How does your company decide on how many DBAs are required to support your database environment? : LUSENET : DBAzine : One Thread

How does your company decide on how many DBAs are required to support your database environment? How many DBAs should a company have on staff to adequately ensure the reliability, integrity, performance and recoverability of mission-critical databases? Are there any guidelines out there?

(I guess this is related to the previous question/comment from Craig Mullins).

-- Lou Coniglio (, January 31, 2001


Lou - this is a good question, but one that is somewhat diffciult to answer. I think a lot of organizations just try to squeak by with the minimum number of DBAs instead of doing any putting any real effort into the decision. IMHO this would require in-depth analysis of things like the number of applications that must be supported, number of databases and size of those databases, use of the databases (OLTP, OLAP, web-enabled, data mining, ad hoc, etc.), number of different DBMSs (that is, Oracle, DB2, Informix, etc.), number of OS platforms to be supported (Windows 2000/NT, UNIX, OS/390, AS/400, etc.), number of database servers, special consideration for ERP applications due to their non-standard DBMS usage, number of users, number of CONCURRENT users, type of Service Level Agreements in effect or planned, availability required (24/7 or something less), the impact of database downtime on the business ($$$), performance requirements (subsecond or longer - gets back to the SLA issue), type of applications (mission critical vs. non-mission critical), and frequency of change requests. I think this is an incomplete list though. Anyone else have any thoughts on this matter?

-- Craig S. Mullins (, January 31, 2001.

Management is often reluctant to hire another expensive DBA until the previous DBA quits! I worked in one shop (where I got my first job), where the DBA told management that they were going to get additional support or she was leaving!

The answer is also a function of the volatility of the databases. One DBA can manage dozends of stable system where few changes are made, but volatile system are another story.

Hope this helps . . .

-- Don Burleson (, April 15, 2003.

I was hired by this government agency over 10 years ago based on my DB2/MVS knowledge. My task was supposed to be to help convert from Datacom/MVS to DB2/MVS. When I was hired there were already 2 DBAs supporting Datacom. I was the third DBA. 3 DBAs - 2 database systems - 1 platform. Today, there are still 3 of us. but we now support Datacom/MVS (still around), DB2/MVS, Oracle/MVS, DB2/Windows, Oracle/AIX, Oracle/Windows, SQL Server/Windows. You tell me how they decide how many DBAs are needed.

-- Steve Pratt (, August 30, 2004.

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