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Lesson 2Database administrator responsibilities
Objective Learn about some of a DBA's backup and recovery responsibilities.

DBA Responsibilities

Your primary responsibility as a database administrator is to keep the database available for use. This is a challenge that will make your job either fresh and interesting or a nightmare. If there is a failure in your system, it is the DBA's responsibility to get the database back up and online quickly with a minimal loss of data. This requires that the DBA recognize what happened and what to do to prevent this type of failure in the future.
Some other responsibilities of a DBA that effect a backup and recovery plan include:
  1. Understanding how the database is being used
  2. Monitoring the database for usage patterns and performance characteristics
  3. Preparing the database for new applications and/or users
  4. Reviewing new hardware and software system options

Change Backup Considerations

New applications or users may change the backup considerations of your database. For example, the billing department may be moved to a new time zone, which would affect your backup window. Or newer hardware technologies may allow you to do a complete backup in less time, thereby broadening your choice of backup options. A good DBA is an integral component of a company's business operations and not someone who merely mounts tapes for a living. DBAs are usually viewed as either a friend or a hated enemy. Having worked as both an end user and a DBA, I can sympathize with both viewpoints. I have, at times, been frustrated with DBAs from the viewpoint of a corporate user, a high priced consultant, and the corporate owner of data. In turn, I have also been frustrated in my role as the DBA servicing corporate users, high priced consultants, and corporate owners of data. I've also had great experiences helping to define and structure the corporate use of data as a DBA.

Backup and Recovery Responsibilities of an Oracle DBA

An Oracle DBA (Database Administrator) is responsible for ensuring the availability, reliability, and security of an Oracle database. Backup and recovery is a critical aspect of database administration, and an Oracle DBA's backup and recovery responsibilities include the following:
  1. Developing and implementing backup and recovery strategies: An Oracle DBA is responsible for developing backup and recovery strategies that ensure the availability and integrity of the database in case of any disaster or data loss. The DBA must determine the appropriate backup strategy based on the size of the database, the frequency of changes, and the recovery time objectives.
  2. Creating and testing backup and recovery procedures: Once the backup and recovery strategy is developed, the DBA must create and test backup and recovery procedures to ensure that they work as expected. The DBA must test backup and recovery procedures on a regular basis to make sure that they are working properly and to identify any potential issues.
  3. Monitoring backups and recoveries: The DBA must monitor backup and recovery operations to ensure that they are completed successfully and within the required timeframes. The DBA must also monitor the backup media to ensure that it is not corrupted or damaged.
  4. Performing database backups and recoveries: The DBA is responsible for performing backups and recoveries when required. This includes performing full backups, incremental backups, and differential backups, as well as performing restores and recoveries as needed.
  5. Implementing disaster recovery plans: In the event of a disaster, the DBA must implement the disaster recovery plan to ensure that the database is recovered as quickly and efficiently as possible. The DBA must be familiar with the disaster recovery plan and must have the necessary skills and expertise to implement it.
  6. Ensuring data consistency and integrity: The DBA must ensure that the backup and recovery procedures maintain data consistency and integrity. This includes verifying the backup media and performing validation checks on the recovered data.
Overall, an Oracle DBA's backup and recovery responsibilities are critical for ensuring the availability, reliability, and security of an Oracle database. The DBA must develop and implement backup and recovery strategies, create and test backup and recovery procedures, monitor backups and recoveries, perform backups and recoveries, implement disaster recovery plans, and ensure data consistency and integrity.

The next several lessons cover backup and recovery issues from various perspectives, beginning with business considerations.