The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) is tasked with financing, improving, managing and maintaining the national road network in South Africa. This mandate requires the use of extensive databases in order to store and provide access to the relevant data at all times, and when the company relocated its office from Hatfield to Val De Grace in Pretoria, they called on RDB Consulting to assist.
The relocation of the office also meant relocating the entire existing IT infrastructure to the new premises, including an extensive centralised Oracle database containing all of SANRAL’s technical data. RDB Consulting assisted by ensuring that the database was shut down correctly and that offline backups were conducted for the entire system. Once everything was moved to the new location and all operations were started up, RDB Consulting verified that the database was still operational and had not experienced any issues as a result of the move.
Aside from assisting SANRAL with the relocation of their IT infrastructure, RDB Consulting has been providing the company with level two and three Oracle database support since 2009, ensuring the health and continuous uptime of the database and delivering the required skills on demand to address any problems that may occur.
“When our in-house database administrator emigrated, we took the decision to outsource these services and began to look for an organisation that specialised in Oracle database support. We selected RDB Consulting through a request for proposal process based on the sound reputation of the company, cost-efficient pricing, their impressive existing client base and the extensive pool of skills available within the organisation. With RDB Consulting we have access not just to one person, but to a whole team of specialists who can support our database,” says Louw Kannemeyer, Road Network Manager at SANRAL.
“SANRAL uses an outsourced model for all level two and three IT support and RDB Consulting fills this role for our Oracle database. The workload simply does not justify having a full time in-house employee on board, and when employees leave the company we have to embark on the long process of procuring another resource. We are a small organisation in terms of headcount, and outsourcing our Oracle database to RDB Consulting enables us to access specialised and often scarce skills as and when we need them, without having to deal with the risk of employee churn,” he adds.
The Oracle database is a crucial aspect of SANRAL’s business, and if this database goes down the organisation will not be able to access any of their technical data, including traffic information. This has an impact on the strategic decision making of the organisation, so uptime of the database is vital. Using RDB Consulting’s services provides SANRAL with peace of mind with its Oracle environment and administration of the database as there is always a high level resource available to maintain the health of the database.
“The main benefit for us with an outsourced model is that RDB Consulting works with other clients’ database environments, especially Oracle, and their resources have gained a wealth of experience in this niche field. This allows them to identify issues quickly and resolve them before they impact uptime. By the time we experience a similar problem, the consultant has often already discovered the solution. This helps us to resolve issues quickly and gives us the surety that all of RDB Consulting’s resources are highly skilled and experienced because they have been exposed to a variety of different environments,” Kannemeyer says.
Using outsourced services from RDB Consulting gives SANRAL the ability to access resources and skills on tap, pulling in more resources when demand is high and then tapering these services off when the workload decreases. This model is ideal for the project based environment at SANRAL as it enables the company to effectively manage supply and demand and make more efficient use of available skills.
“Our services to SANRAL are conducted on an ongoing basis, and we are working with them continuously to ensure that their Oracle systems are optimised for better performance on their servers,” Gerrit-Jan Albers, Service Delivery Manager at RDB Consulting, concludes.
About RDB Consulting
Established in 1995, RDB Consulting is an outsource and consulting company that specialises in four areas: Relational databases, Operating Systems, Monitoring and Enterprise Resource Planning. The organisation also offers project management, solutions architecture, on-going maintenance and support. Our services are designed to provide businesses access to expert technical resources whether full time, part time, co-managed or via remote administration. This allows companies to focus on their ‘core’ business and leave their ICT issues to the experts.
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