Coillte awards outsourcing contract for database admin

6 Dec 2005

Coillte, the state-owned forestry, land business and timber processing organisation, has outsourced the maintenance and support of its mission-critical business databases. The group has awarded a 12-month contract to TeamDBA, a specialist in database administration.

The deal involves providing proactive support and regular healthchecks on Coillte’s key databases that run its financial and payroll software in addition to its forest and geographic information systems. It’s believed that this arrangement will allow the state company to provide its users with predictable and reliable business applications while eliminating disruption to its operations that could be caused by application downtime.

As it has a strong commercial mandate, Coillte relies heavily on IT to deliver core business applications. Its business interests include timber production and international consultancy services to research and timber-frame home manufacturing. According to Gary Williamson, IT infrastructure and services manager: “Maximum application uptime is critical to the smooth running of the organisation and supports our strong business growth and operational performance.”

Coillte has a staff of 1,200 across 100 sites throughout the country and as a result it needs several key applications to be always available so that its workflow operates normally. “We took the decision some time ago to integrate our forest and geographic information systems with human resources and finance and migrate them to an Oracle environment,” said Williamson. “Operationally, this has proved to be a far more resilient platform and also facilitates the development of tightly integrated applications.”

TeamDBA installed and configured database and server monitoring tools, which check the system in real-time. The company also provides monthly preventative maintenance health checks, which usually cover general tasks in addition to disk space optimisation, reviews on backup integrity, transaction logs and security. The company also installs software patches for Coillte’s Oracle and SQL databases as they become available. It submits detailed reports to Coillte along with recommendations, as appropriate.

According to TeamDBA managing director Jed Glover, a growing problem in the local Oracle and SQL Server market is the lack of readily available specialists in database administration. Many public and private organisations are increasingly choosing to outsource certain activities and database administration falls into this category. Williamson added: “It was difficult to justify recruiting a full-time DBA professional and TeamDBA’s business model of providing outsourced services meets our needs entirely.”

By Gordon Smith