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What is the future of DBA and System Administrators in Cloud Computing era

Posted on 2015-02-18
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Last Modified: 2015-02-22
Many companies are moving to the cloud - SaaS, PaaS where databases, applications and operating systems are rented out instead of being deployed in house.

In such a scenario what is the future of DBAs, System Adminstrators and Application Adminstrators.
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Question by:gram77
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Expert Comment

by:shalomc
ID: 40619312
Application administrators are going to remain in demand. An organization that uses a SaaS CRM still needs CRM experts, and if it's large enough it is a full time position.

System administrators are still needed when you use IaaS. The actual job differs but you need MCSEs and Linux admins even when your entire stack runs on Amazon.

DBAs can be split into 2 career paths: the application DBA & the system DBA.
The system DBA population is going to drop.
The application DBA needs some adjustment like getting to know NoSQL, Hadoop and BigQuery, but will continue to be necessary.
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by:sdstuber
sdstuber earned 1000 total points
ID: 40619335
Where something is hosted doesn't necessarily mean anything as far as supporting it.  It might, it might not; all depends on the support contract and trust.

You might host your database in a cloud and the host will back it up; your local dba might also be responsible for backing it up.  Your dba might also be responsible for upgrades, patches and all other administrative procedures.

If that's the case you might argue you're actually getting virtual server rather than a database as your PaaS.

But - even if all of the base operations (install,patch,upgrade,backup,restore) are handled by the hosting company, your local dba may still have a full time job administering users, objects, monitoring, tuning, etc.  As well as acting as technical liason/coordinator between the remote cloud dbas and the application support teams and business users.

It's also possible your hosting company may offer these levels of administrative duties as well.  So it's again a matter of how much you're willing to pay and how much trust you have in the remote system.

In some cases the "trust" may be an easy choice if the hosting company offers massive redundancy and access options that you're not prepared to offer in house.  There may actually be less stability risk in the cloud than local hosting.

That's just for the DBAs; but you'd have similar levels of support (or lack there of) for the operating system or any cloud-hosted applications.
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) earned 1000 total points
ID: 40619353
As long as there are servers, databases, etc...  there will need to be 'Administrators'.

What may change is who they work for.

Speaking specifically for DBA's, I think most companies will continue to want to have those in-house depending on the level of sensitivity of the data.

For example:
I don't see many companies putting employee's payroll or other personnel information out there for some other DBA to go through.
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Author Comment

by:gram77
ID: 40620384
So local System Administrators, DBAs etc will remain due to handle security of data or to handle unforseen emergencis,  but for example every 3 admins companies will require only 1.

Is it true
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 40621036
>>So local System Administrators, DBAs etc will remain due to handle security of data or to handle unforseen emergencis

It depends on what services are contracted.

That said:
If any of us could accurately predict the future, we probably wouldn't be posting here...
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Accepted Solution

by:
sdstuber earned 1000 total points
ID: 40621141
It's also possible you'll need MORE local admins with a cloud hosted system.


For example - due to cheap storage and massive redundancy and distribution your company decides to host some large systems of record on a cloud service.

However accessing the cloud will incur some network latency and transmission lag, so locally you end up creating several reporting and operational databases that periodically sync with the remote system.  These new databases are small, responsive and focused on specific tasks.  More admins are needed to manage them instead of the large monolithic databases they replaced.
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