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The “Traditional” Role of the DBA Advances

Author: Scott Frock | | February 16, 2017

In today’s world, the automation of database processes and the shift to the cloud has changed the “traditional” role of a database administrator. Yet DBAs remain more relevant than ever, playing a critical role in the continuous integration and development of database updates.

As outlined in Datavail’s recently released white paper, The New IT Hero: Technology Advances the Role of the DBA, the modern DBA is faced with new opportunities in cloud computing, DevOps, and other technological advancements, each of which offers opportunities for new skills and the continued application of old skills in this new framework.

Here are just a few new and continuing roles DBAs play even as automation becomes more frequent in the IT world:

Database Storage

Organizations expect a lot from their databases, and a DBA’s skills are in high demand in the cloud environment, particularly because of their ability to process large amounts of distributed data. DBAs are able to provide the organizations with accurate information on what the storage and usage costs of the database will be like in a cloud environment.

Maintenance and Crash Prevention

Businesses with little to no knowledge of the cloud environment or virtualization in particular can find the services of a DBA very useful. DBAs can help safeguard their clients’ sensitive data in order to prevent inherent loss. They can also encourage adoption of more cloud services for their database scalability and reliability.

DBA skills and services are needed to design databases and performance tuning, as well as various other activities based on the platforms on which the client’s database is hosted. DBAs can help prevent surprise crashes, which may lead to a faster and more reliable performance of the database overall.


The rapid adoption of cloud computing has resulted in a shift of the DBA’s role from tactical to a more strategic one. This has enabled DBAs to focus on tasks that add value to the business, such as data architecture and planning, rather than the conventional maintenance and infrastructure management. This in turn increases the efficiency, enabling businesses and organizations achieve their objectives.

Database Configuration

DBAs have the technical knowledge and the business understanding required to be able to tune and configure databases according to the specific and/or unique needs. They are able to concentrate more on the business needs tailored to the cloud-platform usage for enterprises. They can perform such important tasks as determining the optimal balance and size of blocks for reading and writing of data, as well as setting the required parameters for parallel processing. They are even able to use the monitoring reports delivered by the cloud service provider to query performance issues and ensure they are resolved.

What would you add to this list? How do you see the role of the DBA becoming more relevant as automation grows? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

To learn more about the DBA’s changing role in today’s cloud enviroment, please download the white paper or contact Datavail today. With more than 600 database administrators worldwide, Datavail is the largest database services provider in North America. As a reliable provider of 24×7 managed services for applications, BI/Analytics, and databases, Datavail can support your organization, regardless of the build you’ve selected.

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