Database Administrator, EDW-DBA
Talking Teradata with Shankar, a Database Administrator in Bangalore.
What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are now?
I first started at Groupon as a Level 2 Teradata Database Administrator in Bangalore, India to support 24/7 database operations. I worked with cross-functional teams like DevOps and Development teams during Teradata upgrades and installations. As part of the Teradata downsizing project, I played a key role in identifying resource-consuming queries and worked with users on optimization to improve efficiency. I also identified stale scheduled jobs in our optimus tool and worked with the user to disable the job to reclaim CPU and IO resources. I identified users who ran frequent queries on a daily basis and asked them to reduce the frequency based on usage and core tables refresh.
I also managed our bi-weekly calls with the Teradata team to drive the Teradata open incidents and other issues pertaining to the system. Throughout my time, I have conducted multiple trainings and brown bag sessions for the user community to help understand the Teradata architecture and SQL optimization and best practices to write efficient and optimal queries. All of these challenging activities helped me to get where I am now: Level 3 Teradata Database Administrator.
Tell us about your job! What do you do exactly? What do you love about it?
Being a Database administrator, a typical day starts with addressing users’ questions and concerns raised through JIRA tickets. We work closely with the user community to optimize the Teradata SQLs. Currently, we have two Teradata systems: Production and Disaster recovery, data stored in Teradata used for analytics and decision making, it is our responsibility to make sure the systems are available for the business 24/7.
As part of infrastructure maintenance, we take care of software installation and maintenance, database backup and recovery, security, authentication, capacity planning, performance monitoring, database tuning, and troubleshooting. It is and was quite challenging to work with user community to understand their business requirements and to provide best practices and techniques to write efficient queries. I love to work with cross-functional teams during software upgrades and installations as we prepare the virtual machines for testing which gives me exposure to learn other database technologies like big data.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve worked on?
Teradata cluster downsize. This was the first kind of project to reduce the cluster size and it had not been done in any of the customer locations. The system is used for daily ETL with strict SLA timelines and day-to-day analytics and critical reports with a user base of 700+ active users per month. To make it successful, we focused on every aspect of the system instead of just focusing on moving data from the existing system to the downsized system.
In order to do this, we had to do the following: reduce existing usage of system resources; finalize the nodes to be downsized based on the current capacity utilisation; determine how to reduce the cluster size with minimal or no impact to business; create backup and restoration strategies; and determine a rollback plan and strategy for critical datasets. Two phases of the project has to be completed within two months in conjunction with other priority high-priority projects. The project timelines are very challenging as we have to complete both the phases within the two months timeframe to minimize the rental cost.
What was your first impression of Groupon?
That it was a flexible environment and open place for all; I felt that I could reach out any of the engineers to get my job done. I also feel that Groupon provides many opportunities to learn new technologies.
What do your parents think you do?
They think I sit in front of a system in an air conditioned work environment.
Have you won any awards during your time here?
I received Engineering Excellence Award in Q2 of 2017.
Where can we find you outside work?
I like playing and watching cricket. I have two adorable kids with whom I like to spend most of my spare time.