Database as a service: This is an area seeing great advancement, the survey finds. Close to two-fifths of enterprises either are now or are considering running database functions or applications within a private cloud. As the growth of data accelerates—both in terms of number of databases and in data volume—database administrators need to know how it will impact their systems. In these fast-expanding environments, most respondents have management responsibility at the database level of the technology stack in order to address issues. As private, hybrid, and public cloud adoption increases, the challenge of being able to manage data moving into virtualized environments will accelerate as well.
Database lifecycle management: Enterprises are beginning to get a better hold on managing database changes, leading to shorter cycles. However, the work that goes into managing the database lifecycle is still the greatest consumer of respondents’ time. A majority still overwhelmingly perform a range of tasks manually, from patching databases to performing entire upgrades. Compliance remains important and requires attention. As databases move into virtualized and cloud environments, there will be a need for more comprehensive enterprisewide testing.
Performance management: Episodes of unplanned downtime are trending upward year-over-year at many enterprises. When an outage does occur, respondents admit that it’s difficult to tell what the root causes may be. Only a quarter of respondents can tell if cross-tier components are affecting database performance.
Role of the DBA: Close to half the respondents say they need visibility into the entire technology stack in order to do their jobs effectively. This includes everything from the database applications that encompass the service being provided to the business, down to the storage layer. The ultimate responsibility for troubleshooting application problems typically falls to database professionals, the survey finds.
There’s no shortage of excitement about the potential business benefits database as a service or big data will be delivering to organizations: greater predictive capabilities, more visibility into operations and customer preferences, and better targeting of product and service offerings. However, behind every data analytics or database cloud offering needs to be a high-performing database infrastructure.