The Evolving Role of the DBA

Michael Vizard
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It seems like almost every company is trying to do a lot more these days without having to hire additional people. IT organizations, of course, are no exception to this phenomenon. In fact, the latest example of it may be the role of the database administrator (DBA), which with each passing day seems to be expanding.


There was once upon a time when the DBA was not only focused on one SQL database platform, he or she was focused on one specific platform from a particular vendor. In recent years, we've seen a lot more diversity, particularly in regards to the rise of Microsoft's SQL Server database and the MySQL open source database.


But now the job of the DBA is rapidly expanding beyond the limits of the SQL database to include new data management frameworks such as Hadoop and a range of other NoSQL technologies. In fact, Oracle this week began shipping a NoSQL database based on a key-value data model that the company intends to market alongside both the traditional Oracle database and Hadoop.


What makes that significant is that it sends a signal that the average DBA in the near future is going to be expected to be able to manage a range of database systems that go well beyond traditional SQL schemas. As Marie-Anne Neimat, vice president of database development at Oracle notes, Oracle is deploying an array of database technology platforms that address an IT world that has more complex data management requirements than ever before.


But, ultimately, the real challenge isn't necessarily going to be deploying all these new data management platforms, but rather figuring out how to effectively manage them.



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