New IOUG Database Manageability Survey Finds Administrators Face Uphill Challenges

The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) recently published its annual survey on database manageability titled, “From Database Clouds to Big Data: 2013 IOUG Survey on Database Manageability.” The survey reveals new insight into what’s impacting IT organizations and administrators alike when it comes to managing databases.

Among the top challenges, the survey details how big data and business demand for IT services are affecting database manageability and performance. As a result—the number of database requests and corresponding data volumes are growing more than 20% per year. At the same time, nearly a third of database administrators (DBAs) surveyed, say they face increase pressures for 24x7 “on-demand” access to data and services even though their IT budgets are flat or shrinking each year.

Survey Highlights:
The survey found several ongoing challenges for administrators and IT organizations. The key findings include:

  • Fast-Growing Data Environments: DBAs face large complex data environments that are not consolidated, and where finding performance bottlenecks is time-consuming and manual.
  • Database Lifecycle Management: “Sweat equity” is the primary means for ongoing database lifecycle management with many tasks, from patching databases to performing entire upgrades are labor-intensive.
  • Database Testing: Rolling out changes or new database services is slow due to substantial testing requirements and outdated management techniques, both of which contribute to rising costs and slow IT response.
  • Performance Management: Episodes of unplanned downtime due to performance related issues are decreasing each month, according to 59% of DBAs. Those surveyed, report having at least one-to-two outages, down 10% from the previous year.
  • Role of the DBA: Close to half of DBAs say greater visibility into the entire technology stack under one solution is a key strategy and will help reduce “finger-pointing” when troubleshooting issues.
  • Database as a Service: Barriers to private database cloud adoption are real. Half of respondents say concerns about data security and lack of control for sensitive data are inhibiting them from moving to the cloud. Another third of DBAs, admit they lack the expertise or knowledge to move forward into the cloud.

Key Recommendations: Road to Success
While business attitudes and cultures are rapidly shifting towards “do more with less,” many DBAs find themselves managing more and more databases without any reprieve—25% of DBAs report they oversee more than 100 databases and growing. The IOUG survey concluded by writing, “To be able to manage the increase in demand and challenges successfully, IT organizations need to embrace automated tools and methods to alleviate the growing burdens placed on their staff."  The survey offered several recommendations including:

  • Save time and effort with comprehensive testing. Adopt automated testing tools and processes that help speed up technology rollout or application changes is essential.
  • Gain more visibility into the application stack. Understand the entire service the database application is providing to the business. Having greater insight into performance problems will help avoid the “blame game”.
  • Take advantage of automation for database lifecycle management so you can eventually provide database as a service. Respond quickly to business demands by leveraging management tools that provide self-service automation in order to deliver database as a service.
  • Become a leader and strategic advisor. Start to take more of a leadership role and don't get bogged down in daily repetitive manual processes or activities, invest in education and training that grow personal and technical skills.
  • Use tools that maximize the cloud’s potential to provide database as a service. Solutions that offer complete cloud lifecycle management such as Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, can help with functions that include; capacity planning, policy-based resource management and provisioning, in addition to self-service access for cloud users with metering and chargeback reporting.
  • For big data, embrace engineered systems for database clouds. Delivering database as a service on a fully integrated and engineered system such as Oracle Exadata can help alleviate the pains of keeping pace with big data demands.

Download the IOUG survey report “From Database Clouds to Big Data: 2013 IOUG Survey on Database Manageability.”