The majority of key applications within IT Services and across the university have a back end database. The database administration service offered by IT Services provides a complete end-to-end service for Oracle and Microsoft SQL servers. This offering is delivered through a partnership with an external service provider, staffed by database experts and supported around the clock to ensure reliability. It also allows rapid provisioning — typically within 24 hours — of long-term support services or short-term contract resources with no impact to IT Services staff. This method also permits a virtually limitless expansion of the service. In addition, IT Services also provides MySQL databases, which are used by many campus organizations as the engine for their web applications, including collaboration platforms such as wikis. This service is supported at a basic level internally and is discussed in the MySQL Database Service strategy document.
IT Services provides fully managed Oracle and Microsoft SQL database administration services to organizations across the university, as well as a more limited service that offers provisioning of servers and software as well as basic functions like backup. IT Services' external partner also provides a fully managed MySQL database administration service, but the university does not currently subscribe to it.
The fully managed service includes:
- Storage management.
- Database management.
- User management and security.
- Problem detection and resolution.
- Backup and recovery.
- Data management.
- Proactive performance monitoring.
Database applications are becoming more common, and more complex. At the same time, the availability of qualified and credentialed staff is declining. However, as more university business is conducted electronically, administration of the databases containing Confidential and Restricted data will be required, which will increase the priority for expanding database administrative services.
The technology trends that IT Services is tracking in the database space:
- Databases that leverage grid and cloud computing.
- A move towards open source operating systems and relational database platforms.
- Data analysis and data warehousing.
- Databases running on virtual machines.
- Integration with Change, Incident, Problem, and Configuration Management processes and tools.
- Inclusion of Business Affairs database applications.
- Automated reporting.
- Delivering a consistent, high-touch set of database administration services regardless of the platform (Oracle, MySQL, MSSQL).
- Adoption of Stanford's standards and practices for authentication and access control by IT Services' external partner.
- Integration with Change Management process and tool.
- Integration with Problem Management process and tool.
- Integration with Incident Management process and tool.
- Integration with Configuration Management process and tool.
- Implement a self-service reporting portal.
- Demonstrate value of service to university leadership.
- Expansion of the service to include a full-service MySQL offering; perhaps through the third-party vendor that currently provides the Oracle and Microsoft SQL database administration service. Some campus organizations may have database-driven web applications of sufficient complexity and usage that would necessitate more robust support.
- Documented Service Level Agreement with third-party provider.
Measures of success
- Improvement in reliability of customer databases and uptime.
- Reduction in frequency and duration of incidents: adoption of Change Management and Configuration Management.
- Continued reduction in client rates: An increase in the number of databases under contract results in a subsequent reduction in the rate per database.