Data is the cornerstone of the modern digital business. IT teams, database professionals, and business leaders use data to make informed decisions, increase efficiency, and stay ahead of business objectives. Applications also need data to run efficiently to ensure teams don’t encounter any bottlenecks.
Harnessing the power of data is easier said than done, since today’s IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, driven by ongoing digital transformation efforts and cloud migration. Company data now lives in and is accessed through disparate pathways, including simultaneously on-prem, in private clouds, and in one or more public cloud environments.
This difficulty is more challenging when organizations support multiple application architectures, such as client-server applications, container-based applications, and microservices architectures. Organizations also manage vastly different types of data using different database types, including unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data stored in relational, non-relational, and other databases. All of this makes building efficient and highly scalable applications and databases harder.
Businesses often need help understanding how to effectively address issues related to databases. Database issues can cause up to 70% of all application performance issues, according to database practitioners and experts. The wealth of data available to a business can quickly go from being a great asset to a great risk if poorly managed, secured, and governed. Instead of data bringing benefits of reducing problem resolution times, increasing cost-efficiency, and improving end-user and customer experience, it can cause headaches and open the business to risk of breach or abuse.
The complex nature of businesses’ data means companies often struggle to bring data into their DevOps framework. Incorporating database management into DevOps practices can help ensure data and applications run efficiently while helping organizations avoid downtime, reduce deployment rollbacks, and eliminate system crashes due to database performance issues. However, many businesses overlook this framework, given the complex nature of managing data.
The challenge with all the various types of data stored in different locations begins with businesses needing more visibility into issues related to their databases. Companies need to see inside the so-called “black box” of the database to better integrate data, database schemas, and stored procedure code into their DevOps practices, thereby streamlining database development and administration through Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD). This also enhances security and reduces the possibility of downtime and system crashes.
Considering these challenges, database observability solutions can serve as an X-ray machine for your database systems, enabling you to finally see inside the black box, understand the root cause of issues, resolve problems faster, and proactively optimize poor performance to help prevent future hiccups. If your databases are under observation, incorporating the database into the DevOps framework becomes much easier.
The benefits can be significant when companies successfully bring databases into their DevOps framework. Here are six of the top benefits organizations can realize through this framework:
- Streamlined deployment and software delivery: Organizations can integrate database development and operations to enable a streamlined and automated approach to software delivery. This can result in teams more easily meeting the needs of the business through faster deployment cycles and delivery of new features and updates.
- Increased collaboration across teams: By bringing together developers, operations teams, and database administrators, businesses encourage collaboration and communication across different departments. This can lead to better alignment of goals, improved understanding of requirements, and more efficient problem-solving.
- Improved agility and flexibility: Organizations need to respond rapidly to evolving business needs and market demands, no matter where they are on their digital transformation journeys. By automating database provisioning, configuration, and deployment like they do with their application code, teams can more easily scale their infrastructure, roll out new features, and adapt to the evolving needs of the business.
- Reduced risk and downtime: By automating and standardizing database deployments using CI/CD, organizations can minimize the risk of human errors and reduce the potential for downtime. Database DevOps practices can help ensure changes are thoroughly tested and validated before being deployed, reducing the chances of data loss or service disruptions. And if deployment of new database code goes wrong, CI/CD can make it quicker and easier to roll back to the last good version.
- Efficient database management: Virtually all applications within an organization require a database. Implementing DevOps provides organizations with a structured approach to managing databases and any data changes through version control—which guards against any “uncontrolled” changes to the code, structure, or configuration of a database—change tracking, and easier rollback mechanisms. This helps to ensure changes can be managed efficiently and safely.
- Improved compliance and security: Database DevOps emphasizes the inclusion of security and compliance measures throughout the development lifecycle. By integrating security controls and best practices, organizations can factor in data protection, privacy, and regulatory compliance requirements earlier in the process.
By adopting a database DevOps approach, IT operations, DevOps teams, and database administrators can help ensure their database infrastructure realizes the same benefits as other teams using DevOps, such as gaining the ability to comprehensively analyze the performance of their data and effectively address critical business challenges.
When implementing a powerful database observability solution alongside database DevOps, organizations can gain visibility and performance insight while simplifying the management and lifecycle of even the most complex databases. Organizations successfully leveraging database observability and a DevOps framework together can cater to the complex needs of their diverse and growing business requirements, design robust new database architectures, fulfill database performance needs, and drive successful digital transformation and modernization initiatives.