Requesting guidance to become SQL DBA?

By skraghava skraghava Points: 1305 | Level: Starter | Status: [Member]
Posted on: 3/1/2010 9:20:52 AM | Views: 8893
Hello Team,

Thanks for the platform to ask questions.

I'm working for an MNC and I'm into support and maintainence of applications developed in dot net technologies. However i'm interested in becomin SQL Server DBA. Can you please let me know what and all knowledge I should have in managing DBA role. and also any suggestions on books for this.?

Thanking in advance.

With warm regards,
Raghavendra SK

Sainath's Advice on Monday, March 01, 2010 :
Hi Raghavendra,

For becoming a DBA you need to know the following:

  • SQL Server Administration - setup, maintenance,log shipping, RAID, etc. MS has published a complete book on this.
  • Overall SQL Server Architecture
  • Replication
  • Capacity planning
  • Database Design - for ex. keeping data files and indexes on different partitions to boost performance
  • Performance Tuning and optimal query design, indexing,etc
There are many Microsoft publications which target these areas - but no single book covers all of it. Becoming a good DBA requires mastering many skills over a period of time. Also, online MSDN is very rich in quality of study material available. Check out the best practice how-tos also on MSDN, some links are provided below:

An advantage of becoming a DBA is that the pace of change at the DB level is slower than that at the programming language level. Experienced, highly skilled DBAs are a rare breed - and command huge salaries. But many DBAs go into "maintenance mode" activity and don't really stretch into other areas like performance tuning and design which are challenging and difficult.

Many DBAs start off as developers - although you are working in an MNC please make sure you are  handling a project having high data volume - 10 to 20 GB is a minimum. Most queries fall flat as database size, row count increases and the real learning commences with respect to database maintenance and performance tuning in such projects. No point in working in projects in which the mdf size does not cross 1 GB, you will not learn much. Try taking up more assignments which involve more back-end activity - like tuning slow performing reports, designing purging jobs, etc and gradually make the transition to becoming a DBA.

One more great source of learning is - the kind of information that is shared by these expert DBAs cannot be found in any book, this is distilled practical experience shared with you free of cost. Check the below links:

All the best !


Sainath Sherigar,

Skraghava said on Monday, March 01, 2010

Thank you Sainath.

Its great to see such an explanatory answer in quick time .

Thanks a lot for this.

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