Database Requirements Template

S.Panacek, J.Trumbo 11/19/2004


  1. Is your database mission critical?
    This means no data loss and little (if any) downtime can be tolerated.


  1. Does you database need 24x7 availability?
    Very few databases should be in this category. It is much easier to meet a requirement that it should be operational 95% of the time than 100% of the time. If you require this, please include a justification.


  1. Do you need backup and recovery?
    There are two types of database backups and it may impact the choice of database vendor. One, all users need to be off the database to run the backup to insure data consistency in the backup. This is a cold backup. The other, a hot backup, can be run while the users are still on the database, and data consistency is insured.  The RunII experience says it is unacceptable to kick the users off for a backup.


  1. How large is your database?
    It is common to underestimate the actual disk space needed by a database. The indices, support tables, backups, and replication files are usually not considered. A common rule of thumb is to multiply your estimate by ten. This should be sufficient for the first 2 years.


  1. What is the expected growth rate for this database?
    This impacts the scalability of the database hardware and software.


  1. What data types do you need?  (Binary, large objects?)


  1. Do you need replication?
    Will this database run from a single server or will it have to be distributed to several sites. It would be helpful to include the sites in the answer.


  1. How many concurrent users will have database access?


  1. What support do you expect for this database?
    Some support categories are: ER/Schema design assistance, application development, server maintenance, system administration of hardware and operating system, installing db patches and upgrades.


  1. Is there a platform dependency or requirement?
    Is there a circumstance where an application must run on a specific platform, and will that platform choice affect the database choice? For example, DSG will only support databases that run on certified combinations of operating system and database version.  If for some reason you can not use one of those platforms or versions, it should be mentioned.  Then a decision to support can be debated.


  1. When do you need this database?


  1. How long will the database need to be accessible, 1 year,5 years,10 years? For a database with a long life time, how will support be transitioned through personnel changes?