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Good morning. Two quick disclaimers before I ask this question: first, I did search the archives, but came up empty-handed, which seems odd…  Also, I understand that attempting to reduce appropriate database staffing levels to simple metrics is (at best) imperfect and sloppy, and can even be detrimental as you try to right-size staffing levels related to managing data.


However….enquiring minds at the Senior Cabinet level would like to know. 


So, what do your  “database personnel to database” ratios look like?  We have about 3,000 students and 33 databases…and one DBA.  From my own point of view, I know how much we’ve grown, and how our dependence on data has grown, and how our DBA’s workload has grown, and how the risks and opportunity costs associated with having one (very capable) DBA have grown.  But sometimes, simple, objective (though perhaps flawed) numbers are given what seems to be a disproportionate amount of attention….


Any information from your own institutions would be appreciated.




Kevin Casey

Husson University

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These numbers are from our Database Group manager:


UofC ratios:

Oracle = 1 DBA per 72 instances

SQL Server = 1 DBA per 45 servers running SQL Server

MySQL = 1 DBA per 62 servers running MySQL   


He further states:

“This is actually a question that has come up many times in the lists that I follow, and I have also asked it of the CIC in the past.  Unfortunately, because of differences in responsibilities across organizations there really is no good way to compare ratios.  I have worked at places in the past were we had 10 DBAs dedicated to 1 system on 5 servers. “

“Instead, you really need to track effort and decide what tasks and roles you want your database group to play.  For example, does an organization want their DBAs to apply security patches every quarter?  If so, that takes effort from the team.  Does an organization want their DBAs to manage production releases?  Another task that requires more resources.  How about backup recovery testing, upgrading to the latest releases of software, or coverage during vacations? “





Mike Fary
Enterprise Data Architect

The University of Chicago