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For my job I work on a JavaEE application with PostgreSQL as the database. Although we have a sysadmin for our productions servers, who also manages our database servers, we have no full-time DBA which makes me wonder if there are any. I would imagine any full-time dedicated DBA would work exclusively with Oracle database. Am I overlooking something or am I correct in assuming that there are no dedicated Postgres DBA's?

PS: I'm just asking this out of sheer curiosity.

PPS: I wanted to tag this question with DBA but apparently that would be a new tag. Could someone make this for me?

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5 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Judging from the activity on the PostgreSQL jobs mailing list I'd say it's not all that uncommon to find full-time PostgreSQL DBAs.

http://www.google.com/search?q=full+time+site:postgresql.org/pgsql-jobs

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Thanks! I honestly had no idea, I figured any application of sufficient size would be an Oracle or other named brand. –  rbottel Jan 11 '11 at 10:06
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Sure there are. Of course in many cases, you don't need a full time DBA for PostgreSQL, but on the other hand, places like Skype, myYearbook.com, and Afilias have teams of full-time PostgreSQL DBAs.

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We shouldn't forget to mention Yahoo! With a search engine and web portal of that size, we can only make rough estimates on the size of their PostgreSQL DBA teams..

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I was not aware that Yahoo used PostgreSQL ... can you provide any proof of that? –  jcolebrand Feb 5 '11 at 19:34
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Sorry for the lack of any links... Here is a link. Here is another link with a little more details. And here is a third link. It's a heavily modified, custom version though. –  uygar.raf Feb 5 '11 at 21:59
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Yes there are, and the numbers may be on the rise. In the last 3 months of this year, I have been contacted by 3 local companies looking for full time PostgreSQL professionals, in an area typically dominated by MSSQL and Oracle (SE United States). I took one of them, and now work mostly with PostgreSQL after working with SQL Server for 12+ years.

I would imagine any full-time dedicated DBA would work exclusively with Oracle database.

There are dedicated database administrators for all major platforms; it is not a role exclusive to Oracle.

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What do they have you doing? –  johnny Oct 7 '13 at 13:05
    
My role is principally data warehousing and BI, but it extends into operations from time to time. We use mostly PostgreSQL and MySQL, and the DBA functions are no different than when I worked with MS SQL Server - except for one main difference: Cost. When I need a new server, if I have the hardware, I can spin up a new instance without the delays in purchasing approval, and the never ending discussions about why we just can't put everything on one box. "That software was expensive after all!" –  MattK Oct 18 '13 at 14:29
    
Thanks for responding, but day in day out, what kinds of things do you do? If everything is running fine, for example, what do you do then? Just watch a monitor? Tune queries? –  johnny Oct 21 '13 at 2:28
    
Monitoring should be mostly automated - we currently use a combo of Munin, Tail_n_mail, and Zabbix for altering. There is always work for tuning - where there is any adhoc querying for BI, faster is better, and requirements change. In a DW/BI role, there is also always work in "getting more value from the data", as to what questions can we answer, and what work is needed for those we cannot answer. –  MattK Oct 21 '13 at 15:05
    
I don't have many customer facing / 24x7 production concerns. Having that responsibility in prior roles where MS SQL Server was the platform, I don't see PostgreSQL being any different from MSSQL, Oracle, MySQL, etc. –  MattK Oct 21 '13 at 15:08
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PG dbas are rare and hard to find. What does not make matters easier is that the going salaries can range from better than Oracle or SQL DBAs at companies that require PG for their most critical applications, and experienced difficulties finding the appropriate personnel. Others seem to try to hire on the cheap not making it worthwile for DBAs to stay or switch to PG.

PG is believed to be easy to manage, and developers or sysadmins get stuck with the admin duties. It's usually only when these database suffer severe issues, or the need for HA, D/R, replication etc... comes in that a DBA is sought.

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protected by jcolebrand Sep 17 '12 at 22:11

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