This article has originally been published on the Monin-IT website
WHY WOULD YOU DO IT?
DBA on demand, in a nutshell
Many IT managers struggle with the fact that their business needs the use of a database while no one in their team knows how to maintain it properly. As the health and performance of databases simply cannot be ignored, database administration expertise is a must for each company. However, it’s not always necessary or possible to hire an in-house expert. In this article, we explain more about the benefits of working with a database administrator on demand. Rutger Saelmans from nFuse, one of our clients, testifies about his experiences of hiring such a profile.
Could your team use external help to take care of your database infrastructure? Instead of going on the hunt yourself, you can contact us. Our database experts will investigate your situation with you and come up with a solution that fits your needs.
To provide you with a more concrete example, we have asked Rutger Saelmans from nFuse (part of the Xplore Group), one of our clients, to testify. He explains why they reached out to us, why they felt a database administrator on demand was what they needed and what the collaboration with Monin was like for them.
More about nFuse
Rutger Saelmans, managing partner and architect at nFuse, reached out to us a few years ago. Their core business focusses on proactive application managed services for, mostly but not only, e-commerce customers. When they noticed that clients only realise issues in their systems and on their sites when the problems occur (ergo: too late), they decided to change up the process. They started to work with intelligent monitoring to predict issues beforehand and to be able to take corrective actions 24/7. As especially e-commerce is all about databases, mostly SQL variations, and databases are so complex and not part of their expertise, they contacted us.
What was the problem and why did they choose Monin?
As everyone knows, the so-called War for Talent is raging hard in the IT world. Since nFuse has no database expertise, they were convinced that would hold them back in finding the right profiles themselves. To plainly put the extra work on their own team felt like an unfeasible burden as they realised how intricate databases can be. Additionally, there are so many kinds of databases that they knew they could never combine all that know-how in one person. We at Monin, however, would be able to send over the right consultants with all knowledge and expertise required for those specific situations.
Furthermore, Rutger had already heard of Monin and knew that, beside the fact that database infrastructure is our core business, we were already immersed in the world of e-commerce. The solution seemed easy enough: call us for temporary backup on certain projects.
The temporary backup soon turned into a sustainable partnership, though, as they soon discovered that it is more interesting for clients to be offered a total package of services. Customers can count on more than just incident support then, since there is always someone from Monin providing maintenance for the database(s) and taking preventive care. That is how the short-term help turned into a consolidated service deal. It is a win-win for the client who has a single point of contact (nFuse) but can count on assistance on many levels.
“In my opinion, the collaboration will last for many more years to come. Their platforms are stable, the team at nFuse can focus on runtime operations instead of solving database problems, and clients are so pleased with the managed services that they embark on long-term projects or return for new ones.”
Working with Monin, says Rutger Saelmans, brought many advantages with it. Apart from those mentioned above, they also observed that Monin often provided reality checks for customers. Not every migration from one database to another is as simple as some clients might think, for example. When clients propose migrations to nFuse, nFuse now asks Monin to look into it and to assess the possibilities. Not only does it prevent nFuse from making promises they cannot hold, but it also leads to better appraisals of required resources. More than once, clients learn from these evaluations where they can save costs.
The most obvious help occurs when there are incidents. It would take nFuse or the client too much time and money to locate and fix the problem whereas Monin can establish and tackle it in mere minutes. Because the team at nFuse knows that the database administrator from Monin is handling the situation, they can focus on their own work.
When asked about the collaboration, Rutger is cheerful: “In my opinion, the collaboration will last for many more years to come. Their platforms are stable, the team at nFuse can focus on runtime operations instead of solving problems and clients are so pleased with the managed services that they embark on long-term projects or return for new ones.” Finally, according to Rutger, they have always been able to count on Monin for reliable, responsible people which has put them at ease soon in the process and has made them eager to continue working together.
Conclusion of working with a database administrator on demand
Sharing talent rather than hiring new profiles, can be the better option for your company for many reasons. Simply put, being able to rely on a database administrator (on demand) from Monin, means receiving unburdening in more ways than one. Databases are complex things and it helped nFuse that they did not need to immerse themselves in that world to recruit someone or to learn it all themselves. Besides, if they would have hired someone permanently on their own payroll, they would have had to take things into account like the sick leaves, holidays, and so on of their employee. Now, however, if their regular administrators fall ill or are on holiday, we send other consultants, so they are never short-staffed.
When asked if he would recommend Monin to others, Rutger nods vehemently and says that it is a ‘no-brainer’. He explains: “To me, it feels like people seriously underestimate the importance of database maintenance. Technical jargon and terms, for instance ‘managed database’, have become buzzwords that rapidly lost their significance. To make sure that the heart of your information continues beating and that your system stays up-and-running, or is easily fixed in the worst case, I endorse every cooperation with Monin.”
To wrap up, Rutger provides us with a nice analogy for people who are hesitant because of the costs. Yes, he says, managed services are expensive, but look at them as an insurance and compare the situation to the costs of a car. It is evident to bring your car to the garage for servicing, even though it comes at a price. So why do we keep doing it? Because we know that it will be even more expensive to only check and pay for it when it eventually breaks down. That’s what Monin adds to the equation, Rutger states: they analyse the situation and make sure your system won’t break down. And even if it does, they will ensure that the damage is limited. In the long run, you are always better off with than without insurance.