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Cloud computing—and everything that goes with it—is dramatically changing the roles and aspirations of database administrators. No longer do DBAs need to be chained to their databases, wrestling with managing updates, applying security patches, and dealing with capacity issues. Moving to a cloud data environment is steadily shifting DBAs’ roles from hands-on database overseers to value-drivers for their businesses—and enabling a range of career advancement opportunities not seen since the dawn of relational databases.
Overall, DBAs and their enterprises are embracing cloud computing in a big way. A recent survey conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., in partnership with Amazon Web Services, found that, on average, 25% of organizations’ critical enterprise data is now managed in public clouds. In addition, 60% of data managers indicate their use of public cloud-based data resources and platforms has increased over the past year. Close to one-third anticipate growth exceeding 10% over the coming year (“2019 IOUG Databases in the Cloud Survey”).
Leading vendors in the database space are increasingly promoting cloud-based approaches that will transfer many DBA functions from on-premise data centers to cloud providers. This is the goal of Oracle, which sees cloud-based “self-driving databases” doing much of the heavy lifting of enterprises, said Steve Daheb, senior vice president of Oracle’s Cloud Business Group.
At the same time, DBAs will be busier than ever, engaging in designing and delivering data-driven capabilities to their businesses. “The average DBA spends 90% of their time in maintenance, managing 50 databases each,” he said. “They’re shifting now to higher-value tasks, from tuning and provisioning to focusing on business analytics. They see it as an opportunity.” The rise of cloud-based databases is also helping DBAs guide their organizations into new technology realms, such as blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), and AI, he added. “It’s all cloud-based. For example, cloud is an enabler for IoT, because if you think about it, where would you store all that data streaming in?” Oracle also sees greater engagement with non-technical business users as well, he said.