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Who Is A Database Administrator? IT Roles Explained


Learn what's the difference between a database developer and a database administrator. What tools do they use? What are they responsible for?


A lot of recruiters still don’t understand some of the fundamental terms in IT recruiting so I will explain today who a database administrator is and what a database administrator does (what are his responsibilities)

let me start with the usual use case - we have a user here and this user uses an application. It could be a mobile application or it could be a browser that connects to an application server.

This could be Amazon, you know the e-commerce store if they have lots of application servers a user could connect through a browser to Amazon’s application server (we are querying that server).

For example, their products are saved in a database so the application server needs to connect to a database and this is actually not just one database, they have lots and lots of databases and all these databases store data. They are really, really huge companies with lots of data sitting in their databases so there need to be lots of database administrators administering the databases. Okay, there are lots of database servers and database administrators manage the servers.

There could be also database developers right but we will focus on the administration part of database management. Okay, so someone develops databases and someone administers databases so let’s focus on those who administer the database servers.

What Does It Actually Mean To "Administer A Server?"

Amazon has lots of servers, it could be tens of thousands of database servers or maybe hundreds of thousands. I don’t know but by now, I wanted to say it’s clear there are a lot of database servers and someone needs to configure those database servers regularly.

A Database Administrator Configures Database Servers

By configuration, I mean setting up relevant parameters like database names, IDs and access password privileges, security performance of database servers. Someone needs to take care of scaling say, if there is a smaller company one developer could work both on the application server and database. Pretty much-covering everything but as soon as you need to scale the company and the databases the company has, it’s usually the role of a database administrator who takes care of the scaling issues.

By scaling, we mean that so far we had only one database and now we need ten databases.

How do we scale? How do you replicate? How do we migrate data from one database to another? How do we back up all these databases? How do we Migrate a business from one data center to another data center? It could be huge Database, we found terabytes or petabytes of data so how can we Replicate it from one region to another?

How can we migrate data from Europe’s data center to the United States’ data center so this is what a database administrator usually works on.

To compare with a developer works with a particular database and there are lots of tables in the database so the The developer takes care of these individual database objects while the database The administrator takes care of all those database servers that are around. Okay, so I hope this is clear now, let’s get back to the job description.

It could be an application server and online analytical processing tools so a database can be connected to other tools like OAPT. You know OAPT is an online analytical processing tool that is usually used for business intelligence.

This is something you guys as recruiters should clearly know and now looking at the JD here and there.

What does it really mean to configure, to take care of Replication, backup databases, sort scaling issues, security, user management Access, etc.

Ok so it should also configure support optimize the performance of database etc, so I hope this is clear, if not guys I encourage you to ask questions below this article and I will figure out how to explain it even better next time. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and colleagues, so they also learn some of the key terms recruiters see on a daily basis on JD’s during meetings with clients.


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