Database Administration and Maintenance: How to Keep Your Database running smoothly

Keeping a database running smoothly is no easy feat. Once you’ve set the system up and gotten it running, everything from maintenance to upgrades can be challenging. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your database operating efficiently and get things done. There are a number of ways to make sure your database is running smoothly and that it can handle any workload with ease. This article covers some of the major areas of considerations when maintaining or upgrading a database application — as well as some simple solutions for keeping them running smoothly.

What to Always do before Upgrading a Database Application

Some of the things to always check before upgrading a database application include: Is there a current backup of the database? Is the database schema in a current state of evolution? Are the tables in the database current and valid? Are the data types supported by the database software in use current and valid?

Make sure you have the right tools for the job

DBMS tools vary from product to product, and from version to version. It’s important to have the right tools for the job, even if you’re upgrading from one version of a database to another. If one tool is missing or out of date, you may end up with database issues that are hard to track down and fix. Some tools require user input before performing certain operations. If you use a spreadsheet to track sales data, you may want to keep it in a different file format to the one used by your database system. Make sure your tool of choice supports the required file formats — and that the tool’s documentation explains how to convert between file formats.

Maintain Your Database with Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

Database maintenance is the process of keeping your database up-to-date and functioning properly. Regularly scheduled maintenance can help to keep your database healthy and reduce the chances of issues. Regularly scheduled maintenance includes but is not limited to: Updates. Database software updates often come with information about when and how often to perform maintenance tasks. Make sure you regularly check the software update section of the documentation for your database and upgrade your software as necessary. Resynchronization. Resynchronization is the process of removing old data and creating a new table or two on top of the old one. Resynchronization is not a recommended procedure, as it may cause issues with the data integrity. Data integrity refers to the quality of the data and the tendency of data to change over time.

Keeping up with New Technologies

New technologies appear periodically and are generally not recommended for use until proven to be reliable and stable. It is likely that when a new technology is first introduced, there are problems with its performance and stability. These problems are often quickly identified and resolved, but nonetheless, it is good practice to keep your systems up-to-date to avoid issues.

Don’t Overcommit on Database Administration

When you’re working with a large number of databases, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work involved. As the database administrator, it’s your job to keep track of all the tasks and make sure each one is completed according to plan. But you don’t need to do all the work by yourself. Consider hiring a freelancer or contracting out certain tasks to reduce your workload. Or, you can delegate some of the more trivial administration tasks to a team of employees or contractors.

Bottom line

Keeping your database running efficiently and correctly is a constant struggle. There are a number of things you can do to make this process easier, and make your database more reliable. These tips will help make your database maintenance process less stressful and more efficient. And with a little bit of luck, your database maintenance process will be a lot less stressful and more efficient as well.

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