Alexandre Marini – Informix DBA improving database performance in Brazil
Meet Alexandre Marini, an Informix Database Administer working in Campo Grande, the capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS). Alexandre received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Universidade Anhanguera-Uniderp in Campo Grande. He learned the core database concepts in his basic database class. His interest in the area led him to more advanced courses where he developed a deeper knowledge of databases and worked with a variety of database products. He actually began his professional database work while still in college. He began as an Informix 4GL developer and then moved into the role of an Informix DBA ten years ago, while still a student.
He currently works at the Local State Financial Department of Mato Grosso do Sul (Secretaria da Fazenda do MS). Read below to learn more about Alexandre’s role maintaining the government database systems and some of the technical challenges he faces on the job.
Typical day for a database administrator
As a database administrator, Alexandre is responsible for operating two types of systems for the MS government. The Informix-based OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) systems manage the daily transactions for tax documents in the state. These databases are integrated with the larger Brazilian national tax system. They are also connected into the mail system and aid in preventing tax evasion. Alexandre manages eight instances of the OLTP environment.
Alexandre also manages one instance of an OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) database. This instance is optimized for handling Decision Support System (DSS) queries that generate supervisory and executive management reports. The OLAP database contains historical data from the OLTP system and other data sources that enable the government to observe longer term trends and analyze metrics to make better business decisions.
Technical challenges on the job
Alexandre works hard to keep his databases healthy and fully available for his customers. He continues to improve his skills as evidenced by completing two Informix professional certifications last May (Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 Fundamentals and System Administration for Informix Dynamic Server) He also stays current with new Informix features and functionality. These skills helped him solve a challenge when a disk space problem shrank the amount of available disk space to a critically low level. Alexandre implemented the Informix Storage Optimization feature to compress the data and shrink the amount of disk space required for the database. This enabled the database instance to be back up and running smoothly on the existing, smaller number of disks in no time.
- Informix just released an exciting new version, v11.7, in October 2010. Read more about this feature-rich release at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/products/informix/.
- Two versions of the Informix product are available at no cost and can be downloaded from the web. You can learn more about all of the Informix versions at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/library/techarticle/dm-0801doe/
- Faculty members who belong to IBM’s free Academic Initiative (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/university/academicinitiative/) can also access free courseware covering Informix data topics as well as courseware covering Infosphere Data Architect and Data Studio.
Favorite aspect of the job
Alexandre loves the enthusiastic environment that surrounds his job and the atmosphere that encourages continued study and new technology skill growth. Alexandre describes his job environment, stating, “I’ve got great work friends here. We are always helping others, giving technical suggestions to help other teams improve their work quality and solve some of their problems.”
Alexandre is also very excited to be working with the Brazilian Informix User Group and increasing the visibility of this group within his work community.
Technical skills required on the job
The core computer science, database and operating system concepts Alexandre learned in school continue to be important for understanding and finding solutions to database management problems. He describes their importance, stating, “That gave me critical knowledge to recommend hardware and installation techniques to other teams, improving overall database performance.”
Why Informix over other databases?
During the acquisition period at the local state financial department in MS, the Informix family of products were highly recommended by other government bureaus in Brazil. Informix has been used there as the OLTP system since 1996.
Pride in accomplishment
Alexandre is proud of developing encrypted reports that prevent tax fraud. He is also proud to have implemented some Informix data replication features that improved the overall structure of the database system and lowered the amount of resources required to manage the database environment.
Alexandre continues to improve his database skills and is looking forward to continue to work with big enterprises, implementing high availability on environments, partaking in systems migrations, and spreading Informix features and benefits throughout the marketplace over the next several years.
Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path
Alexandre would give the following advice to his peers, “Make an effort to thoroughly learn all the concepts; this will help to apply your knowledge into different areas of technology.
IBM Developerworks: IBM Informix
Informix on Campus
International Informix User Group
Informix Chat with Lab Series
Brazilian Informix User Group