Preparing DBAs for a Cloud-Focused Future

DBAs already undertake a large load in the enterprise and cloud is the latest factor changing how DBAs operate. As cloud gains momentum and migrations of applications and databases become more common, the question is often asked "Does cloud mean the end of the DBA?"

Cloud is likely not the end of the DBA, but instead an agent in unprecedented change.

DBTA recently held a webinar with Francisco Munoz Alvarez, director of innovation, Data Intensity, an Oracle partner, who discussed how cloud is bringing about that evolution and what today's DBAs must know to be successful in a cloud-enabled future.

For the past 10 years of Alvarez’s career he has been recommending DBA's to automate most (if not all) business as usual (BAU) work and to concentrate at becoming as much proactive as possible, he said.

By doing so DBAs will be able to focus on career development (training and learning about new technologies), work at important projects such as per example Optimization, Security, Performance Tuning, High Availability, Migrations, Upgrades , and also unable to work with new technologies that could seriously benefit the business and obtain the best ROI to company resources.

The constant evolution of IT has, among other things, affected the role of a DBA. Today the DBA is not merely a Database Administrator anymore but is morphing more into the Database Architect role, Alvarez said.

To become a successful DBA (Database Architect) and be more competitive in the market, it would benefit to have a different skill set than was normally required in the past.

DBAs need to have a wide range of understanding in architectural design, cloud, network, storage, licensing, versioning, automation, and much more.

Many DBAs expend most of their time being firefighters only, fixing problems and working on user’s requests all the time, Alvarez said. Being proactive is the best approach to keep the DB healthy and to show the company, or clients that they are being cared for.

Some important things to be educated about include:

  • Know to perform storage and physical design.
  • Diagnose, troubleshoot and resolve any DB related problems.
  • Ensure that Oracle networking software is configured and running properly
  • Mentor and train new DBAs (This allow you to review and learn new things via a different perspective).
  • Learn about XML, Java, Python, PHP, HTML, and Linux, Unix, Windows Scripting.
  • Automate all BAU work or delegate it.
  • Implement Capacity Planning /Hardware Planning
  • Architect, Deploy and Maintain Cloud Environments
  • Improve your SQL and PL/SQL skills and Review SQL and PL/SQL codes in your environment.
  • Control and execute code promotions to production environments
  • Master Cloud technologies (IaaS, DBaaS, PaaS and SaaS)

An archived on-demand replay of this webinar is available here.