The role of the database administrator has been changing slowly over the past few versions of the SQL Server product. Beginning with SQL Server 2005, this slow transition of the DBA role has been accelerated immensely. Traditionally, a DBA would fit into one of two roles: development or administration. It's much tougher to draw a line now between DBA roles in SQL Server 2008. In addition, the new role of Business Intelligence DBA is on the rise. As lines blur and morph, DBAs have to quickly prepare themselves to take on different roles. If you don't position yourself to be more versatile, you may be destined for a career of watching SQL Server alerts and backups.
Production DBAs fall into the traditional role of a DBA. They are a company's insurance policy that the production database won't go down. If the database does go down, the company cashes in its insurance policy in exchange for a recovered database. The Production DBA also ensures that the server is performing optimally, and he or she promotes database changes from development to quality assurance (QA) to production. Other tasks performed by a Production DBA include the following:
Install SQL Server instances and service packs.
Monitor performance problems.
Install scripts from development.
Create baselines of performance metrics.
Configure the SQL Server optimally.
Configure/implement high availability plans.
Create\implement disaster recovery and scalability plans.