DBAs: The 5 key skills you will need in the cloud

3 min read
Feb 21, 2017

Like many organizations, yours is likely under pressure to reduce 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. While the DBA role is still critical in this new world, DBAs need to modernize their skills to keep up as their companies make the move toward the cloud. That's why we created this list of 5 key skills you will need in the 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.

DBA skills on IaaS vs DBaaS

While even skilled IT professionals 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, modern DBAs know that it’s not that simple, and that each type of offering comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities.

5 key cloud skills for DBAs

Getting ready for the cloud now will set you apart from your peers, making you an indispensable resource to your organization. Here are the 5 key skills you will need in the cloud:
  1. Knowledge of cloud vendors: Today’s DBAs need to be able to help your company choose the most efficient and cost-effective solution for your organization from among these options: IaaS, DBaaS, or a hybrid architecture. You should also be able to provide advice on which vendor provides the best solution to meet the company’s unique set of needs. Whether it’s a need for storage, offloading a data warehouse, or running compute-intensive operations on the cloud, there is a staggering range of options to address each need from a number of vendors. It takes a very knowledgeable DBA to be able to advise on these options.
  2. Cloud migration and management expertise: DBAs need the knowledge to plan their company’s cloud migration strategy, then have the right expertise to maintain mission-critical systems after the move.
  3. In-depth expertise in capacity planning: The modern DBA needs to understand more than just how to plan for and respond to increases or decreases in capacity needs. In the new world of cloud, you need to take a holistic view of the business to anticipate and respond to major events or cyclical demands on their databases, then spin their capacity up or down as needed. An example of events demanding short-term increases in capacity include Black Friday in the retail sector.
  4. Experience in 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, or to understand 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. An understanding of 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 the DBA is just embarking on a journey into the cloud, or if they need help managing an established cloud or hybrid environment.
Read this white paper, by Pythian Principal Consultant Warner Chaves, to better understand how database management is different in the cloud, and the skills you will need to have to effectively address the new challenges and opportunities in the cloud. You will learn:
  • The pros and cons associated with each environment: IaaS, DBaaS, and hybrid architectures
  • Differences between the IaaS and DBaaS public cloud services from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft
  • How outsourced DBA services fit into this new landscape of managing databases in the cloud
Download the white paper now.    

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