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Concerns With Databases Today

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Concerns With Databases Today

Issues include the persistence of legacy thinking and the lack of skills necessary to evaluate and manage new database solutions.

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To gather insights on the state of databases today and their future, we spoke to 27 executives at 23 companies who are involved in the creation and maintenance of databases.

We asked these executives, "What are your biggest concerns regarding databases today?" Here's what they told us:

Legacy Thinking

  • The fact that database process has stayed the way it has is either negligent or criminal.
  • Databases created 10 to 20 years ago were created with antiquated data models — we’re taking operations from a serial to parallel level. We started from the ground up leveraging GPUs in 2009. Companies still working on legacy idioms and data models cannot take advantage of parallelism.
  • I am frankly less concerned about the space as a whole as I was a few years ago. The NoSQL cat is out of the bag, and the initial hype has given way to some really excellent progress and value. My concerns are for the companies that do not carefully consider both this new value and the strengths of more established solutions when setting out to build something. They need to remain open minded with experienced engineers and business managers.

Lack of Skills

  • There’s a skills and knowledge gap and it’s hard for the companies to adapt because they do not have the specialists. While there’s a tussle between open-source and proprietary databases, especially in the Cassandra space, open source is here to stay.
  • Users are sent on a wild goose chase because they don’t understand the right technology for the job — either due to lack of knowledge or because the vendors are misleading (for example, non-native graph databases). It can be confusing.
  • For me, it’s skill sets. Databases are not just shrink-wrapped software that’s deployed and then looked after by a DBA. Databases are now part of the DevOps fabric. It takes a different skill set to get business value from them these days. You have to be part-programmer, part-automator, part-infrastructure-admin, and part-database-admin. That’s a unicorn these days.

Other

  • Five years ago, there were few data stores. Today, there’s a proliferation of databases with microservices enabling access to different databases. The challenge is how to integrate and how to build tools that work with all databases since there are a number of databases for specific applications and business problems.
  • The focus is less on the technology and more on the price. Cloud vendors’ database pricing model to store compute is still expensive for people looking at the bottom line.
  • Lack of security of databases, protection of PII and PCI.
  • Databases today have little choices with existing solutions. Cloud is a bandaid — look at the distributed system architecture from application to databases. Change quickly and be flexible to deal with the changes.
  • The role of the DBA is changing significantly. They need to learn new roles and responsibilities, adopt new processes and tools.
  • Don’t create another silo. Renaissance creating new database ideas and technologies. But we’re creating new silos with new data. As people transition in the building apps, they bring the old way of doing into the new architecture and this slow adoption of the new architecture.
  • None. Some consolidation. A lot of diversity. Too many vendors of databases. Expensive and difficult to manage.
  • Data volumes are growing. Come at big data from a different perspective due to scaling issues. Cost effective platform interconnectivity skills are required. Take skill from SQL and security and take it to Hadoop. Develop applications that have a tolerance for people, not database experts.
  • With the increasing number of database platforms on the market, it’s impossible for anyone to be an expert in everything. However, the rising adoption of open-source databases can also mean a lack of good advice when you get into a jam.
  • I feel the biggest concern that we’re seeing today regarding databases pertain to user-friendly SDK needed to develop complex business applications quickly.
  • For the most part, RDBMSs have matured to a stable point of functionality. However, as indicated earlier, the dynamics of organizations large and small have evolved dramatically over the last few years. One area of continual focus is the empowerment of users, many of whom have no IT or analytics experience. So we continue to work on ways and solutions that empower users to act independently with data and to democratize access to data for a broader user base.

What are your concerns with databases?

Here’s who we talked to:

  • Emma McGrattan, S.V.P. of Engineering, Actian
  • Zack Kendra, Principal Software Engineer, Blue Medora
  • Subra Ramesh, VP of Products and Engineering, Dataguise
  • Robert Reeves, Co-founder and CTO and Ben Gellar, VP of Marketing, Datical
  • Peter Smails, VP of Marketing and Business Development and Shalabh Goyal, Director of Product, Datos IO
  • Anders Wallgren, CTO and Avantika Mathur, Project Manager, Electric Cloud
  • Lucas Vogel, Founder, Endpoint Systems
  • Yu Xu, CEO, TigerGraph
  • Avinash Lakshman, CEO, Hedvig
  • Matthias Funke, Director, Offering Manager, Hybrid Data Management, IBM
  • Vicky Harp, Senior Product Manager, IDERA
  • Ben Bromhead, CTO, Instaclustr
  • Julie Lockner, Global Product Marketing, Data Platforms, InterSystems
  • Amit Vij, CEO and Co-founder, Kinetica
  • Anoop Dawar, V.P. Product Marketing and Management, MapR
  • Shane Johnson, Senior Director of Product Marketing, MariaDB
  • Derek Smith, CEO and Sean Cavanaugh, Director of Sales, Naveego
  • Philip Rathle, V.P. Products, Neo4j
  • Ariff Kassam, V.P. Products, NuoDB
  • William Hardie, V.P. Oracle Database Product Management, Oracle
  • Kate Duggan, Marketing Manager, Redgate Software Ltd.
  • Syed Rasheed, Director Solutions Marketing Middleware Technologies, Red Hat
  • John Hugg, Founding Engineer, VoltDB
  • Milt Reder, V.P. of Engineering, Yet Analytics

Align DevOps for your applications with DevOps for your SQL Server databases to increase speed of delivery and keep data safe. Discover true Database DevOps, brought to you in partnership with Redgate

Topics:
database ,legacy database ,database solutions

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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