Technical Blog Articles

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Continually evolving businesses (e.g., entering new markets, mergers, and acquisitions), coupled with high DBA-turnover rate can quickly result in an inefficient database environment: you could be backing up defunct databases or not backing up active databases, under- or over-utilizing server space, and, as a result, spend too much in licensing and operating costs.

As IT organizations search for new ways to reduce costs, more and more organizations are looking to database consolidation efforts to improve efficiency and reduce infrastructure operating costs. 

Database Consolidation:  A Smart Way to Reduce Costs:  Database consolidation is a smart way to reduce costs and optimize resources.  Reducing the number of databases and spreading active databases over fewer servers allows you to save money by reducing licensing costs software (e.g. Oracle, SQL Server, OS), and realize costs savings by reducing energy needs and the resources needed for support.

But, as more and more organizations are running with a leaner staff, they often don’t have the time to dedicate to assess and plan a large scale consolidation effort. 

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As a cost center, IT Departments frequently are charged with reducing bottom line costs and improving efficiency, while facing the challenge of continuing to meet business objectives and competitive SLAs.  When thoughtfully planned out and executed, server consolidation can be the answer to help improve efficiency and reduce infrastructure operating costs.

What is Server Consolidation:  Server Consolidation is a process of condensing applications, processes, management and servers across fewer and/or virtual devices and locations.

Why Consolidate?  Realize a Significant Return on Investment:  Consolidating servers creates a more efficient use of hardware and can reduce the number of operating system software licenses and resources needed to manage the environment, thus reducing operating costs and potentially increasing system utilization.  These actions create power savings, increase efficiency and can reduce your carbon footprint, all of which can be very easy to justify financially.

If executed thoughtfully, consolidation almost always results in a positive return on investment.  You can realize both immediate and long-term software license and hardware costs reductions that far outweigh the cost of the time and effort spent to plan and implement your consolidation plan.

However, without a proper plan in place, you can make investments in inefficient or incompatible technology, make mistakes that can lead to performance degradation, catastrophic system failures, and end up spending costly hours on repairs.

Whether this is your organization’s first attempt or 21st, we’ve laid out a few tips to help guide you through the process.

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Universities and higher education institutions around the country are constantly faced with new and challenging issues in the ever changing world of technology and data management. Developing an organizational model to accommodate the changing IT environment, and facilitate openness is necessary to meet the demands of increasingly complex federal, state and local oversight of these institutions, along with continually evolving IT needs, and the staff that supports them.

Retiring Old and Complex Data Processes

As new technologies emerge, which will undoubtedly result in cost-savings and improved overall efficiency, IT departments in large universities are challenged with consolidating and upgrading their infrastructure, while minimizing the operational impact the changes will have on the institution and their current platform.

Government and State Legislation Creates Need for Efficient Source of Data

Aside from emerging technologies, changes in state legislation and civil law throughout the nation have increased the burden on state universities to produce records in timely manner. There is a need for a cost-efficient common source of shared data, and existing systems may lack a coordinated approach, resulting in inconsistent compliance and widely varying records retention practices.

Government agencies monitor activities, and penalties for violating laws and regulations are often severe.  Universities must emphasize compliance with these laws and regulations. Compliance relies on comprehensive student information systems that manage the student lifecycle from recruiting and admissions, through student services and alumni relations.

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The complexity of modern day database environments require 24x7x365 attention to detect and immediately address any issues that may occur.  However, tight IT budgets and an uneven day-to-day DBA workload often do not justify more than a single in-house DBA resource for support.  But, putting total reliability into a single DBA resource is a risky proposition.  In this article, I’ll explain why employing a Remote DBA Service that utilizes a team to support your database environment provides a more reliable and cost-efficient approach to database support.

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Telephone interviews have become a standard first step in interviewing candidates.  The phone interview is a time saver:  a quick way to glean whether a promising candidate on paper has the technical and communication skills that make them worth engaging in a more time and resource intensive in house interview.

Here are some tips for the interviewer to help focus the discussion, and truly gain those time and effort savings.

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Telephone interviews are an easy, time saving way to screen candidates.  Developing a script or template for interviewing will make conducting telephone screens even more efficient, especially if your organization has more than one person screening candidates for the same job.  An interview script will help to focus the discussion, make your organization sound more professional, and give you the tools to quickly rate a candidate and compare against other candidates, in order to truly gain the time savings that phone interviews are supposed to result in.

Remember, you want your interview to be brief (no more than 30 minutes) and relatively casual, so preparing a common repeatable script can take any bumbling or stress out the experience.  On the flip side, you don’t want to over-engineer the script.  Just remember you don’t want to come off sounding ridiculously rigid or serious; your goal is to be professional and friendly.

Here are some tips for building a repeatable and reliable script.