What Does Cloud Database Technology Mean for Admins?

databaseWith many IT tasks and processes being offloaded to cloud providers, there’s a growing concern that certain IT jobs and/or roles will become obsolete. For many IT positions this may ring true, but for the Database Administrator (DBA) the job isn’t disappearing as much as it is dramatically changing.

The big way these changes will come about is through the emergence of Database as a Service (DBaaS) providers that will offload many of the manual database management duties to a cluster of cloud servers.

In this post we’ll spend some time digging into the future of the DBA and how the DBaaS model is and will change things for Database Administrators industry-wide.

What is a DBA and what do they do?

To put it really simply, database administrators manage, implement and configure databases for an organization. DBAs must have a sophisticated knowledge about how databases function in a wide range of environments.

They must also become certified to work some larger, enterprise-level organizations. This is largely because there is a lot more data at stake. Additionally, DBAs are usually charged with developing, or at least assisting, with high availability (HA) and disaster recovery plans (DRPs).

They also must have a solid grasp of database reporting and monitoring, so they can quickly adapt to changes in database systems as the business changes.

How the DBA role will change in the DBaaS economy

As you can easily imagine, these tasks are incredibly time and resource consuming. Manually performing these tasks require a lot of money, and sometimes a lot of manpower, depending on the size of the organization. In the years ahead, DBAs will likely function more as cloud-solution consultants rather than the driving force behind database management. A lot of the manual tasks will be offloaded to automated processes in the cloud database. For all intents and purposes, tomorrow’s DBAs will consult the enterprise on the best DBaaS providers available, and how they fit within a given organization.

How will DBaaS affect the DBA job market?

To say that the DBaaS revolution will have no effect whatsoever on the DBA job market is a little disingenuous. For starters, as more tasks become automated in the cloud, the need for a large team of DBAs will no longer be necessary. These staffs will probably shrink down to a few specialized cloud-based database management professionals. The future of the DBA job market will be reserved for those who have adapted to the changes in database technology, and have a sophisticated understanding of how to configure and manage databases – even if manual database system configuration is no longer necessary.

The DBA role isn’t going anywhere anytime soon

The bottom line is that while the role of the database administrator is changing, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Sure, these jobs will become much more competitive than they have been in the past, but DBAs with extensive DBaaS expertise will become incredibly valuable to enterprise-class organizations migrating to a cloud-based database management system.

About the author: Dawn Altnam lives and works in the Midwest, and she enjoys following the business tech world. After furthering her education, she has spent some time researching her interests and blogging of her discoveries often. Follow her on Twitter! @DawnAltnam

License: Creative Commons image source

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