The Sysadmin DBA

I’ve worked with a few database platforms in my time, most of them in large enterprises. One difference I’ve noticed in the DBA’s on those systems is that they have “pure” DBA’s –meaning that they work primarily with the database platform, not the operating system. In SQL Server installations, most of the DBA’s I know are also fairly decent with Sysadmin tasks on the OS as well.


I think there a couple of reasons for this. First, many DBA’s came to that position from the sysadmin role, so they bring that knowledge forward. Another reason is that Microsoft DBA’s often manage smaller systems in addition to their enterprise boxes. Because of that, they have to know how to manage OS users, security and backups. Also, SQL Server has more ties to the operating system than other RDBMS’s. for instance, in other database products, you have to carve out the drive space and layouts using the RDBMS, not from the OS. Although you have Filegroups and so on in SQL Server, the base files are handled by the operating system.


So what implications does all this have? It means that as the “Manageability” team, we need to help you integrate the knowledge you have and need in the 0S, while allowing you to keep that separate where that makes sense. We can use your help. Tell us what you think over on

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