Keeping up with Modern Database Infrastructure

Introduction

The world of tech is an ever-changing one, and it moves at what often feels like lightning speed. If you’re a DBA, you know how frustrating it can be to keep up with the latest and greatest in database infrastructure, especially when senior executives view IT as a cost center and balk at the expense of infrastructure upgrades. At the same time, you also understand how important it is to stay up to date with emerging technology trends. How can you reconcile the need to stay current with the challenges of doing so? In this article we’ll look at some trends in modern database infrastructure and the challenges that today’s IT executives and architects face when they try to keep up with them.

Multiple Database Systems

One trend in database infrastructure that’s become increasingly common in the last decade is the use of different types of databases from multiple providers. While it may been safe to assume in the past that these databases would be relational databases that were accessed using SQL, that’s no longer necessarily true– NoSQL databases have become more and more popular for their flexibility and scalability. In many cases, even a single application might make use of two or more database products; for example, an application may rely on MongoDB as its primary database but also employ Elasticsearch for search functionality. These changes to database infrastructure make the job of a DBA more complex, requiring them to be familiar with more database technologies and ready to troubleshoot potential issues.

Moving to The Cloud

Another big shift in database infrastructure can be seen in the move toward the cloud. In the past, databases were typically housed on the premises of an organization, but that’s not always true in today’s tech environment. More and more companies are moving their data to the cloud, making use of cloud storage services such as Azure or Amazon Web Services. Migrating data to the cloud means a big shift for the role of the DBA; in fact, this change has broadened the role of a database administrator to the point that many DBAs are now referred to as data engineers. It’s important for current DBAs to embrace these changes and allow their role to evolve along with the tech landscape.

Greater Focus on Security

Most cloud storage vendors provide reasonable security mechanisms, but data security is still an issue that has become a top priority for organizations in recent years. Even the most established, trusted companies have been hit with data breaches– how can you help keep your organization’s data safe? Securing large amounts of sensitive information across complex, distributed database infrastructures can be a daunting task, but a modern DBA needs to rise to the challenge.

Staying One Step Ahead of Change

Looking at all of these trends, one common thread emerges– the complexity of database infrastructure continues to increase, and it becomes more and more difficult to manage and make sense of it all. What can a modern DBA do to cut through the complexity and keep things running smoothly? Automation might just be the answer. Automating tasks like patching, updating and upgrading can simplify database management and streamline the work of a DBA. Of course, it’s impossible to rely on automation alone. There will always be a need for the kind of judgment and intervention that only a DBA can provide, but taking advantage of automation tools can certainly make a DBA’s role easier in the long run.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that the tech landscape is constantly evolving, but that doesn’t mean that you need to jump on every trend in database infrastructure. Like every other technology decision, it’s important to assess each potential change carefully. Ask yourself if the new technology meshes well with your existing operations and aligns with your organization’s priorities. Keeping up with modern database infrastructure isn’t always an easy task, but it’s worth the effort– staying on top of database technology can boost productivity and security for your organization.

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