Database Administration

The Database Administration Team are primarily responsible for fulfilling the Database Service of the ICT Service Catalogue.  We further break this service down into 4 primary areas:

Database Hosting

Database Hosting

ICT provides university departments and business units with hosted databases, centralized database administration, and monitoring to support the different database needs for campus applications. The databases, database software, and database tools are configured, patched, and upgraded to ensure the safety and integrity of University data housed in these databases.

Included within the database hosting service is the following:

  • professionally managed Oracle Database Enterprise Edition or PostgreSQL community edition RDBMS running on virtualized Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers
  • professionally managed Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition RDBMS running on virtualized Windows servers
  • 3 database environments (Development, Test and Production)
  • database and system administration including patching
  • database backups and recovery
  • monitoring
  • access to the ICT DBA team for advice and troubleshooting
  • PCI-compliant databases and servers where required

We do not provide Oracle database feature add-ons that have additional licensing costs such as Real Application Clusters, Partitioning, Advanced Security or Advance Analytics.

Service Level Objectives
  • Systems will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week outside agreed planned system outages.
  • Annual availability targets are 99.9% (excluding planned outages), measured on a per-database basis.
  • Planned system outages will be coordinated with stakeholders.
  • ICT Platform services has two standing, reoccurring planned services outages:
  • Development and test systems are patched during working hours on the first Tuesday of each month.
  • Production and training systems are patched between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on the Wednesday following the second Tuesday of each month.
  • Additional requirements such as unique patch windows can be negotiated based on business needs
Database Support

We provide consulting services for database selection and procurement, license compliance, security, architecture, installation, and configuration. We promote awareness and use of database best practices and help with data structure design, security planning, and performance tuning.

Database Capacity Management

We help with system life cycle planning and ongoing resource management to ensure university applications and services are performant and meet evolving business needs.

Database Backups

We configure and manage backups for all ICT managed Oracle, Postgres and SQL Server databases.  We provide cloning and point-in-time recovery (PITR) services for our managed databases.

Included within the database backup service is the following:

  • Database systems will be designed such that no more than 6 hours of data will be lost.
  • In the event of a single system catastrophic failure, production systems will be back up and running within 1 day.
  • Backups are retained for 45 days.
  • Additional requirements such as longer retention periods can be negotiated based on business needs
Database Administration Contact Information

Normal support requests should be initiated through our Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Service Desk. The DBA group uses JIRA (jira.usask.ca) to track work requests. Staff with access may initiate requests directly at https://jira.usask.ca/browse/DBA/.  DBAs are available to help during normal University working hours and will normally respond within 1 hour.  After-hours support is based on “best effort”.  Critical issues can be escalated by contacting the ICT Service desk.

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