Further to the Kick off

January 29, 2007

The impetus for this discussion comes from the automation in Oracle 10g and Nicholas Carr’s assertions about the end of corporate computing being software sold as services.

As I get more familiar with the new Oracle 10g Grid Control/Database Control (GC/DC), I see my technical knowledge of the management of Oracle becoming obsolete. Up to now, we have had to use sometimes arcane tables and views with complicated SQL to manage Oracle. A lot of DBAs have made a career of mastering that complicated technical knowledge. There are dozens of archives of scripts and whitepapers on the Net devoted to this.

While we still can use all that, it is a whole lot faster to just point and click through the GC/DC GUI and wizards. Today they certainly won’t do everything all those scripts and DBAs do, the trend is clear, the wizards and GUI will replace more and more of the technical work with automation.

It is not a big leap to see Oracle adding an AI Expert System on top of what GC/DC do already and automating virtually the whole day to day operation of the database instance.

I can see a day when managing the instance becomes directing the Expert System rather running SQL commands. A day of pouring over complex views and queries replaced by a one line directive to the ES. Knowing which directive will still be key so I don’t think the DBAs will completely disappear but there could a lot fewer of us.

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Kick off discussion of the future of DBAs

January 29, 2007

The premise of this is that the traditional role of the DBA is rapildy disappearing and I’m wondering what will happen to the work of the DBA.

Frist, some background. We can define the database instance as the database processes running on the server along with the associated software. Further we can define the database as the actual the data in the database files on disk. Traditionally the DBA role has been dominated by managing the instance; managing the database software, the server processing resources, the disk space, locks, etc. Very little of the DBA’s focus is on the database or the data itself.

With increasing automation of the instance or accessing the instance as a software service from a third party, this focus will turn around. The DBA will spend less and less time managing the instance. What will the DBA then do?