SQL Server Blog

Remote DBA Benefits – After Hours Support

2016 has proven to be a busy year for Straight Path! We launched our DBA On Demand  Service. This is a Senior level Remote DBA offering – the basic premise being “what if you had access to world class Senior level talent, and paid for only what you needed from them?”.

We’ve on boarded several customers with our new On Demand service offering. We’ve launched some great partnerships and we’ve worked with several great colleagues in the space and have hired a part time resource we hope to convert to full time at the start of the year. While we do a lot of great services, like Upgrades and with recent announcements, now is the time to upgrade!, we’ve spent a lot of time investing in and growing our managed service space around this DBA on Demand. More accurately, Senior DBA on Demand.

With this post, I am going to start a small series of posts about the benefits of our SQL Server DBA on Demand services to clients looking for that Remote SQL Server DBA help. I’ll periodically post to this category with different benefits that we are building and constantly improving this service to offer. I want to start this off with a quick conversation about a partner we use in a key delivery area.

Remote DBA Benefit – Support Around The Clock

One of the benefits a customer with a 24*7 DBA On Demand relationship receives is DBA support when they need it. Companies can either pay their already stretched thin staff to take on-call duty, or they can just mandate it, and risk burning the team out. They can take their chances and hope that nothing big happens when the team isn’t assembled, or they can rely on a trusted third party team like Straight Path and our partner firm, WARDY IT Solutions.

For the clients who need to know that their Databases are under control at all times and in capable hands? This service is invaluable, but we manage to price it in an affordable manner. They are paying for the availability, monitoring infrastructure and a core number of hours based on expected needs. Based on the level of service, additional hours are discounted at various significant levels – we’re rewarding a client for the relationship. So in a routine situation, there is a fixed monthly service charge with some hours available in a month, rolled over within the quarter. Most issues are handled within those hours and in the event of a big crisis, the hours flex up, you pay for the scaled up hours needed to solve the issues within that quarter but the next quarter it is back to the budged billing. So your team, your after hours team at that, has flexed up with qualified DBAs helping with an issue and you haven’t had to hire 2-3 DBAs to split that workload up.

WARDY IT Solutions Partnership Means True 24*7 Support

As I sought to build a scalable, flexible, and truly Senior Database Administrator On Demand service, I knew that there would be a class of clients who would require 24*7/365 service, even at a first tier level. Clients who would need to have the guarantee of a 15 minute response time guarantee and a phone number they can call and be instantly speaking with someone who has access to their environment and knows their environment. Most important, however, is knowing that that person taking the call or responding immediately is a SQL Server person. Not a help desk call taker or a call router to buy time and tick off an SLA box. It has to be a DBA.

Enter WARDY IT Solutions. Peter Ward has run this company from the beginning to the powerhouse it is today with a large full time staff. He’s been a SQL Server MVP longer than I have and he knows his stuff. They are based out of Australia, with all on-shore employees in Australia. He hires the best and the brightest, has SQL Sever MVPs working for him and his company has received many awards. Using them and their 24*7 coverage options in addition to our Senior DBA on Demand plans allows us to tailor a pricing package to a company which is competitive, gives them ’round the clock coverage and provides an avenue for immediate responses outside of core US hours. This allows us to follow the sun in a sense – after hours calls and tickets are typically received during the work day in Australia where they have the most staff available, though during our day here they still have excellent coverage and A players answering calls and tickets. And our cilents who need that 15 minute response during business hours also benefit from their team receiving the alerts and their helpdesk staffed with actual DBAs ready to take the calls and either help the client directly with their team or escalate to our senior engineers here.

I also use them internally to help hone and develop some of the tools we use when we perform SQL Server safety checks, perform DB monitoring and phone home alerting to my team here and as a safety net for coverage for all of our customers.

This relationship has proven itself  with excellent wins by their customers and ours. We can credibly tell our customers “We have you covered” no matter if they need 24*7 coverage or 9-5 coverage. And the partnership allows us to price the additional WARDY IT Solutions services in a competitive manner, keeping the total cost manageable and low related to the high value our partnership brings. We’re also able to resell just their 1st tier 24*7 support models and the pricing works out the same whether a client purchases from us or from WARDY IT Solutions directly, but we add in some US based overview, account review and insights when we do that. This relationship also gives us the ability to be a US based resource to help WARDY IT Solutions out with questions for their own US based customers when needed.

Check out our DBA on Demand page to learn more about Remote DBA services. Feel free to visit WARDY IT Solutions’ site to learn about the type of partner we have here. We’re blessed to know Peter and his entire company and count them as a partner and are excited at the value that their VirtualDBA service bolts onto our senior level remote DBA offerings.

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Article by Mike Walsh

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