5 key skills you should expect from your DBA team in the era of cloud

Posted in: Business Insights

Organizations today are under pressure to reduce IT costs and resources while increasing storage capacity and compute power. In response, many are making the leap to the cloud or at least seriously investigating cloud platforms as a way to address these needs. They also want to take advantage of the promise that cloud solutions will help them introduce new revenue streams through capabilities like big data analytics, mobile applications or the Internet of Things.

Do businesses have the right skills for the cloud? 

But do businesses have the right skills and expertise internally to take full advantage of both the tactical and strategic benefits of the cloud? To help you determine what skills are needed on your team, we’ve developed a list of 5 key skills you should expect from your DBA team in the era of cloud. In addition, Warner Chaves, one of Pythian’s principal consultants, has written a white paper outlining how database management is different in the cloud, and the key skills the modern DBA must have.

Ready or not, businesses are moving forward with their cloud strategies. Gartner says that the “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market has been growing more than 40 percent in revenue per year since 2011, and it’s projected to continue to grow by more than 25 percent per year through 2019.” And in Gartner’s list of Top 10 IT cost optimization ideas, #3 is “Leverage Cloud Services”. So cloud is here to stay.When you lack specialized cloud DBA expertise, you can put your entire cloud implementation at risk. Click To Tweet

IaaS vs DBaaS

A big part of any move to the cloud is the database. When it comes to managing databases in the cloud, there is a particular set of skills that your DBAs need have. When you lack specialized cloud database expertise, you can put your entire cloud implementation at risk, and drive up costs. While we may think of a move to IaaS as a simple matter of replicating on-premise database management practices in the cloud, and Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) as a platform that obviates the need for any hands-on database management, it’s not that simple. Each type of offering comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities.

DBA skills in the cloud

In this new landscape, the role of DBAs has changed significantly. Here are 5 key skills you should expect from your DBA team in the era of cloud

  1. Ability to provide cloud vendor advice: Today’s DBAs will have to provide advice on choosing the most efficient and cost-effective solution for their organization from among these options: IaaS, DBaaS, or hybrid architecture. They may then need to provide advice on which vendor provides the best solution to meet the company’s unique set of needs. There’s an overwhelming range of options and vendors to choose from and. It takes a knowledgeable DBA to advise on these options.
  2. Cloud migration expertise: Modern DBAs need to provide database-related input to their company’s overall cloud migration strategy, including pre-migration best practices. They then need to provide the right expertise to maintain mission-critical systems after the move.
  3. In-depth knowledge of capacity planning: The modern DBA needs to understand more than just how to plan for and respond to increases or decreases in capacity needs. They need a holistic view of the business to anticipate and deal with major events or cyclical demands on their databases, then spin their capacity up or down as needed. An example of an event that demands short-term increases in capacity includes Black Friday in the retail sector.
  4. Experience controlling costs: Being responsive rather than reactive is the key to controlling costs. The ability to identify opportunities to move particular databases to the cloud, or to optimize them on the cloud, while understanding the business well enough to increase database capacity only when needed, are critical skills for DBAs and help them save money and resources for the organization.
  5. Understanding when to outsource: DBAs need to be aware of the role that expert DBA services can play in helping the businesses respond to both challenges and opportunities of cloud technologies. An IT partner like Pythian provides a deep bench of experts who can deliver the right skills at the right time, whether your company is embarking on a journey to the cloud, or if they need help managing an established cloud or hybrid environment.  

Warner Chaves, a Principal Consultant at Pythian, created a white paper to help you understand how database management is different in the cloud, and what skills the modern DBA must have:

  • The pros and cons associated with different options that DBAs need to be aware of when implementing and running your database on each environment:  IaaS, DBaaS, and hybrid architectures
  • Differences between the IaaS and DBaaS public cloud services from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft (and how it affects the role of the dba?)
  • How outsourced DBA services fit into this new landscape of managing databases in the cloud

The Evolving Role of DBAs White Paper

 

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