Isentia

Virtual DBA

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Virtual DBA Case Study - Isentia


  • Long hours working across multiple time zones was resulting in burnout for busy database administrators at media intelligence and data technology company Isentia.
  • The service provided by WARDY IT Solutions is proactive and identifies issues before they escalate.
  • WARDY IT Solutions helped Isentia to significantly reduce their workload with its 24x7 Virtual DBA service.
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Client: Isentia

Website: isentia.com

Category: Virtual DBA

How Isentia took their database support to the next level by implementing the Virtual DBA service

Working across multiple time zones was resulting in a high demand on database administrators at media intelligence and data technology company Isentia. WARDY IT Solutions helped Isentia to significantly reduce their workload with its 24x7 Virtual DBA service.

isentia

Objective: Enhance the 24x7 coverage of Isentia’s database

As a leading media intelligence and data technology company, Isentia has a large and complex database footprint. Resourcing the required round the clock support and ensuring adequate coverage for leave was becoming a challenge.

Our database administrators were already busy, because of their specific skills and experience in looking after the SQL Server environment it was challenging to find cover for them when they went on leave,” says Josh Lewis, Isentia’s Director of Infrastructure and Operations.

Often, the database administrators found themselves spending large amounts of time dealing with operational style tasks. While important, this was taking their focus away from other, more important projects.

We needed our database administrator to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And honestly, it is near impossible for any company to get that kind of coverage from individuals, at least not in a cost-effective way!” – Josh Lewis, Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Isentia.

Following a recommendation from a friend, Josh contacted WARDY IT Solutions for assistance.

"Internally our database administrator used to say their response time was 15 minutes but more often than not this would be pushed out. To date, WARDY IT Solutions have always been well within their SLA time of 15 minutes– they’re very efficient."

– Josh Lewis, Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Isentia

Solution: WARDY IT Solutions Virtual DBA service

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In speaking to WARDY IT Solutions representatives, Josh found them to be clear, flexible, and confident answering any questions he had.

The first step recommended by WARDY IT Solutions was to implement the DBA on Demand  service. This involved one of WARDY IT Solutions senior engineers working onsite at Isentia three days each week.

The second step was to implement the Virtual DBA service to support Isentia 24x7 and provide the proactive coverage they could not achieve with inhouse staff.

Service from WARDY IT Solutions was speedy, with the DBA on Demand set up the next day. The Virtual DBA service was efficiently implemented almost instantly.

Because WARDY IT Solutions works on a standard rate, it made no difference to them whether Isentia needed help on a weekday or a weeknight. This was a great benefit for us as it allowed for questions to be addressed immediately, making it a very smooth transition,” – Josh Lewis, Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Isentia.

Service from WARDY IT Solutions was speedy, with the DBA on Demand set up the next day. The Virtual DBA service was efficiently implemented almost instantly.

Another was the change from staff asking questions internally, to having to submit a ticket to WARDY IT Solutions. To combat this, WARDY IT Solutions offered a Slack channel for staff communication and questions. This ensured business could carry on as usual and any technology challenges were quickly overcome. Staff queries were resolved rapidly and in a public forum, allowing others to learn from the experience too. In addition to the Slack channel, staff also found that when they logged a ticket, WARDY IT Solutions response time was straight away.

To date, WARDY IT Solutions have always been well within their SLA time of 15 minutes– they’re always responsive and very efficient.” – Josh Lewis, Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Isentia.

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After-hours issues? The Virtual DBA can handle them!

According to Josh Lewis, Isentia has seen several benefits since implementing WARDY IT Solutions Virtual DBA support.

The main benefit has been that staff can now focus on their core business tasks and not get distracted by operational database administration tasks. Monitoring of backups query speeds and job execution was now delivered by the Virtual DBA support. The impact of this has been evident in the increased productivity.

Isentia no longer needs to invest in additional staff resources to manage the ever-growing systems, with the Virtual DBA service having the added benefit of being much more cost effective.

The service provided by WARDY IT Solutions is proactive and identifies issues before they escalate.

Other benefits include:

  • Isentia’s SQL Server maintenance strategies are now aligned with industry standards and best practice
  • As part of the service, WARDY IT Solutions deployed SQL Beacon monitoring and recommendations around indexing and performance
  • The Virtual DBA provides 24/7 support and coverage regardless of the time of day, which could not be achieved with inhouse staffing

Josh Lewis also points out that with the company growing, an added benefit was to have WARDY IT Solutions act as a fresh pair of eyes, to help optimise the database in line with growth.

“Our data is incredibly important to our operations and so having database experts like WARDY IT Solutions on hand to advise us how to optimise and evolve our database enables our team to drive business forward with informed decisions and accurate data, .” – Josh Lewis, Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Isentia.

“Historically overnight issues might have caused problems till morning, and there’d be complaints that backups are failing. Now if there are overnight issues tickets are automatically raised, and problems looked into.”

– Josh Lewis, Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Isentia.

Plans for the Future

Isentia will continue to leverage the great partnership they have developed with WARDY IT Solutions and use their Virtual DBA service for afterhours support. Currently, the company is planning to further work with WARDY IT Solutions to strengthen their SQL Server strategy, improve existing internal processes and optimise their current SQL Server environment through targeted projects.

Words of Advice

What would Josh Lewis say to someone experiencing similar challenges in terms of 24x7 coverage? “Give it a go!” he says. One of his key learnings has been the impact a professional subject matter expert can make to an organisation like Isentia.

 

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We have a very complex environment and WARDY IT Solutions have come onboard and significantly improved our efficiency. It’s been really easy working with WARDY IT Solutions. The team are flexible in what they can do, and in their terms of contract. It’s been a seamless process throughout and considerably less complex than I thought it would be.”

– Josh Lewis, Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Isentia.

About WARDY IT Solutions

  • 65 employees
  • Information Technology
  • Australia & USA
  • www.wardyit.com

WARDY IT Solutions are Australia’s leading SQL Server and Business Intelligence specialists. The company creates solutions that enable businesses to maximise returns on their investment in knowledge management. Through the extensive use of Business Intelligence, WARDY IT Solutions help their clients to realise the best possible dividend from their data assets.

WARDY IT Solutions have received numerous industry accolades, most notably the prestigious Microsoft Global Data Platform Partner of the Year in 2013. The organisation is recognised internationally for their innovative solutions, training skills and unwavering commitment to education and furthering the interests of the broader Microsoft SQL Server community.

WARDY IT Solutions deliver:

  • Project Delivery based on time and resources
  • Consultation and Gap analysis
  • SQL Server database design and programming
  • Support services
  • Managed Services and Business Intelligence Solutions
  • Business Intelligence Consulting, including strategy, review, design and implementation of Business Intelligence Solutions

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