Autonomous Databases and the Evolving Role of DBAs
Updated: May 30, 2019
Oracle’s introduction of the self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing Autonomous Database draws upon its decades of expertise in automating databases and database infrastructures as well as leveraging new cloud-based technologies.
Oracle’s Autonomous Database services use artificial intelligence and machine learning to reduce administrative costs by automating database monitoring, tuning and infrastructure management. Additionally, the system’s self-securing features protects user data from both external and internal cyber-crime threats. Downtime is also minimised thanks to the database’s ability to recognise faults and automatically apply self-repairing capabilities. Since these autonomous features require that the database be hosted in the cloud, this inherently applies Oracle’s cloud security to protect the database while allowing scalable growth, alongside high reliability.
Traditionally, databases are managed and maintained by highly trained and specialised database administrators (DBAs) who optimise databases to maximize performance when storing or retrieving data. DBAs perform a number of critical tasks such as regularly backing up databases to mitigate losses in case of disasters, analysing security logs for inappropriate access, watching out for and applying the latest fixes or patches, managing user access permissions, monitoring database capacity and other tasks important to maintaining mission-critical databases. A key DBA responsibility is to tune the database and normalise the data so that frequently run queries execute as efficiently and effectively as possible. These tasks are often labor and time-intensive though relatively low in value when compared to other activities such as enhancing data models, focusing on improving database architecture or proactively planning for capacity or eliminating systemic issues.
The Autonomous Database capitalises on the technologies that Oracle has been building into its systems over the decades in order to reduce costs, eliminate human errors and improve service levels. George Lumpkin, VP of product management at Oracle said “Oracle has built the world’s first true database cloud infrastructure. A new Autonomous Database is provisioned from a pre-existing pool of Exadata systems—already preconfigured for enterprise-grade performance, availability, and security.” Autonomous Database algorithms can automate in seconds, tasks that take human DBAs hours. The automation can also optimise database performance on its own and even apply patches and fixes without system downtime.
Businesses can maximise the use of limited IT budgets by adopting Autonomous Databases. Studies estimate that 40% of DBAs typically manage at least 50 databases on a daily basis. Stretched resources managing heavy workloads are a leading cause of errors that lead to unplanned system downtime, poor database performance or introduce security risks. Oracle’s Autonomous Database can handle the labor-intensive housekeeping ‘chores’ that DBAs currently do. DBAs can instead focus on the tasks that Autonomous Database won’t do, such as data modelling or schema creation. Perhaps most importantly, an Autonomous Database won’t be able to meet with business end-users to seek feedback and collaborate on real world challenges, tasks that DBAs can and should perform more effectively.
It’s clear that Autonomous Databases have the potential to help optimise your business’ data resources and improve the way your DBAs are utilised. Fusion Professionals have experts that can help you determine how to best use Autonomous Databases in your enterprise. Contact us and we will let you know how we can help your enterprise harness the power of Autonomous Databases.