The Present Scenario and the Future for a Database Administrator
The world of IT is known for regular introduction of new technologies, day in and day out. Information management is also on the brink of a radical transformation owing to these advancements. In the past decade, businesses have been quite excited about the various possibilities that are emerging out of generating and capturing huge quantities of data.
With new technologies like Cloud computing, companies now have access to a wide variety of data.
Managing this data into structured format requires the help and abilities of a database administrator.
This post explores the current role of the DBA and how it going to change in the future.
Present day scenario
Backup and Recovery services
A Database administrator engages in development, implementation and testing of data backup and recovery plans. They regularly drop in to help system administrators in performing server backups, making sure that these backups are done securely and as per the schedule. They ensure that the backup has all the files necessary for initiating a backup, if and when required.
Improving Server Performance
The second task of the day is monitoring the server performance and improving it by identifying the bottlenecks. There are various factors that affect the performance of a server database. The capacity of the server hardware and how the operating system is configured are two main factors in addition to the indexing types chosen. A DBA’s role is to figure out the right monitoring tool and the most appropriate way to use them for tuning the system.
Installing configuring and maintaining the DBA software
While the installation and maintenance of hardware and operating system is done by system administrators, DBA take care of the database software. Both work as a team where the DBA communicates to system administrators the various hardware prerequisites for an efficient database server. After installing the database software, its again a DBA’s job to keep it updated and apply the patches released timely.
Maintaining data integrity
Since server database hold a lot sensitive data like customer information, it is always in the radar of hackers. The DBA has to ensure no such security breach happens. For the same, the DBA would study the particular security model and how it effectively secures the access to the data. Three basic security functions that a DBA must be adept are authentication, authorization and auditing. Authentication deals with setting up new user accounts to allow login to the database, authorization involves controlling access to the various parts of the database while auditing keeps a track of the various activities on the database.
A comprehensive survey conducted by Dell through Unisphere Research, revealed some interesting facts about the DBA industry:
Although there are exciting new technologies like Hadoop and NoSQL, right now only large companies use them. The rest of the world still relies on the traditional database management system which continues to provide the foundation for the information management infrastructure. The two important platforms are Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server which support mission-critical data.
While a majority of the enterprises have faith in the new technologies like virtualization and cloud computing regarding the effect that they will have in the near future, mainstay database management systems still play the critical role in the information infrastructure. Most of the respondents came up with popular names like Micorsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2 and MongoDB.
Out of these, an overwhelming majority of enterprises still trust the good old Miscrosoft SQL Server and Oracle. Therefore, one shouldn’t be surprised if there is a consistent growth of Microsoft SQL and Oracle DBA jobs in the industry.
The future will be of emerging technologies such as Hadoop and the key challenge for DBAs will be learning new technologies
With the rapidly transforming information infrastructure either due to the growth of data under management or owing to the introduction of new technologies, such as cloud-based computing, it is only fair to expect that a DBA’s role would change as well.
For several decades, the relational database has been at the foundation of large-scale information management and this won’t change much in the near future. Having said that, it would be interesting to see how innovative information management, storage, and analytical technologies will be utilized by enterprises and what role DBAs will play in their implementation and use.