The Changing Role of the DBA

Michael Corey, President of Ntirety, a division of HOSTING, recently spoke about the changing role of the database administrator (DBA) at COLLABORATE15 in Las Vegas. Missed it? Following are some highlights from his talk. You can also check out his video for more insights.

Trends in Database Administration

An industry thought leader on database administration and virtualization, Michael is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, Oracle Ace and VMware vExpert. He is also co-author of numerous books including Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware® – Doing IT Right. In his presentation, Michael lists three “pillars” or trends in database administration that have remained consistent over the past 20 years.

Database proliferation and expansion

Technology continues to evolve, leading to a plethora of customer-facing applications that allow enterprises to access, store and analyze vast quantities of data. According to Michael, an average database expands by three to five times every two years.  Given the complexity of database servers and the technology surrounding them, resource-constrained companies often face “server sprawl.” This occurs when IT departments simply spin up a new VM (virtual machine) to accommodate the addition of new applications. Without an experienced DBA on board to manage their databases, this practice can result in a patchwork of servers and databases; some of which are under- or over- utilized, or no longer supported.

Management complexity surrounding the database

Michael has been working with databases since Oracle Version 3.0 debuted, and he has yet to find a single database tool that “does it all.” Why? Because database complexity is at an all-time high. Organizations demand a lot from their databases. They want in-memory, high-speed OTLP (online transaction processing), high availability, virtualization, and more.  At the same time, they don’t have the time, resources and expertise to manage their databases, ensuring they are performing at peak levels.

The people challenge

As databases have become more robust and complex, organizations are scrambling to find top tier DBA talent. As we discussed in our recent blog, The DBA Shortage (and What to Do About  It),  a recent career survey showed that approximately 70% of the DBAs are over 45 years old, and 20% of those surveyed, are within 10 years of retirement (The Vanishing Database Administrator: Survey of Data Professionals’ Career Aspirations). However, the data explosion has created additional demand for database management DBAs with specialized skills in cloud computing, SQL Server and virtualization – skills which take years to acquire. The ultimate goal is to glean new insights and patterns from data in order to effectively drive business strategy. However, without the necessary DBA expertise, companies are in danger of losing their competitive advantage.

HOSTING DBA-on-Demand Service 

As Michael points out, “business today means data.” In order to stay relevant organizations must manage their data in the face of hyper-converged architectures and unstructured data married to relational databases. Fortunately, the emergence of database-as-a-service (DBaaS) means that businesses can get the expertise and insights from their data when they want it, while paying for only what they need.

The HOSTING DBA On-Demand Service provides organizations with DBA experts that can handle everything from routine tasks to complex, long-term projects. Companies pay for the resources they need and  use  our experts when them need them. Our consultants average 15 years’ experience in Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL. They speak your language from the start, and don’t waste time “getting up to speed.”

Need more reasons to consider DBA On-Demand services from HOSTING? Michael, along with Don Sullivan of VMware, share their insights regarding the DBA shortage in their recent report, As Cloud Roll in, Expectations for Performance and Availability Billow. You can download your free copy here.

As Clouds Roll In, Expectations for Performance and Availability Billow

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