DBA Opinion About Oracle Autonomous Database

Author: Michel Karel

Consultant Database Technology Solutions @Quistor

Autonomous databases have recently drawn a lot of attention from wide public. Especially because of the high expectations that they promise.

For those who are not familiar with the autonomous concept, we can see similar case for instance in car industry, where is focus more and more on self-maintained modules and aim is for holistic approach on totally independent run of the whole system.

As we already know from the practice nothing is ideal as it looks.

A lot of features are still being developed or work only semi-autonomously. Nevertheless, the idea in behind is clear, in the future we will provide only data set in form of plain text for instance to the database engine which will provide new suggestions about data models based on neuron network and machine learning and re-evaluate overtime usage of data without any need for human intervention if desired.

As we already know it is not always desired to leave everything on machines themselves. Very often we have specific needs that are not compliant with the approach that a database engine will propose.

Beside that, we cannot blindly rely on artificial intelligence.

There will be always the need for using our own specific setup because most of the enterprise solutions are complex and very often heterogeneous and contain several other components that need to be taken into consideration. These complex systems require a full level of control which is not possible with the current release of Autonomous databases.

Other point of view can be seen on Database Administrator role perspective.

On the market, we can see two types of database administrators (DBAs):

  • First type of DBAs: is driven by the business needs of the company. These DBAs are flexible, proactive and work very often with several systems beside database engines and use more often programming languages like python or JSON syntaxes. This vast focus is mainly caused by the nature of the dynamic IT world and convergence to the Cloud world.

  • Second type of DBAs: keeps focus on routine database tasks like backup/restore, security patches, storage management and other basic database management tasks.

Based on statistics provided by Oracle, more than 39% of DBAs is managing over 50 Oracle databases now.

Imagine how time-consuming these basic management tasks can be, especially when there are other business needs for further growth and development of the current systems.

Therefore, I would say that the current conversion to Autonomous approach should be relief for the first type of DBAs.

The second type of DBAs will need to adapt to the dynamic needs of the IT market and Artificial Intelligence tasks automation.

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