Article: What should I look for in a Second-Line support contract for Oracle and/or SQL Server?
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Article: What should I look for in a Second-Line support contract for Oracle and/or SQL Server?

February 22nd, 2010

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Second-Line support for Oracle and SQL Server is designed to support internal DBA teams. It should therefore fit your exact requirements without exception.

To achieve a wholly supportive, productive relationship with your Oracle and/or SQL Server support provider, it is important to:

1) Define how you want the contract to work.

Do you want a stock of pre-paid hours that can be drawn upon throughout the year when needed?

Or an ongoing contract that would allow you to define the hours of cover that you need and use unlimited ‘Second-Line’ support within those hours?

Perhaps a combination of contracted working hours support and a pre-paid pool of support to be drawn on out of hours?

Whatever your requirements, make sure that your ‘Second-Line’ Support solution fits them exactly. There is no reason that at all that your support provider could not deliver support to your exact specifications. If they can’t, you could end up paying over the odds for Oracle and SQL Server support that you don’t use.

Tip: Check how much you will save on ad-hoc support hours/days by pre-paying. There should be a small saving at least!

2) Establish strict Service Level Agreements [SLAs] with your support provider.

For contracted ‘Second-Line’ Support in hours, you should be looking at a guaranteed response time set at around 30 minutes.

3) Make sure you can get in touch with the company quickly and easily.

If you have to wade through the typical talking and transfers of a call centre, the time it takes for you to receive any support will be greatly extended. In cases where support concerns a critical Oracle or SQL Server database environment, this delay can cost the business money.

Make sure that your support providers give you a direct, standard rate telephone number that will get you straight through to an Oracle or SQL Server DBA.

4) Ensure that the support provider you choose offers genuine 24×7 support.

Even if you don’t need access to 24×7 assistance yet, you never know when an issue with your Oracle or SQL Server database environment may arise. The last thing you want to do is engage one company for in-hours support only to find you will have to go elsewhere if an emergency occurs out of hours.

5) Make sure support can be delivered as securely and effectively remotely as it would be on-site.

An effective and secure connection method to your Oracle and SQL Server databases should be used to deliver remote support. Xynomix deliver remote ‘Second-Line’ Support functions such as health checks, Oracle and SQL Server installations and database upgrades over a guaranteed secure Virtual Private Network [VPN], which is as safe and effective as an on-site DBA connecting to perform administration from inside your building.

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