A few thoughts on why you should consider using a DBA service (DBA as a Service) rather than internal staff:
Elasticity : we all know that in a crunch period we need 10 resources, then the week after we only need 3, and hiring permanent staff (let alone unionized staff!) doesn't allow this. Scaling up and doing with ad-hoc consulting resources ends up being counter-productive as you spend time ramping up, you never want to pay for the extra time for documentation, so the consultant leaves with all the knowledge, and then isn't available next time around - sound familiar?
Turnover : how many times have I seen the nightmare scenario of the one DBA that resigns and the IT Manager thrown into panic ... Hiring, training, ramp-up are all costly - if you could do it just once, documented then let turnover become a provider's problem - would that be easier?
Experience : 10 years doing the same thing day in, day out has nowhere near the same value as 10 years across multiple clients, technologies, versions, platforms, applications, etc. Imagine that same comparison between a couple of internal DBAs and whole team of external experts?
Focus : how many hours per week does your DBA spend on database administration? Probably less than 50%. Tested a database restore recently? Tested the disaster recovery scenario? Investigated the top worst SQL statements? Analyzed the capacity, growth, performance versus the capacity plan and made any adjustments or raised any concerns? Capacity plan? Yes, DBAs are supposed to do those too.
Patches: security patches, minor releases, major releases, analyzing compatibility, testing for issues.
I am willing to bet that most IT Managers are looking at this list and learning what their DBAs should really be doing! Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that they are incompetent, lazy, or do not want to be doing any of this, it is just that all the other projects and fixes that they are drawn into don't leave them enough time to focus on the database. Don't believe me, go and ask your DBA to describe a typical day!
Akuiti can help clients evaluate their needs, their costs and the possibilities to improve service and reduce risk.