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DBA Managed Service versus hiring a DBA – a cost comparison

Here at dsp we are in the business of delivering Oracle Database Support and SQL Server Support – we fulfil the role of a team of 24×7 DBAs for well-known and established companies. Our client list is substantial; filled with market leading brands who have decided to share some responsibility for the upkeep of their mission critical data platforms. These include:

Finance Houses – Brokers and Hedge Funds with critical data requiring guaranteed support in the event of downtime
Retail Firms – Requiring 24*7, 365 Database Support and maintenance
Global Property Firms – Looking to consolidate IT and operations
Not-for-Profit – Wanting a cost effective alternative to increasing headcount

Our market is big – however with prospects new to dsp, we sometimes come across the age old blocker of price; “It’s cheaper for me to hire a DBA”.

The thing is with any type of Managed Service is that you get an all-in price. Your invoice will be the only thing you pay for. Hiring internally, means you get in-direct and opportunity costs thrown in as well as the direct salary/benefits/HR costs.

So let’s look at some of the costs of hiring a single DBA (who, by the way, can only provide you with business hours DBA availability):

Salary A competent DBA with around 6 years’ experience £45,000
Recruitment Fees 18% of Salary typical Agency fee £8,100
Employers NI 13.8% – Employers Contribution to National Insurance £6,210
Benefits 7% of salary – Pension, Healthcare, Dental, Expenses,  etc. £3,150
Training Oracle/SQL and other technical training £4,000
Deskspace, Computer, Mobile Mobile: £50pm, Laptop: £1500, deskspace/building etc: £10pm £1,220
HR On-Boarding/Management Costs 10% of Salary (Interview process, documentation, legalities, site training/orientation) £4,500
Absenteesim cover Contractor costs for loss of cover from Holiday, sickness, training.  Estimated 10 day contractor costs at 500pd £5,000


With 24*7 availability, you’ll need at least 3 DBA’s. A cheaper way would be to create a rota with 2 DBA’s, however this will not give you true 24*7 support. And when there is an incident, you’ll suffer capacity issues after.

There are other costs, such as opportunity costs, your costs/time in interviewing and staff attrition costs (e.g. if your typical staff turnover is high, then over the years the above costs can double) that could be factored in, but for the sake of simplicity we’ve stuck to the basic.

Give dsp’s Managed Service Practice a call on 0203 289 721 for a chat about the options we could put together for you – you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised with what you can get.

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