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The Future of DBAs


The Future of DBAs

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Future of DBAs

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For the last 3+ years our company has been using VMs. But mostly for for Web and APP servers. Now with the latest hardware and memory prices, we are diving into VMimg our production SQL and Oracle servers. Now we are going from a throw it in VMWare and it works to a plan it, develop it, deploy it, test it shop. We are having to spend a lot of time on resource allocation and even more on making sure our code runs well. Before VMs sloppy code could exist because the servers could handle it. Now sloppy code on shared infrastructure can degrade several system not just the sloppy one.

I think as VM or Cloud computer expands, DBAs, system admins and developers are going to be working even tighter to get their systems lean and mean. If you are paying for clock cycles on someone else's SQL or Oracle server infrastructure, you don't want to waist your money on poor code. And as you grow your own VM farms, you will find that managing code is just as important.
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The day private clouds becomes a reality I will be very interested. Right now, where I work, it's not secure enough. It's a large company, so setting up the hardware and have several internal projects share the resources would work. This is otherwise where cloud has an advantage for small business but not for us.
cdonlan 18448
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It seems to me that the DBA skillset scale is sliding more to the software/softskills side and further away from the hardware/hermit end. Cloud computing is continuing a trend begun with SANs and VMs IMO. I'm more concerned over the last few years with communicating performance requirements and coordinating with the SAN and VM guys than specific hardware issues. That's been the biggest adjustment so far, however I prefer it that way since it gives me more time to organize data.
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I still think cloud is super buzzy. Private cloud is the top of buzz. Hosting, distributed processing, cycle sharing, VM....whatever you want to call it have all have been around for a long while. Most companies don't need this technology as it is presented today(except VM) and most won't use it. I think we can talk about it until we are blue but generally it is not going to effect our jobs as DBAs. The issue has always been the connection from here to there and there to wherever. Really let's stop jumping on the buzzwagon. I just want to get Hadoop data into my PDW in the cloud from my surface. Cool



Steve Jones
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cdonlan 18448 (11/14/2012)
It seems to me that the DBA skillset scale is sliding more to the software/softskills side and further away from the hardware/hermit end.


A lot of truth here. Software, and tuning software, becomes more important, as do the communication skills.

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Steve Jones
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SuzSQL (11/14/2012)
I still think cloud is super buzzy. Private cloud is the top of buzz. Hosting, distributed processing, cycle sharing, VM....whatever you want to call it have all have been around for a long while. Most companies don't need this technology as it is presented today(except VM) and most won't use it. I think we can talk about it until we are blue but generally it is not going to effect our jobs as DBAs. The issue has always been the connection from here to there and there to wherever. Really let's stop jumping on the buzzwagon. I just want to get Hadoop data into my PDW in the cloud from my surface. Cool


Yes and no. Lots of buzz, hype, and a lack of definition, but it's not the same. We've had distributed processing and VMs for a long time, decades, but not with the same ease, and at the extremely low cost we have now.

I'm not sure I'd agree most don't need it. I think there are lots of things we do that don't require us to build our own data centers, and the data doesn't need the security of on premises.

I think it will affect some of our jobs, and in some ways. You can disagree, but I think as more companies look to future investments, or start new projects, it makes sense to think about letting someone else manage the really low level stuff, like hardware.

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phonetictalk
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I don't think on-site solutions are necessarily more secure than the cloud. Obviously in some industries there's a regulatory component to where data can be stored & who can access it. But, an IT department staffed with a number of people who aren't keeping up with their skills may not be storing their data as securely as a cloud service would.

I picture cloud services becoming like a bank for data. Today, we'd laugh if someone said they stored their life savings under their mattress because it's more secure than a bank. I can see the day when storing all your data physically on site would be equivalent to keeping money under the mattress.

Leonard
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Keith Langmead
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To my mind as much as some marketing people might like to portray the "cloud" as being revolutionary, it's really just an evolution / different way of doing the same things as before, and it simply provides us with another option of how to do things.

For instance, currently we've got a number of physical servers in racks at a few different datacentres, each of them has several VM's running serving a number of different roles. To move those VM's to "the cloud" would be stupid, since it would cost us more than it does now. However, if we need to run a new server from a completely different location, paying to have a new physical server hosted just to run a single VM would be expensive, and at that point the cloud would become cheaper and a better option.

I definitely agree that the skills landscape is changing, and we all need to pay attention and keep our skills relevant, but then that's just part of working in this industry. Anyone who wants to learn a set of skills and then use them till retirement has chosen the wrong industry. As a Sysadmin and accidental DBA, when I started 12 years ago almost everything I did was on-premise, now most of what I do is hosted (though fortunately we host and manage our own kit, so at least I get to stay more hands on than some).

Some elements of what we do becomes simpler, with more automation, wizards etc, but that's always offset by the ability to do far more complex things with the technology, and that's where anyone needs to focus if they want to keep up.
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