Marion Shanly reveals how WellData supported the University of Exeter in managing their databases
The University of Exeter is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of Research Intensive Universities. It offers a wide range of fields in a welcoming and international environment.
The University of Exeter needed a stable and reliable SQL Server and Oracle solution for managing its databases.
The challenge was twofold:
- Exeter wanted to avoid cost increases over the term of the contract while ensuring better service that could provide 24/7/365 support.
- The geographic position of the University has made it extremely difficult to find teams with the appropriate skills.
It was then that the University looked for an alternative solution: to move the day-to-day management of their databases to a fully managed service.
Cost of 24/7/365 database management
The University of Exeter relies on a database made up of Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL for its daily operation; Due to the complexity of this field, the university had to employ a minimum of three full-time Database Administrators (DBAs) to ensure the databases were managed 24/7/365.
Ever-changing technological landscape
In an era of ever-changing technology, the University has recognized the critical importance of outsourcing its database to someone who could provide the most up-to-date expertise.
Database specific issues
The University of Exeter needed a strategic partner to support and develop its database for large-scale digital transformation.
A single point of failure
Due to budget pressures affecting universities across the country, combined with the location of Exeter, it was difficult to find the right skills and the university was unable to secure an official on-call rotation given the number limited number of positions combined with the technical complexity of the field. .
With the aim of controlling costs while ensuring that the University could rely on the right level of support and expertise, the Solutions Delivery team began to look for an alternative solution.
A managed service was a first experience for the university in this area, but the team realized that managed services could be the only way to overcome the challenges they faced and decided to embark on a process. extensive research to understand the market.
A professional and rigorous approach was used to ensure that any future solution would work for the University.
The call for tenders lasted several months and required a very detailed response from the many companies that applied. At the end of the process, Exeter selected WellData as the partner of choice.
“You now fully cover our working hours, although with your proactivity we probably don’t need them now. ” Director of development
24/7/365 database management
Continuous monitoring, without limit on the quantity of advice, interventions or support offered.
- 24/7/365 monitoring, troubleshooting and root cause analysis
- Proactive health checks
- Continuous operational improvements
- Change requests for design and implementations
- Configuration management
- Backup monitoring
- Capacity planning
- Planning for upgrade and migration
- On-demand backup / export service
Daily database maintenance
- Performance optimization, high availability testing and disaster recovery
- Service pack, hot fixes and fixes
- Updating the database of development / test installations
Database implementation services – project database
- Database upgrades, installation and configuration
- Schema / table check
- Database migrations
- Pre-deployment tests
- Deployment to production departments
- New database design service
- Query log
- Database decommissioning
- Database license optimization
- Provide advice and guidance on cloud migration
Make a real difference
In addition to the various obstacles in managing day-to-day operations, the University of Exeter has encountered very specific issues with space on its Oracle database.
As WellData’s Oracle Database Administrator for Exeter explains: “Despite considerable free disk space available for archive logs (Terabytes), the database was configured to use two destinations (that is, ie two copies of the same log) and they had set the mandatory directory to a disk that was only 100 GB in size; Importantly, this faulty configuration shut down the databases several times and had to be fixed.
WellData solved the problem by calculating the maximum amount of space that the database archive logs used between two log disk backups during the busiest period. They then allocated a drive 150% larger than this, adjusting the timing of the backup and erasing old logs in the backup process.
Once the solution was implemented, the databases worked without any further intervention or problem.
A fully dedicated delivery team
- Unlimited access to a service delivery manager
- One primary Oracle DBA and one primary SQL DBA
- One secondary Oracle DBA and one secondary SQL DBA
- Ad hoc support for My SQL
- Backing up the WellData team
The main role of the DBA is to execute the full day-to-day support package, including proactive management and reactive tasks as needed.
The secondary DBA is continually informed and provides ongoing coverage whenever needed.
Specialized monitoring tools are installed to support 24/7 management, with an alert system in place that ensures that in the unlikely event of an incident, a DBA is assigned the task immediately.
Unlimited phone / email advice and incident support
- 24/7 incident response function to provide comprehensive advice and support after hours
- Constant lines of communication with a WellData employee
- 24/7 proactive monitoring
A flexible and adaptable SLA framework is designed to respond to changes in the University’s business calendar.
Systems are better maintained and have higher efficiency, resiliency and performance.
The University of Exeter is now able to focus on strategic projects, rather than having to invest time and resources in the day-to-day management of databases.
“The biggest pleasant surprise was realizing that every request is answered within minutes and that there is an expert person on the other end of the phone ready to answer questions from our team, at any time. . A fantastic result. Assistant Director
What WellData can do for your organization
Here are some of the services WellData can offer to support your IT environment. With a proven track record of partnering effectively with organizations across the UK, we look forward to being ‘part of your IT team’.
WellData looks forward to working with your organization and is confident that we can meet your challenges and requirements.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how WellData can help you, please do not hesitate to contact our team:
[email protected] or by phone on 0800 389 4051.
Attention: This is a commercial profile