The DBA makes sure the database is stable, secure, and performing up to standard. At the same time, the DBA works simultaneously with multiple development teams and third-party vendors, merging code and monitoring database activity. In short, the DBA needs to ensure that there are no overwrites or conflicts, which can cause downtime and data loss.
The challenge for the DBA is the time spent cleaning up messes that could have been prevented with some foresight. The manual review of code, rewriting of entire code segments, and most unfortunate, being called upon to resolve problems by fixing unfamiliar code without access to the original developers, all take time that could be used for more constructive projects.
This delicate balance between the requirements of the various development teams with daily maintenance and administrative responsibilities is unnecessarily error-prone and vulnerable. There is no reason that with today’s technology and market pressures that database administration should include anything other than integration and deployments.
DevOps and Making a DBA’s Life Easier
The DevOps workflow is like a well-oiled machine, with uninterrupted consistency from defining tasks through application deployment. In order to prevent the DBA from becoming a bottleneck for the development teams, increased systemization and automation must be implemented, ensuring consistency from defining tasks through application deployment.
This process begins with establishing a single source of truth through development by creating an automatic process for preventing code overrides and conflicts, configuration drifts, and other hiccups that can break deployment. This ensures that no object (table, schema, etc) can be checked out by more than one user at a time, and a source control repository preserves a baseline that has been defined for every object, in accordance with every check in. In addition, the developer would not be able to deploy changes until conflicts between the local copy and newer updates to the target environments are resolved, as bad practices would trigger warnings before continuing all the way to production.
The result of adopting these practices is the streamlining of development, which ensures zero downtime, high availability, scalability, and fail-safe continuous delivery in any environment.
For developers, a reliable and responsive database provides agility and flexibility, while increasing productivity and efficiency. For operations teams, it is a guarantee of security, stability, repeatability, and validity in deployment configurations.
Eliminating distractions allows the DBA to focus on tasks such as tuning, planning the deployment process, and providing expert guidance, instead of cleaning up preventable messes of the development teams.
Reducing the risk of human error through automation will lead to greater efficiency, prevent workarounds and redo’s due to overrides, and track down harmful updates before they are executed.
This end-to-process helps optimize the development to production cycle, accelerates time to market, which increases customer satisfaction.
Database administrators, relieved of the pressures of constantly having to juggle and merge various teams’ database changes, are now free to help their organizations take bigger steps forward in ongoing innovation.
Independent development teams, faster and earlier corrective measures, as well as more stable deployment configurations are characteristics of database administration that directly affects the success of DevOps initiatives.