Database Administrators and the Cloud

There’s no fighting progress. Decades ago database administrators managed and controlled everything – the OS, network, storage and database. Times have changed and DBAs have had to evolve (i.e. accept) well established principles of economics, namely specialization. Thus we have network administrators, storage administrators, virtualization administrators and database administrators. While it’s rarely very comforting to “give-up control”, DBAs have done so – even if begrudgingly. So now we have “the cloud”.


Once more things are evolving and DBAs have to again embrace a new way of doing things. And as with each and every evolutionary step, fighting the inevitable is a losing battle. The planets have aligned, the gods have spoken, the train has left the station, or whatever saying you prefer – we all will be deploying more and more cloud databases going forward. So just go with the flow. Better yet, embrace and “ride the wave”. So unless you’re really close to retirement and basically don’t care – you will need to “have your head in the clouds”. Wink


But just as with every other evolutionary step where DBAs were worried about job security – the cloud does not eliminate the need for database administrators. It merely requires them to focus on other key aspects of managing a database. So while something critical like backup and recovery may be simply a questionnaire during cloud database instantiation, the DBA still has to know what choices to make and why. So in short, DBAs will be required to focus more on what vs. how. Moreover since everything in the cloud has a monthly cost – DBA’s will need to pay strict attention to capacity planning for storage and all other chargeable resources (e.g. CPU) in order to better assist management with controlling cloud costs. And as we all know “money talks”. So the DBA is just as important as ever. Smile