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The DBA of the Future


The DBA of the Future

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AlreadyPicked
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Well well, that list is exactly my job right now, minus the cloud thing. I also support the legacy systems which my company is in the works of replacing over a 5-6 years plan.

So I agree that it might look like that in 10 years, but seeing that the changes in technology over a span of 10 years is significantly bigger now than it was 10 or 20 years ago, I also think that it could be something else altogether.

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LSCIV
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Curious why you would think IOPs and RAID will be forgotten. Based on recent hiring here, I would say most DBA's don't know anything about RAID or IOPs now =). What's to forget? That said, I still think those technologies will still be relevant down the road. Everything electronic and/or mechanical will fail and businesses will always want fault tolerance built in (RAID). IOPs may increase dramatically with SSD's, but bandwidth is still lagging the software. Even today, SQL 2008 has no problem saturating a 4Gb SAN backplane while table scanning a large table at MaxDOP=1. I doubt 10Gb backplanes will overcome this deficiency. You know what they say, what Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away....
JP Dakota, PRC
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I see the need rapidly rushing toward DBA's having to understand business (profitablilty, BI, staffing, effective communications, project management) on top of administrating databases. The DBA's who can effectively function in a bigger universe will continue to exist. The ones that can't will go the way of computer technicians who can solder capacitors and change jumpers and shadow video memory.
pjcrout
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While I don't think that all of those things SHOULD become true over the next 10 years, sad to say, most probably will become true... 10 years after that (or less, maybe even less than 10 from now) even more of those "Core Skills" and "Job Opportunities" will be lost to Automation and Outsourcing.

Remember when you took your first entry level job, and you learned the ropes from the veterans at the time, and they laid the arcane-magic smack down on you for being a total n00b? It was painful, but you learned stuff, eventually becoming at least proficient if not a master much like the wise sages of old... It was all about Knowledge Transfer, keeping it from the unworthy who would undoubtedly corrupt and misuse it, and passing it on to those who have proven themselves worthy through trial by fire.

Now you look back and see the people doing those jobs now are not required to actually know anything because all of the knowledge has been distilled down to a few buttons to be clicked (Automation), or a phone call/email to make it someone elses problem (Outsourcing).

Between "The Cloud", India and China... the days of Knowledge and Knowledge Transfer are numbered. The days of Idiocracy are nigh! And we are all in part to blame Wink

"This one goes in your mouth, this one goes in your ear, and this one goes in your butt... wait this one goes in your mouth, that one goes in your butt."

Good times... Obviously I exaggerate, but I do believe we are slowly making "IT Heroes", as they've been dubbed, obsolete...

"Once everyone is super, no one will be... MUAHAHA!!!" - Syndrome, The Incredibles

...OK, I watch too many movies, but I have kids so I'll blame them... I'm just saying :-P
mtassin
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pjjaad (4/14/2011)
Backups, perfomance tuning , indexation et all are all going to be done without a human being having to have a single technical skill that current DBA's utilise. Automation of most of the skills used by a DBA today are going to come into the remit of software / hardware.

Backups are going to become redundant as for example memristors are now being comercialised.



Backups will always exist as long as there are users entering data into systems. Using them for disaster recovery may be reduced by memristors or psychofalbbles or doodalidinks, but there will always been a need for them, and for those who understand how they work and get the system back online using them.

Troubleshooting what happened with said systems will always be a requirement. SQL 2005+ maintenance plans were supposed to make SQL Server not require a DBA to deal with them. Yet I spend several hours a week troubleshooting where backup jobs have gone wrong for my company's customers.

Do I spend as much time now as I did say 5 years ago? Nope, but I see that reduction in time spent slowly flattening out, not continuing on some deep dive.



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Andy Warren
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Great comments, thank you all for reading and participating!

Blandry, I was struck in particular by your comment and I'll think on it more. I do wish DBA were more well defined, and I think about Andy L's comment on data professional, at this point in my career I'm more of the latter, but the title tends to be DBA because businesses don't understand anything else (even if DBA could mean most anything). I'll definitely chew on it some more.

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LSCIV - I don't think IOPS will disappear, just that we'll get a budget of them and/or an SLA, and someone else will handle all the ugly details of disks and raid and such. The tools, as much as they have advanced, still have a ways to go, but with the DMV type info evolving, we should get to the point in the next gen or two where the tools will tell us whether we're using or abusing resources. At that point the business pays us to try to reduce consumption, or pays to increase resources. True today of course, but often a swag, I look forward to it being something we can easily measure which way has the better ROI.

I guess it's also that my visions matches the flow I already see. I rarely deal with disks any more, and it's taken a bit to get comfortable with that, less control you know! But specialization is the trend and I think it's healthy, just makes sense to have someone that focuses on storage.

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Ramkumar (LivingForSQLServer)
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here is my thoughts:

1.Performance front:
We can expect 256 GB RAM and 100 TB better version of SSD, 4 times faster processors and may be consistant 100 MBPS wireless Broad band speed

Impact: there wont be performance problem in small/medium scale databases as most would be in memory databases. We can expect cheeper in memory solutions in another 10 years.

2. some DBA tasks:
We can expect better in build options like
1. options for auto archival
2. options for intelligent auto indexing and intelligent defragmentations options
3. better options to handle too much file growth (like tempdb/log file growth)

Impact: day to day DBA tasks would be inbuild options in another 5 or 10 year.

3. High availability:
We can expect same Clustering/Mirroring/Backups features with some improvements.

Impact: Even a junior DBA/developer will know on how to recover data with 0 data loss.

4. We can expect inbulid team based development suite (like vss)

5. DBAs will be forced to learn .Net, Cloud and SSIS & SSAS for survival.
James Stover
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Ramkumar (LivingForSQLServer) (4/17/2011)
here is my thoughts:

1.Performance front:
We can expect 256 GB RAM and 100 TB better version of SSD, 4 times faster processors and may be consistant 100 MBPS wireless Broad band speed

Impact: there wont be performance problem in small/medium scale databases as most would be in memory databases. We can expect cheeper in memory solutions in another 10 years.

2. some DBA tasks:
We can expect better in build options like
1. options for auto archival
2. options for intelligent auto indexing and intelligent defragmentations options
3. better options to handle too much file growth (like tempdb/log file growth)

Impact: day to day DBA tasks would be inbuild options in another 5 or 10 year.

3. High availability:
We can expect same Clustering/Mirroring/Backups features with some improvements.

Impact: Even a junior DBA/developer will know on how to recover data with 0 data loss.

4. We can expect inbulid team based development suite (like vss)

5. DBAs will be forced to learn .Net, Cloud and SSIS & SSAS for survival.


Hmm...allow me counter:

1) Small & medium scale DB's will not live on this hardware. They will live inside virtual clusters on this hardware. Performance problems will live on.

2) Fully functional DBA capability has been vaporware for 15 years. If the product stopped evolving, then maybe. Possibly some limited auto-indexing.

3) A junior DBA/developer should know how to recover data but that doesn't mean they will know. Technology changes, people do not.

4) VSS is dead. Long live TFS.

5) Jack-of-all trades a good DBA does not make. I do agree with knowledge of the Cloud, though.


James Stover, McDBA

Ramkumar (LivingForSQLServer)
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Nice to see your comments James Stover.
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