Oracle's Exadata Calls for Merging of Skills

Susan Hall

My colleague Loraine Lawson reported needing Botox after frowning at the computer screen, trying to understand what Oracle's up to. Boy, I do, too. In another piece, she calls its all-in-one strategy of hardware and software and the associated wrangling with IBM and other companies "IT's equivalent of 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey.'" Then she adds:

The good news: It could open up more options for the Real Working Stiffs of IT. Let's hope so.

Actually, just as data center convergence is melding the roles of IT specialists that run separate server, network and storage architectures, Oracle's Exadata database machine is merging the roles of server technicians, networking experts and database administrators, reports It quotes Andy Flower, managing director of Right Triangle Consulting, saying during the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco:

You have to have a role that manages the whole thing. The technology makes it as such that you have to administer them [disparate servers and data stores] in constant.

He finds database administrators best suited for this role.

People with DBA experience are more likely to put their head around the whole problem space, because they've been dealing with data rather than dealing with machines.

Could this be one of the reasons for the DBA shortage that noted on the West Coast back in June?


Vinod Haval, vice president and database product manager at Bank of America, at the conference pegged the skills of a solid Exadata administrator as 60 percent database expertise, 20 percent with storage and another 20 percent or so with Linux and UNIX.


Paul Vallee, founder and executive chairman of remote database administration provider Pythian Group, which the article says has aggressively moved into the market to manage Exadata, recommends using a DBA "with a special interest in the systems side" as well as areas such as data modeling and who understands Oracle's clustering technologies.


Vallee says companies also can train a DBA on Oracle's Linux distribution and pursue Exadata certifications. I didn't find that specifically, but for Exalogic, the cloud/middleware conundrum Loraine was puzzling over. Vallee also said you could try hiring away another company's Exadata specialist, but added, "Good luck" with that.

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