Articles by Gerardo Dada
Are machines better equipped to do what DBAs do? There was an interesting post recently that stated 800 million jobs worldwide were at risk due to automation by 2030. The impact will not be equally distributed between job functions. In addition, different job functions will see different percentages of jobs automated.
Posted February 01, 2018
The CTO of a major database vendor recently stated at a conference that basically DBAs would soon be out of a job. The gist of the keynote was autopilot flies better than humans, autonomous cars will be safer, so why would we not do the same for our databases (remove the human error)? What is the validity of this line of thought, and how might it be implemented? What does an autonomous database look like?
Posted December 01, 2017
If I were to ask if your database load profile is good, bad, or ugly, how would you reply? If you are unsure about how to answer that, you are not alone. There are a lot of factors that come into play—one of the biggest being, "Compared to what?" Most people would agree that having a historic baseline or profile of database activity is important. So, let's move beyond that and get into why it's important and what we can do with those historic datapoints.
Posted October 18, 2017
Poorly written SQL statements can cause significant performance problems in your database environment. According to some experts, poorly written SQL can cause up to 70% of performance problems overall. Adding resources can mask many issues surrounding poorly written SQL, but comes with a cost. Is writing good, quality SQL (including block code—stored procedures, packages, functions, etc.) a dying art? And if it's so important, why is that?
Posted August 09, 2017
Resources used to be expensive. Resources used to be scarce. Resources used to take a long time to provision. As such, it made sense to put resource consumption at the top of the list when talking about database performance. Those days are gone. With more than 80% of databases running in virtual environments, where hardware is more commoditized every day, access to physical resources—CPU, memory, network, and disk—whenever needed is much easier. In fact, Moore's Law predicts that technology advancements will double every 2 years. Well, most physical resources are certainly on pace with that, or better.
Posted June 01, 2017
Many IT organizations are looking to the cloud to move, create, or extend existing database infrastructure. Perhaps yours is one of them. Yes, the world of the database professional is shifting, this we know. The real questions are how is it shifting, and what can you, as a DBA, do to be successful in this new world?
Posted April 07, 2017
There are many points in life where you may ask yourself whether it is better to build or buy. Think of a new house, a business, or an application. Regardless of the object of discussion, answering certain upfront questions can act as a guide to help you along the path to the right solution. Given the increasing importance, complexity, and breadth of database systems, the question of whether to build or to buy database monitoring is an important one to consider.
Posted February 08, 2017
There are three big challenges facing today's DBAs—a shift to an application-centric focus, the need to support multiple database platforms, and expanding responsibilities for managing database performance in the cloud as well as on premises.
Posted December 01, 2016
As technology professionals, one of the most important aspects of our jobs is to advise our organizations on the use of new technologies. However, the challenge is identifying the right technologies. This revolves around three very specific risks.
Posted October 07, 2016
When you think about the role of a database professional, you probably don't include "cost savings" in the list of responsibilities. Maybe if there were a clearer correlation between the work of database professionals and money, people would pay more attention. Well, it turns out, there is.
Posted August 04, 2016
Almost all organizations have migrated at least some infrastructure to the cloud. In fact, just 9% of IT departments have not migrated anything. Furthermore, databases rank in the top three for both infrastructure already migrated to the cloud and infrastructure with the highest priority for future migration.
Posted June 09, 2016
It seems every week there is another data breach in the news, which translates to millions and millions of personal records, credit card numbers, and other pieces of confidential information stolen each month. The victims of these breaches include important companies with professional IT staff. Now, you may be thinking: "Shouldn't the network guys be responsible for security?"
Posted March 31, 2016
It is sometimes said that a key difference between an IT administrator and a developer is that admins are all about stability, while developers are all about change. However, life isn't easy for admins nowadays because there is so much change. There is the usual change, such as replacing a host or upgrading to a new OS or DBMS. Then, there are the really big changes impacting every IT department.
Posted February 10, 2016
Database performance tuning is a complex but extremely important task. However, it can be difficult to effectively optimize databases when there are other "fires" to put out, limited resources, and an increasing number of databases to look after. But that doesn't mean it's impossible, especially with the right approach.
Posted December 02, 2015
Ever since Linux became a viable server operating system, organizations have been looking to all kinds of open source software (OSS) to save on license and maintenance costs and to enjoy the benefits of an open platform that invites innovation. If you're considering MySQL or another open source DBMS as either your primary database or to, perhaps, operate alongside your existing commercial systems, such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server, for one reason or another, here are seven things to keep in mind.
Posted October 07, 2015
Whatever the reason, database administrators (DBAs) frequently sit in a corner alone, siloed from the rest of IT, with their potential for impact ignored. Organizations in which this happens—which is most companies—are typically characterized by an attitude that the role of the DBA is to simply keep things running. The order from the top is "Just make sure the database doesn't break anything, OK?" This is a missed opportunity and a waste of a very valuable resource that hampers IT organizations everywhere.
Posted August 10, 2015
By and large, it seems like today's IT professionals belong to one of two camps: either traditional on-premises IT or the cool, new age cloud. Sometimes, it can even seem like we are talking about two different species. After all, for many of us who come from the client-server era, cloud can be intimidating. Even worse, it can be a source of real anxiety; becoming obsolete is a constant risk in an industry that evolves as fast as ours.
Posted June 09, 2015
Four years ago, moving a database to the cloud required courage, optimism, and confidence (or ignorance). Cloud platforms were young, and fundamental security, performance, and management issues were far from solved. How much things have changed.
Posted April 06, 2015
I woke up early to get to the airport to ensure a timely check-in. When I got to the desk, the airline representative asked for my name and destination, keyed it in and we waited for the system to respond. The next words out of her mouth were, "Sorry, the system is slow today, you know how it is."
Posted February 11, 2015
With the new tools available that allow companies to monitor database resources, pinpoint the root cause of problems, speed up applications, and prevent crashes, some may wonder if companies will need DBAs at all in the future. However, the risk to DBAs and technology professionals as a whole is not that their jobs are going away, but that they may opt to not take the time to understand and use the tools and technologies that will allow them to be better professionals. This can place them at a disadvantage to their peers and curtail their ability to add value to the organization, therefore limiting their careers.
Posted December 03, 2014