By Joel Peréz & Skant Gupta
“DBAs will be fired.. ? It’s the end of DBAs because of the Autonomous Databases..?
Obviously not.. believe it or not.. now the DBAs will have more important role in enterprises.
Later of completing the reading of this article you could read more about new features related to Oracle18c:
Oracle 18c: Oracle 18c.. New Features.. What’s NEWS..
Oracle 18c: New Features for Oracle Data Guard.. What’s NEWS..
Oracle 18c: RMAN New Features.. What’s NEWS..
Oracle 18c: RAC New Features.. What’s NEWS..
Oracle 18c: Data Warehousing New Features.. What’s NEWS.
Now, Let’s continue with the article..
I have +17 years as Oracle DBA and I could tell you how this profession have been evolving, having a tendency of:
Oracle Database 18c the next generation of the industry-leading database.
Oracle introduces the world’s first autonomous database cloud. Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud eliminates complexity, human error, and manual management, helping to ensure higher reliability, security, and more operational efficiency at the lowest cost.
At the previous paragraph I have highlighted the sentences “database cloud” & “Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud“, it means.. when we are talking about Cloud Databases, Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud is just another different kind of Cloud database service, so, in this article we will call it simply as “Cloud Databases”.
Autonomous Databases/Cloud Databases.. is a subject that could be analyzed from different points of views. Most of articles and publications focus in how ideal would be a futuristic database etc..
but Let’s think for a minute about Autonomous Databases..
Who will decide under what kind of service the databases will be.. ?
Who will implant the policies for those autonomous databases ?
Who will have the knowledge to decide or estimate the cost of these services based on the regular activities of those databases ?
Who will decide the complex design of IT Infrastructure when we have more and more options.. ?
The answer is obvious.. a DBA.. not any simple DBA.. a DBA that has evolved with all this new generation of databases on Cloud.
Oracle Autonomous Database as I mentioned before is a kind of different type of a Cloud Database Service. So.. in order to move that database from “On-prem” or create it from zero, a DBA must be needed..
Oracle Autonomous Database is a kind of database with a lot of mundane tasks already automated such as:
The more important section of this article is the following
I will use the exact smart words of my colleague Tim Hall ( Oracle ACE Director ) “18c on-prem will have very little impact on DBAs. It is the Autonomous Database suite of services that have the impact”
Most of DBAs currently are in fear believing “Autonomous Databases suite of Services” will let them without job.. but the reality is not even near to that.. actually there are several kind of services to lodge a database on Cloud:
“Autonomous Databases suite of Services” will represent just other possible services you could contract
Now, we will see some important points about Autonomous Databases that perhaps most of people does not know..
Oracle self driving database ( Autonomous Database ) will be available starting Oracle18c but there is still a huge period of support for 12cR1/R2. 12cR1 until 4 years more in comparison to this date, we are talking about until 2021 more or less..
12cR2 until April 2025 in extended support. As we know.. Customers normally are not moving so fast to a next release until they need it or until the support period is near to expire. So, Oracle 18c is a release that will be used for customers that really need it or by customers they want to be extreme up to date.
Up to now Oracle self driving database is designed to be run on Exadata, as per we know Exadata is an Engineering system very powerful but not cheap.. so.. most of customers for sure they will not be in Exadata.. it means.. Exadata has a high cost to be the regular hardware for most of regular medium companies around the world
So.. DBA’s no fear.. Oracle self driving database is not Oracle18c.. Oracle self driving database will not be the regular mechanism of your regular databases..
Then, important items to remember later of finishing to read this article:
So.. with those lines you have got the more important section of this article.
The conclusion is that “Oracle 18c” will have little impact for regular “On-prem” databases and databases services related to “self driving”
Now, Let’s extend this conversation..
But Let’s wait a minute.. Let’s analyze every one of those.. how it can be done today with the regular “Oracle Database Cloud Service (DBCS)” and how we think Oracle will do it.. We talk about “How Oracle will do it.. because the debut of Autonomous Datawarehouse Database Cloud will be in December 2017.
Applying of Patches: nowadays, if you want to apply a Patch using DBCS is just to go to the console, see on the screen if there is any available patch for that database and make some clicks to apply it.. So simple..
