It’s the one call no database administrator wants to receive: There’s been a database failure. Wherever they are, whatever they are doing, they must drop everything and head to the office ASAP. The company’s whole livelihood relies on their ability to get the data back and get the systems up and running as quickly as possible. And while everyone dreams of the day they can be their company’s savior, in the case of database failures, a true hero is the one that never receives that dreaded call.
There are several types of database failure. While there’s always a risk, with some time and care, you can protect your company from some of the most common types of database failure.
3 Types of Database Failures
1. System Crash
Mayday indeed. When the system crashes, it’s a race towards reinstating affected processes or – worse yet – data recovery.
A system crash usually refers to any kind of bugs or hardware malfunction in the operating system or the database software. It can bring the processing of transaction to a halt and can even cause the loss of content residing on volatile storage such as main memory, cache memory, RAM, etc.
There are many reasons why your database system might crash. Maintaining strict security and maintenance routines and protocols in the database, its host system, and the network should guarantee minimal downtime. In the event something did happen, the DBA must have a documented crisis plan to restore and reinstate the database as quickly as possible.
2. Media Failure
This one is very risky! Media failures are caused by a head crash or unreadable media. These types of data failures are considered one of the most serious because it is possible for entire data loss. Media failures usually leave database systems unavailable for several hours until recovery is complete, especially in applications with large devices and high transaction volume.
The best way to prevent this type of database failure is to protect your data with adequate malware protection and backing up your data frequently.
3. Application Software Errors
When the resource limit is exceeded, bad input, logical or internal errors occur, or any other factors related to the application software is compromised, transactions can fail giving way to database failure.
It is generally recommended that application software errors are minimized in the software code during conception and the software engineering process. It is better for developers to put mechanisms and controls into place during the design of the architecture and coding operation, than trying to remedy mistakes later. Asides from failures, malicious code may exploit known vulnerabilities, especially those associated with a particular programming software tool or known human software coding error.
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