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Above in this comment thread: The Future of DBAs

DBA Obsolesence is Impossible

Posted by cmullins at 2005-06-16 09:21 AM
It is not possible for all of the duties of the DBA to become obsolote. For example, how can a DBMS make changes to its database structures (e.g. adding columns)? How would it know what to add - and what data type to choose? Database design, both logical and physical, will be needed (along with knowledge of the business) to create and maintain properly running database systems.

Additionally, what about backup and recovery? Would you trust a DBMS that had a corrupted database to recover itself? If it was that darn smart why did it become corrupted in the first place?

The job of the DBA will morph and change - as it has already during its 30+ years of existence. But that doesn't mean it will become obsolte... just different.

Impossible to reach the moon? Possibly

Posted by dbawho at 2005-06-26 07:09 AM
I hope we can all agree that monitoring and performance tuning has come a long way and we are in fact getting closer to an environment that doesn’t require as much time to maintain. Storage, memory, and processing power can be dynamically allocated and soon those performance issues associated with them will also go away.

Hmm, Isn’t the database just a repository for data. It seems to me that the logical data definition is external to the database and thus being defined without the need for a database. It seems to me as we move to a more integrated environment and get smarter about business requirements, these requirements are a simple plug-in and trigger for the database to alter itself. Is this really a DBA at this point? I don’t think so. Data integration and relationships will be defined, in the future, further up the food chain where a DBA has no place.

Would I trust a DBMS to recover itself? No. But I would expect the intelligent engineers both on the storage side and the database side to be able to devise a mechanism that detects corruption as it happens and has the ability to repair itself from backups or hardware failover techniques. Hmm, human error, maybe we can start talking about AI now.

Yes the DBA will morph and change. Yes it already has. Although I am reluctant to admit anyone really still knows what true DBAs did in the past, their current role in an organization is, and most have no idea what they will be doing in the future. So I continue to question, when I look at the DBA role from most corporate eyes, is there really such a thing as a DBA. I know we DBAs reading, know what we SHOULD be doing but the fact is most of us don’t.

Personally I think the weakest link in a world without DBAs is the application side. This is typically where our help is needed most. And thus in the future we turn more into analysts and pseudo developers.

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