How is database farm management different from instance management? Why do you need it and when? That is what I will try to shed some light on in this blog. If you are responsible for a database farm, read on.
Managing instances – watching and tuning performance, handling incidents, and generally maintaining them has always been the DBA domain. DBAs are focused on the database server performance now. As the number of instances grows, you will need more DBAs to handle the job of keeping all instances ship-shape daily. This is when you need to consider farm management as well.
Managing the database server farm is about managing and optimizing resources, cost, risk and inventory, planning, forecasting, reporting, and budgeting. Database Farm Management is focused on the medium- and long-term future, so it is usually done by senior DBAs and IT operations managers.
As an analogy, think of the difference between database farm management and instance management as the difference between managing public transport in a large city with managing a formula one race car team. The former is concerned with moving as many people as possible on buses, trams, and trains in a cost-efficient manner, while the latter is concerned with making one or two cars win the race at almost any cost.