How Enterprises Maintain the Engine Behind Data Growth

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In recent times, business demand for database services as well as the associated data volumes has been on an upward trajectory. Demand for database services has increased by more than 20% on average.

However, most of the IT organizations that are expected to deliver data services are dealing with flat or shrinking budgets. In addition, IT and database departments face substantial testing requirements and outdated management techniques, which are all contributing to a cost escalation and slow IT response.

These are some of the key takeaways from a newly published survey of 160 data managers and professionals who are part of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) and currently running Oracle Databases. The survey was underwritten by Oracle Corp. and conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc.

The survey reveals deep concern among IT managers and decision makers with meeting demand for database services in a world where both the number of requests as well as the associated data volumes is steadily climbing. The survey has discovered that the database as a service (DBaaS) delivery model has started to take root in IT, helping the early adopters to address agility and the cost challenges of increasing database demand.

On a basic level, there are a range of administrative challenges that database managers and administrators face as well. These include diagnosing database performance problems (47%), identifying resource-intensive SQL statements in real time (44%), keeping databases at current patch levels (39%), dealing with too many manual repetitive tasks and processes (31%), and managing larger numbers of databases with the same resources (31%). Interestingly, there has been a major spike in concern about taking on too many manual tasks, rising from 13% in the previous survey to 31% in the current study. 

There is a cost to database changes—even authorized ones—that organizations must pay in unplanned downtime, slow response times, and system latency, the survey shows. For the most part, a majority, 51%, of respondents report that they suffer unplanned downtime about 1% to 5% of the time due to authorized changes. 

A majority of respondents say they can automatically tell if a system problem was caused by an unauthorized database change. However, 33% say this can be done only some of the time, and in many cases, only via manual methods.

The survey covered the challenges to effective database management across five key areas:

Database consolidation: As demand for IT services and data volumes grow, so do the challenges with managing databases. Overall, data environments are not consolidated—enterprises are still running many separate databases for applications.

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