Conduct research online to determine the rate of business failure when no backups exist or when disaster recovery plans are not in place. Should backup and disaster recovery planning be one of a DBAs highest priority tasks? Why, or why not? How do you think the introduction of cloud storage is affecting the process and outcomes of database backup and recovery and disaster and contingency planning? Provide links to your sources.
Vendor sales guys love the statistical research for business failure rates related to no backups or DR plans. Here is a link to a page that contains much of the data you would hear at a sales presentation: http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature0660.html. The problem with much of this data is that it is used for sales purposes. However, features present in many of these backup and DR products are not the primary use cases. Discussing that further would be outside the parameters of the discussion question.
What is inside the parameters of the discussion question, is the role of the DBA. Whether backup and DR should be the “highest priority task” is subjective and highly dependent on environmental circumstances. Data protection (Integrity) is a primary concern of a DBA, and backup and DR clearly needs to be addressed.
For example, one database that I am responsible for maintaining stores only configuration data for its associated application. The only time a back is necessary is when configurations change. This means that backups should be performed manually after the completion of change management procedures involving configuration changes to the application. In this case backups are not exclusively a concern, or any concern, of the DBA.
In contrast, another database stores records of customer transactions. This database is extremely busy during business hours, then continues high use in post-business production times to facilitate daily reporting and analytical. Backups and other database maintenance are then constricted to smaller maintenance windows, with a much higher sensitivity to data protection. This application being highly involved and mission critical to the organization, backup and DR will be a high priority task.
Furthermore, cloud storage is highly controversial. Despite sales guys wanting to sell it as a solution, there are many outstanding legal issues in regards to the divisions of ownership between data and hardware. Technically, cloud storage offers great flexibility for moving backups off-site. However, if an organization does not permit that use of storage, it is useless.