So.. I think is not “so difficult” for Oracle Corp, replace our clicks for an automated process..
There are some patches that require the database must be stopped because they change binaries.. etc.. well.. most probable Oracle had already a mechanism in order to apply patches having the database running and they have decided to release it now.. if we imagine how work the database inside running sequentially sentences.. etc.. every sentence.. operations.. etc all this can be coordinated so that patches affect in some way “post” sentences.. etc.. in a general way what I’m trying to say is.. the fact of applying patches by itself is not the big thing taking into account the level of development of the Oracle product during years.. So.. the applying patch by itself is just a step forward related to levels of automation.
Upgrades: Up to now when you are working with DBCS the only way to upgrade a database already working in the cloud is creating another service which will have another compute node and we apply a regular procedure to upgrade that database. However, we have to remember that Oracle has been working very hard in establish very advance mechanism to manage PDB. Nowadays we can clone PDB in hot, we can move PDBs from one container to another container in hot.. basically is very alike to the mechanism implanted to move a datafile online.. so.. this technology is extreme mature by the Oracle Software in these times.. So.. Upgrade a database must be surely a procedure a alike to what is done with PDB, the CDB in its root definition has the binaries of the corresponding version and we move just the data. I’m “sure”.. that’s the mechanism the Oracle software will use to upgrade databases in hot. So.. if we realise all I have commented.. all this is just a technology that we are using with the current release.. difference in autonomous databases is that they are applying this procedure with complete databases under this kind of new service.
Note : later of writing this article my colleague Tim Hall ( Oracle ACE Director ) had helped me to clarify that element, these are the exact words of Tim
“Oracle have explained how the upgrades and patches will work. These systems are based on 18c running on Exadata. Since 18c allows rolling upgrades and patches for everything, including OJVM, they are able to do online patches for these services“
Tunes itself: is even more easy to explain.. when you tune queries using adaptive technics.. etc.. all this can happen with the databases running.. rebuild indexes online.. etc.. must of tune operations nowadays can be done online.. it’s not so difficult to have an AI ( Artificial Intelligence ) engine collecting data and taking some decisions based on internal tests.. statistics.. etc.. so.. this new level of automation/autonomous is just what we have but being done automatically.
Let’s talk with what frequency we do these tasks:
Applying of Patches: time to time.. It’s not so frequent.. so.. there are not too much changes to appreciate in the time we employ in this task
Upgrades: even less.. it’s very seldom when we apply upgrades to the databases.. so.. there are not too much changes to appreciate in the time we employ in this task
Tunes itself: tuning.. yes.. many companies.. consultants.. etc.. employ a lot of time in constant tuning to databases for many reasons.. it’s very common that some objects.. some queries.. some code.. etc are added, removed.. changed in the database and of course this generate variations in the performance. This point could impact relatively highly the cost of many enterprises, because tuning a database constantly imply constant high costs. Of course.. we have to see how good the engine can be doing this. We have to remember that currently we have available “Tuning advisors” and they are not perfect.. sometimes we apply some recommendations and the performance of some executions.. etc.. become worst.. so.. the factor of “Tuning itself”.. really.. thinking very honest.. we have to see how that will work. If the results are very good and convenient.. definitely this factor will reduce a lot of cost to enterprises and of course will affect in some way DBAs specialized or in charge of tuning.
In December 2017 will be release the autonomous database service for Data warehouse, later on 2018 for OLTP and so on..
The tuning itself for Data Warehouse databases is easier than for OLTP Database according to my point of view. The typical and common operations.. ( Load.. queries.. etc ) are more common between them than for an OLTP database.
When you analize the conditions that will have autonomous databases for DW, you start to discover how it will work internally..
These are just some of them..
Automated Database Configuration for Autonomous DB for DW
• init.ora parameters
– Parameters optimized for DW workloads
– Memory, parallelism, sessions configured based on number of CPUs – Users can modify a limited set of parameters, e.g. NLS setttings
• Tablespace management
– Pre-defined data and temporary tablespaces – Users cannot create/modify tablespaces
– All tables compressed using Hybrid Columnar Compression – Users cannot change compression method or disable compression
• Optimizer stats gathering
– Stats gathered automatically during direct load operations – Users can gather stats manually if they want
• Optimizer hints
– Hints ignored by default – Users can enable hints explicitly
• Result cache configuration
– Result cache enabled by default for all queries
and more.. I’ll talk more in detail about all this in an article dedicated to Autonomous DBs for DW.
