It’s the data, stupid: Why database admins are more important than ever

It may not be all about the tables anymore, but the DBA role is still essential—even if the person doing it doesn’t have the title. (credit: Michael Mandiberg)

For those of us who have been in the information technology realm for too long, the title "database administrator" conjures up very specific images. We picture someone pulling hair out over issues with backups or snapshots not happening, schemas growing out of control, capacity plans blown up by new application demands, sluggish queries, and eternal performance tuning.

That old-school role of the DBA still exists in some places, particularly large enterprises where giant database clusters still rule the data center. But virtualization, cloud data storage, micro-services, the "DevOps" approach to building and running applications, and a number of other factors have significantly changed how organizations store and manage their data. Many of the traditional roles of the DBA seem to be moot in the shiny, happy world promised by the new generation of databases.

"NoSQL" databases don’t require a pre-defined schema, and many have replication built in by default. Provisioning new servers can be reduced to clicking a few radio buttons and check boxes on a webpage. Development teams just point at a cloud data store such as Amazon Web Services’ Simple Storage Service (S3) and roll. And even relational database vendors such as Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM are pushing customers toward data-as-a-service (DaaS) models that drastically simplify considerations about hardware and availability.

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via Ars Technica
It’s the data, stupid: Why database admins are more important than ever