The Real World DBA – More Data, More Databases

June 08, 2015

Plenty of pixels have spotlighted the database solutions that have emerged to meet the demands of new and bigger data loads. But how this is affecting the database administrator, not so much. Database professionals are under the gun to manage more data, more databases and more database solutions than ever before. These are among the key findings of recent research from Dell.

The research report, The Real World of the Database Administrator, found the key challenge for all database administrators is learning new technologies even though only the largest of companies are using the newer NoSQL solutions. The survey also found that overall, few companies were using the newer technologies. Just 15% of respondents were actually using Hadoop (with 5% in the process of deploying it) while 60% reported no plans to use it.

In fact, according to the survey of DBAs and others who manage corporate data, 64% of companies believe virtualization and cloud technologies will have a bigger impact on their business over the next several years than will Hadoop or NoSQL-only database technologies. And the research found that while unstructured data is top of mind, structured data in relational databases continues to be the mainstay for most companies, providing the foundation of information management infrastructure in many organizations.

More Work for DBAs

Key among the findings about the use of new technologies combined with increasing management demands is the changing role of the DBA. According to the research, database administrators, more often than not, are responsible for more databases. Just 23% said the number of databases they must manage is staying the same while 72% said the number is rising. Among respondents, 80% said they must support multiple apps and 45% says they have to support multiple user groups. Meanwhile, 72% said their responsibilities are increasing.

With these findings in mind, the consensus from the research is that the role of database administrator in different companies is nuanced and increasingly complex. As DBAs are tasked with managing different types of data on multi-vendor platforms, the DBA agenda will continue to evolve. Top of mind considerations for DBAs will include upgrading database systems, enterprise applications, consolidating infrastructure and automation – all while ensuring the ever-shrinking budget remains intact. As a result, DBAs must begin to evolve their role, adapting and learning new technologies to keep up with the pace of business.

Meeting the needs of DBAs is why EDB has invested significant research and development into tools for Postgres. One of the most relevant in this discussion is EDB Postgres Enterprise Manager. This tool is designed specifically to allow DBAs to monitor a great many databases from a single console as well as manage and tune them across large enterprises. For more information about EDB Postgres Enterprise Manager and all of our tools, please visit EDB Tools.

Gary Carter is Director, Field Marketing at EnterpriseDB. 

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