Let’s come back a bit to the topic we were talking about automation and how enterprises can deal with that..
So.. one important thing to think.. You guess Enterprises with extreme important databases will allow to run all these tuning.. etc.. by itself without someone that can be monitoring what the database is doing.. ?
We are going to be honest.. Enterprises with critical databases will not allow to give the 100% of confidence to an engine software to tune itself on demand without control or supervision of a human. Of course, there are some databases.. under some levels of importance.. circumstances that fit that model.. to be tuned 100% without supervision but that not the regular cases.
That self tuning will have sections.. factor.. policies.. etc.. and DBAs will choose what elements could be tune by itself.. and which of them will keep under control of DBAs. At the end.. always DBAs will be needed.. Now DBAs will have more facilities to do their jobs more easy.. but that fact of thinking to replace totally the humans is something difficult to happen in spite of the engine can take correct decisions.
Let’s describe a simple example.. Oracle Data Guard has the option to FAILOVER automatically under some circumstances, but for some possible humans errors could happen a database can failover when the humans did not want it.. so.. most of enterprises they fear to use FSF ( Fast Start Failover ), It’s a mechanism that works perfect technically but to give the total control to the software to apply something critical to the data is something most of enterprises are not allow to implant.
In a general way I think autonomous databases will reduce tons of working hours for DBAs but will not represent in a practical and real way the elimination of Human presence.
So, autonomous databases promises the following:
Less time on Administration
– Less time on infrastructure
– Less time on patching, upgrades
– Less time on ensuring availability
– Less time on tuning
More time on Innovation
– More time on database design
– More time on data analytics
– More time on data polices
– and very important.. More time on securing data
So.. with databases on Cloud, DBAs must strength their skills in Security
Now Let’s jump to another point of analysis..
Future of DBAs related to Oracle Database Cloud
17 years ago.. it was so simple to design a database architecture. You had to decide to lodge your database in a:
Now, when DBAs will decide where to lodge databases must think in many options.. such as:
They have to decide if the architecture will be implanted:
and more and more..
Before was so simple to design a database architecture.. now not.. Now we have a lot of options.. each one with pros and cons. Basically is a sea of options..
So.. the question is.. Who will be in charge of designing all this.. ?
The General Managers ? obviously not.. this will be designed by Database Architects.. ( DBAs )
Now DBAs will be asked more to understand the business rather than just the mechanics of keeping the database healthy and running
Before the cost of Servers.. services.. etc.. was not the main thing with what DBAs had to deal.. they were focused just in keeping the database running and implanting them. Now is different.. , now creating a database in Cloud, for example.. implies a decision of what kind of service to use and in what mode.. “Metered.. Non-Metered..” etc.. those factors impact directly the economy of the enterprise and the mode of operating these databases, so.. now the DBAs are more related into the business.
Some years ago from the first minute Oracle Corp. announced the release of “Oracle Cloud”, another level of expertise for DBAs was born, turning this business more complex..
DBAs will not be fired.. now the roles of DBAs are even more important.. the role of DBAs is simply shifting to be more of a role of architect..
Who must worry because of all these changes.. ?
Those kind of operational DBAs who are or were in charge just of doing simple tasks.. such as:
– Checking Backups..
– Checking storage..
– Making some reports..
– Installing Patchs..
– Installing softwares..
– Creating constantly new environments for developers..
All those easy and simple tasks.. have been removing with the addition of automation in Oracle Releases..
For instance, now at the time of creating an Oracle Database Cloud Service, there are many elements created automatically including:
– The creation of compute node ( Host )
– Installation of Software
– and more..
Here you can see how simple can be create a disaster recovery configuration on Cloud using Data Guard:
So.. with just this simple example.. you can realise that at the time of working with Oracle Database Cloud Service you do not have to install softwares anymore..
If you want to create a RAC configuration in a using Oracle Database Cloud Service is just some simple clicks and you could have complex RAC-DG configurations.
The era of regular and boring tasks is getting away.. so.. if you are a DBA in charge of those kind of simple tasks.. yes.. worry about your future..
