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What Responsibilities Do Your DBAs Hold After a Migration to Amazon RDS

Author: JP Chen | 6 min read | April 27, 2021

Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings deliver many benefits, but you may be wondering about the role your DBAs play when you move to a Database as a Service (DBaaS) platform such as Amazon RDS for SQL Server. Unlike Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions, you don’t have access to the platform’s underlying systems. DBA responsibilities will change with this strategy, but they’re just as important as ever to the success of your business.

Benefits of Migrating SQL Workloads to Amazon RDS

Before exploring what DBAs do in an Amazon RDS environment, let’s explore the benefits of moving to this DBaaS service.

  • Provisioning speed: It only takes a matter of minutes to get new databases setup. This improved agility allows you to quickly get development teams the resources they need to succeed with their projects. As your capacity requirements lessen or grow, you’re able to scale your usage and costs based on your current requirements.
  • Automating essential database tasks: Many categories of database tasks are automated so DBAs don’t need to dedicate as much time to baseline operations. Amazon RDS handles high availability, disaster recovery, and routine maintenance tasks.
  • Improved efficiency and technical resource allocation: Since many of the tasks associated with the underlying infrastructure are offloaded to AWS in this configuration, you can make better use of your in-house resources and improve your efficiency.

SQL Server on Amazon RDS DBA Responsibilities

DBAs are not rendered obsolete when you adopt a DBaaS solution. Instead, many of their responsibilities shift to strategic projects rather than being caught up in day-to-day duties. This change also marks a move from reactive approaches to proactive ones, as your DBA team has more time and resources to dedicate towards getting the most out of database performance. Here is an overview of the work duties that DBAs have with Amazon RDS for SQL Server.

Developing and Maintaining Database Backup and Recovery Plans

While Amazon RDS has several tools to help with the disaster recovery process, creating plans specific for your databases falls under your DBAs’ responsibilities. Once they create plans, they need to test them and verify that these recovery plans fulfill your business recovery objectives. As your systems change over time, they must update plans to account for new requirements.

Your DBAs perform the same process with high availability to maintain your business continuity. AWS provides the tools, but you need talented DBAs who can get the most out of them.

Monitoring and Optimizing Database Performance

The majority of your DBA team’s time will be spent making databases run as efficiently as possible. They monitor database performance to identify issues, opportunities for optimization based on application and usage, and workload rebalancing based on monitoring insights. As your DBAs fine-tune your databases, you can better support modernized applications, take advantage of new opportunities, and deliver a quality user experience. With more emphasis placed on optimization measures, you also increase your ROI for your database investments. You’re getting more out of the same level of technical resources you used previously without needing to pay substantially higher costs.

Protecting Databases from Breaches

Cyberattacks take many forms.  Keeping up with the latest developments makes the difference between identifying threats in advance and reacting to them after they hit your system. Data breaches and loss are costly, especially if sensitive data is accessed. Depending on your industry, you could be at risk of falling out of compliance and incurring fines. Any unexpected downtime also gets in the way of meeting SLAs and other expectations.

Your DBAs are a valuable part of your cybersecurity team., They have many ways to eliminate common exploits, maintain security best practices, and make your databases a less tempting target for attackers.

Planning Database Capacity

Your DBAs will handle workload I/O, storage, and disk space capacity planning to support provisioning the SQL Server instances. With tight control over the capacity, you can reduce your total cost of ownership without needing to compromise on performance.

Creating Extract, Transform, Load Data Pipelines

For many use cases, you’re working with large volumes of data that come from multiple sources. This data needs to be moved to a centralized repository or data warehouse to get the most use out of it, which requires the right data pipelines. Your DBAs set up Extract, Transform, Load pipelines that automate the process of extracting the data, preparing it for use, and then loading it into its destination at scale. These pipelines change over time as you acquire and generate new data sources and technology.

Troubleshooting Databases Quickly and Efficiently

The DBA team may not be handling issues that impact the underlying infrastructure of the DBaaS, but they do have other support responsibilities. They need to monitor the databases and react quickly to any problems to avoid disruptions.

Now that you have a better understanding of your DBA team’s role in a DBaaS environment, explore more about migrating SQL server instances to Amazon RDS in our white paper. If you have additional questions about this process or need more technical resources to successfully migrate to this platform, contact us to discuss your requirements.

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