DevOps and the Database (VIDEO)

Video produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly

The world of data management and administration is rapidly changing as organizations digitally transform. At Data Summit 2019, Craig S. Mullins, Mullins Consulting president and principal consultant, looked at how database management systems are changing and adapting to modern IT needs. Understanding the trends occurring now and on the horizon, he says, is critical to being prepared for the rapidly changing data landscape.

DevOps is an amalgamation of development and operations, but unfortunately it's more of Dev than Ops, he said. "Development gets more of the focus in DevOps, where, as database administrators, we are the ops. We're the operational aspect of this. A lot of times, instead of figuring out the right way to do it—which is to automate and integrate the database administration aspect of development into the whole DevOps chain—instead it is, 'Well, we're going make developers responsible for both application and the database. They'll just pick it up."

DBTA’s next Data Summit conference will be held May 19-20, 2020, in Boston, with pre-conference workshops on Monday, May 18.

However, they don't necessarily understand what a DBA does but they can create a table, and you wind up with potentially mess, unless you've really integrated Ops into Dev, said Mullins. "And that's what needs to happen. And when you look at it, the database is different than the Dev, the application, in terms of how you roll out changes. As for the application, you basically compile something and move it whole, done, moved. With a database you don't move exactly what's in test into production. And you don't do it wholesale. You're going to make changes to it."

There needs to be some sort of change management, he said, "in terms of not dropping the database and recreating it, like you get rid of the old code and put the new code in. Instead, you take the old database, and you make iterative changes to it. And you need ways to enable that change to be implemented appropriately and correctly in a way that's going to perform."

Today, there are many DevOps-type products available to help orchestrate and integrate what is being done on the development side, asked Mullins. "What we need is the same thing on the database side—the database change management product, the database SQL performance-testing product, the test data management product. And they all need to be automated in such a way that the DBA understands and blesses what's going on here, and that it's actually going work. And the developers can just integrate it, and work with it, and it moves forward. That's where it needs to go,  but we're not there yet. Dev is there; Ops needs work."

Many presenters have made their slide decks available on the Data Summit 2019 website at

To access the full presentation, go to