least until he finishes his training and feels comfortable. Even though we are still very busy, it is really nice to have the backup. (I can actually relax once in a while.)

The main thing is to have redundancy. Maybe you have a backup that won't know everything to do, but you will have someone who at least understands more than just the basics. They have HPUX concepts down, and you don't have to do everything single-handedly...

Hope it helps

John
Spoon!!!!
Martin Johnson
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

The answer to your question is: It depends.

If your applications are stable (i.e. change very little) and there is not a lot of data growth, you could get away with 2 crosstrained SA/DBA people.

If, on the other hand, the environment is very dynamic and unstable, you may need a half dozen people for support.

Some key questions:

How often is after hour support needed?

Several calls a night, every night, will quickly burn out a person. In this case, you will need an oncall list with three or more people. If you are getting multiple calls for both OS and DB support, then both oncall list will need 3+ people each.

What level are your support contracts with your vendors (HP, Oracle, etc)?

If they are of a high level, then your people will not need a high level of expertise. They would just call for support and let the vendor do the rest. Unfortunately, without a high level (expensive) contract, it could take days to resolve an issue. In this case, you want highly trained experts on your staff that can fix problems quickly without having to reply on the vendor. Not all your employees have to be experts. You can set up an internal escalation procedure. NOTE: Your experts probably should not be on the oncall list as they can be conceivably be called every night, whether they are oncall or not. Again, this means an increase in the number of employees as now their jobs are defined by their level of support.

HTH
Marty
Brian Crabtree
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

We have 310 servers, with 593 databases, and 8 DBA's.

Brian
Wouter Jagers
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

The 1+1 deal would be quite ok if you plan to keep your infrastructure exactly like it is now for quite some time, and availability is not highly critical.

If you expect many change-requests for the environment, or new systems to be added regularly, get a 2+2 combo. Also go 2+2 (at least) when you want extreme availability, in order to prevent ulcers, heart-attacks and caffeine/amphetamine addictions ;-)

Seems to be budgeting time everywhere :-)

regards
Wout
an engineer's aim in a discussion is not to persuade, but to clarify.
Caesar_3
Esteemed Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

Hello!

I think 3 will be good, but they should be
know System & DBA or one good system other good
DBA and the third will know from both.
In this case they can replace each other
when it needed and also there is always a phone that could be used.

Caesar
John Bolene
Honored Contributor

Re: How many people would you employ for sysadmin / dba ?

without killing folks in a 24 hour shop, you need to have most shifts covered

this will mean 2 each of DBA and admin

if they are lightly cross-trained they can take the oncall for each other
It is always a good day when you are launching rockets! http://tripolioklahoma.org, Mostly Missiles http://mostlymissiles.com