Contrary of this, if you are a DBA in charge of implanting MAA architectures.. Cloud Databases, Exadata.. etc.. happy for you.. the importance of your role now will be bigger..
So.. now we come back to the central point of this article..
you can imagine what will be the vision of a person that is starting as DBA with all these numerous options in the market.. A person that is barely learning SQL.. and “Create table..” etc.. when the market is talking about autonomous databases.. It’s a comparison like between a kid bike and one 1000cc Motorbike.. something like that..
My though about all this is:
#1.- DBAs with kind of regular maintenance tasks.. could be removing from their role or job if they do not evolve to be focused in all this new generation related to Cloud
#2.- DBAs that have got the privilege to work with Oracle Databases during the golden era of “On-prem” databases, now they are in the right time to grow in parallel with something that is defining the “before” and “after” of IT. Now the DBAs will have the opportunity to move into a more strategic role in their organisations and based on that the income “salary.. commissions.. etc” will be higher.. now you will be involved in important decisions for the company
#3.- Sorry for new DBAs entering in this database world.. the journey you have to run is even harder than before to get the top level in this area because day by day are generated more and more options
1.- If you are a DBA kind #1 according to the previous description, perhaps you have several options.. evolve to #2, or if you decide to stay in the same role, your payment could be less over time or your role could be slowly disappear.
2.- If you are a DBA kind #2, keep on the track.. and your role will be more and more important in this field, by consequence your payment will have high probabilities to be increased. One more thing.. most of DBAs will not reach to be Cloud architects because this require time of study.. researching.. testing.. etc.. so.. feel proud if you reach it and take advantage of that inside your current or future organizations
3.- If you are a DBA kind #3, do not give up.. do not see the journey too long as It really is, just keep learning and you will get the level to be a good competitor in the market.
Now, perhaps you have the question.. How I can start to get ready to administer databases on Cloud ?
I could tell you, go to https://www.oracle.com/cloud/index.html and start there..
The page is the starting point of that monster called “Oracle Cloud.. ( PaaS, IaaS, SaaS..) etc etc”, you could be lost easily.
If you are DBA and you are interested in managing databases on Cloud, my main recommendation is to follow the path to become OCP Cloud.
The OCP Cloud has the base and initial path of knowledge that every DBA must domain to work with databases on Cloud.
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Joel Pérez is an Expert DBA ( Oracle ACE Director, Maximum Availability OCM, OCM Cloud Admin. & OCM12c/11g ) with over 17 years of Real World Experience in Oracle Technology, specialised in design and implement solutions of: High Availability, Disaster Recovery, Upgrades, Replication, Cloud and all area related to Oracle Databases. International consultant with duties, conferences & activities in more than 50 countries and countless clients around the world. Habitual and one of leading writers of Technical Oracle articles for: OTN Spanish, Portuguese, English and more. Regular Speaker in worldwide Oracle events like: OTN LAD (Latin America), OTN MENA (Middle East & Africa), OTN APAC ( Asian Pacific), DTCC China, Oracle Code.. . Joel has always been known for being a pioneer in Oracle technology since the early days of his career being the first Latin American awarded as “OTN Expert” at year 2003 by Oracle Corp., one of the first “Oracle ACE” globally in the Oracle ACE Program at year 2004. He was honoured as one of the first “OCM Database Cloud Administrator” & Maximum Availability OCM in the world. Currently Joel works as Senior Cloud Database Architect in “Yunhe Enmo (Beijing) Technology Co.,Ltd”., company located in Beijing, China En.enmotech.com
Skant Gupta is an Oracle Certified Cloud Professional in Oracle Database 12c, an Oracle Certified Expert in Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) in Oracle Database 11g and 12c, and an Oracle Exadata Certified and an Oracle Certified Professional in Oracle Database 10g, 11g, and 12c. He works at Vodafone Technology in the UK and formerly worked as a senior DBA at Etisalat in Dubai. He has six years of experience with various Oracle technologies, focusing mainly on Cloud, database, and high availability solutions, Oracle WebLogic Suite, Oracle Exadata and Oracle GoldenGate. He has presented at several Oracle user groups worldwide, most recently in the US, the United Arab Emirates, and the India. Skant website link: oracle-help.co
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