Effective database management takes careful, round-the-clock attention from highly paid technical staff. They are prone to breakdown from hardware, network or human failure, cyber-attacks and power outages, and can be overwhelmed very easily by spikes in traffic. As a CTO, though, you’ll have any number of pressing issues that need solving yesterday, with a budget that only seems to get smaller. It’s no wonder that thinking about how to scale up for Christmas shopping during a summer heatwave seems ridiculous - and definitely something you can put off until at least next week.
Like many other American imports, the UK has embraced Black Friday with open arms. Official figures vary, but rough estimates suggest UK shoppers spent £1.4bn online across the Black Friday weekend through to Cyber Monday. So how did retailers do? Argos said two million people had visited its website in just four hours after their Black Friday deals went live. Other retailers were less successful: Game’s website was offline for three hours on Black Friday 2017, and John Lewis reported serious problems with their site despite taking £213m during its Black Friday sales and breaking all previous records. Ted Baker, Calvin Klein and Debenhams all resorted to implementing online queuing systems, whilst many shoppers took to social media to voice their frustration.
Granted, the Black Friday scenario is extreme - but it is true. It actually happened. What’s worse is that many of these retailers have form in failing to accurately predict demand. Amongst many others, John Lewis’ site was down between 3pm and 4pm two years before, in 2015. With annual online revenues of £1.4bn, and Black Friday demand estimated to be around 2%, that hour of downtime could have cost them up to £2.8m in lost orders.
So back to you. You might not be in retail, but your databases and the applications that are built on top of them underpin everything your business does. The figures might not be so stark, but downtime is not something you want either. These days, database failure can mean long-lasting reputational damage, fines for non-compliance and serious customer satisfaction problems, not to mention operational losses. Ask yourself - what level of confidence do you have in your databases at the moment? How many Priority 1 incidents do you experience every week, or every month? What might happen if one of your DBAs gets poached elsewhere? What happens if you need a new application developing, but your team are stretched to the limit as it is?
Well, more resource always solves the problem, right? Sure. Experienced DBAs can easily command six-figure salary packages once benefits and national insurance are factored in, and that only covers one - if you need 24/7 support, you could easily need three or perhaps four. And you’ve got the headache of having to get approval, place ads and interview candidates. Training existing people doesn’t help much either, as that takes them offline for weeks or months, and then there’s always the risk that they’ll leave once trained anyway.
So, could outsourced management of your databases be something to consider? You’d be in great company - over the years we’ve supported almost 11,000 databases for organisations in almost every vertical you could think of. Our clients love the fact that they’re buying peace of mind and confidence in their database performance, which is all tied to strict SLAs. They have some of the most experienced professionals in Europe making sure their databases are online and optimised for high-performance across all their business applications. We’re more effective and nearly always more cost-effective too.
Whether you’re worried about disaster recovery, DDOS attacks, a skills gap on your team, ransomware, performance issues in your existing architecture or whether to consider cloud migration - DSP have you covered. Give us a call today on 0203 880 1686 or click the image below to get in touch.