July 2008

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Trends and Applications

Microsoft SQL Server version migrations are one of the more difficult activities for a DBA to execute, yet they are a very common change to the infrastructure. Databases eventually have to be migrated to another location, perhaps even a clustered instance. DBAs are tasked with making the database migration succeed despite all of the complexities and failures that are possible. The concerns around database migration can be alleviated through an automated process which results in an infrastructure that will be easier for DBA teams to manage, more compliant, easier to document, faster in turnaround time for changes, and more reliable with less downtime.

Non-relational cloud databases such as Google's BigTable, Amazon's SimpleDB and Microsoft'sSQL Server Data Services (SSDS) have emerged. But while these new data stores may well fill a niche in cloud-based applications, they lack most of the features demanded by enterprise applications - in particular, transactional support and business intelligence capabilities.

IT process automation (ITPA) has stepped into the spotlight as a hot commodity among IT professionals worldwide. With IT process automation, IT can deliver better services in support of business, allowing for increased business agility and service delivery. IT accomplishes these goals by delivering services to business faster and with fewer errors. The reasons for automating IT processes within the data center and across the IT ecosystem are numerous - increased productivity, reduced human error, elimination of repetitive manual efforts, and most importantly, reduction of IT management costs. The true driving force behind the increasing interest in IT process automation, however, is the business value that it provides.

In today's world of global economy companies recognize a growing need for a single point of responsibility for all security aspects. More and more companies acknowledge a growing need for a single point of accountability for all security aspects by creating the position of information security officer (ISO). One of the main tasks of ISO is to protect companies' main asset - the data. An ISO has to recognize that for any intruder there are two ways of stealing the data - while in transmission or directly from the database. Traditionally, the main emphasis has been placed on network controls to prevent unauthorized access, and to a lesser extent, protecting data in transmission. However, database security is often overlooked.