Big data, cloud incite need for educated DBAs

26 September 2014

Veteran database administrators aren't strangers of adaptation. Such professionals who have worked in IT for the past three decades are used to obtaining new skill sets to keep up with the times.

It appears just such an era has arrived. Cloud computing and the burgeoning big data industry are motivating enterprise leaders to provide their DBAs with any instruction they require. Some enroll staff in SQL training, others in Apache Hadoop certification courses. Regardless, it's evident some DBAs are at risk for becoming irrelevant if they don't update their knowledge of contemporary database environments.

Big data's effect on data management
Nowadays, one would be hard-pressed to find an article about data analytics that doesn't have the phrase "actionable insights" in it. Businesses believe unstructured, semi-structured and structured information hold the key to unlocking previously unforeseen efficiencies and product development ideas.

Placing this much value in data has put enormous pressure on DBAs to manage architectures they aren't necessarily familiar with. Database Trends and Applications referenced a survey of data managers and other IT experts conducted by Ntirety, which discovered 41 percent of respondents noted having to contend with databases on an emergency basis.

The latter statistic alludes to the possibility that DBAs are being forced to respond to new business demands on an ad hoc basis. In fact, 35 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the need to manage increasing workloads that are growing in complexity.

Revisiting the training regimen
While there's no denying the capabilities of today's DBAs, expecting them to perform optimally while learning about new environments on a piecemeal basis is absurd. Microsoft certification courses and other programs focusing on big data architectures and current database needs will provide them with a thorough understanding of what they're up against. From there, constructive progress can be made.

Aside from the surface-level benefits, classroom-based instruction can provide DBAs with the knowledge needed to perform the following functions:

  • Maintain availability and continuity in the cloud: Transitioning databases to cloud infrastructures is becoming a more popular practice. In the event a system experiences an unsanctioned shutdown, DBAs need to know how to assign priorities to certain databases.
  • Using automated monitoring tools: ITProPortal maintained that there are many automated database surveillance tools available for use. Knowing how to employ them so DBAs can focus on mission-critical tasks or huge projects is a must.

Learning shouldn't stop after a professional graduates from college. Enrolling DBAs in SQL Server 2014 training, Oracle certification programs and other courses will allow them to better adapt to current and future demands.

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