5 Common Database Management Challenges and How to Solve Them
Since nearly every app or tool in your tech stack connects to a database, it’s no surprise that 57% of organizations constantly find themselves dealing with database challenges.
Storing and accessing huge volumes of data pose challenges when teams are tasked with managing the security, reliability, and availability of multiple databases in a hybrid IT environment in addition to their day-to-day tasks. Yet these teams often encounter the same issues in their tech stack and may not even recognize it.
Here are the 5 most common database challenges your team needs to watch out for and how to solve them.
1. Manage scalability with growing data volumes
As data volumes continue to grow at an average of 63% per monthorganizations often don’t have their databases configured to scale effectively.
Not only do individual tools and applications provide larger datasets in databases, but there is also a good chance that your data will be updated and queried more frequently. Your queries become more complex, your data is more distributed, and you define more relationships between your data. Many relational databases are not designed to support all of these factors.
Even if your database is designed to grow with your data needs, you may need to pay to manage and query your growing amount of data. Horizontal scaling can only go so far before memory upgrade costs become unsustainable.
All organizations should ask themselves if you are actually using the data you store. Create retention policies that reduce the amount of data you store as you scale. For example, you can reduce the amount of data you store by clearing transient data in persistent storage, allowing you to make better use of the storage you have.
2. Maintain database performance
Slow database performance isn’t just annoying your team; it can also block apps and impact your end users. Providing the best experience for employees and customers is a must, so resolving database performance issues quickly is crucial.
Beyond scalability issues, high latency in databases is often related to slow read/write speeds. Caching on a remote host is a solution to support the scaling of your databases that do not need to be updated frequently. This is a great way to offload the database, especially if some of your data should only be accessed in read-only mode.
You should also focus on improving query performance. In some cases, this may involve creating indexes to retrieve data more efficiently. In others, it may mean leveraging more skilled employees with more experience working with databases. Otherwise, inexperienced users can create unexpected performance bottlenecks.
3. Database access issues
Even if your organization regularly configures and monitors database security, you may still encounter security issues depending on your access permissions.
Adopting a least-privilege approach is essential if you encounter database security issues. Reducing the number of people with access using role-based access control, attribute-based access control, or a combination of the two reduces the likelihood of insider threats, phishing or malware attacks and human error that affect the quality of your data. Limit access to users with the right skills to maintain optimal performance.
Fortunately, you don’t have to manage access independently for each database. A robust infrastructure access platform can help you manage appropriate access across multiple databases based on roles and functions.
4. Misconfigured or Incomplete Security
There’s no doubt that misconfigured security poses a significant risk to databases, especially in cloud environments. Often, incomplete cloud security without encryption can expose your data to external attacks. Yet when managing multiple databases, it’s easy to forget about the correct configuration or security patches.
Newly deployed or updated databases are particularly vulnerable to attack. Regularly monitoring and upgrading databases can improve security, but these efforts fail if your database is not properly encrypted. Some databases have encryption enabled by default, so query your database to confirm that Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) or Tablespace Encryption (TSE) is enabled.
Additionally, improper database configuration or implementation can lead to both intentional data loss (through unauthorized access or export) and unintended data loss through corruption or incomplete logs. Enabling logging features helps organizations better track their data, discover and triage data issues, and remediate incidents of data loss. Tracking data movement, traces, and logs with comprehensive observability tools gives your team the visibility needed to monitor databases and identify threats before sensitive data is at risk.
5. Data integration and quality issues
Without data standardization, your organization may experience integration issues within your database. Finding and aggregating data for queries is especially difficult when data types and formats are not aligned across all sources. Additionally, data silos within your organization can leave incomplete datasets, resulting in poor queries that both create performance issues and waste your organization’s time, resources, and money. ‘business.
Not all data integration tools are created equal. Leverage platforms and tools that allow your organization to create rules to normalize your data for each source before it is integrated into your data pipeline. From there, use the same normalization processes for existing data in your database and use automation to limit redundant or incomplete data.
It’s also important to make sure that all your sources are integrated seamlessly and regularly into your database. Automation plays a crucial role in data integration, and many tools can send data to your database in real time or more frequently. However, you may still want to configure the ingest frequency for different sources, as real-time updates for all data can impact performance if your solution is not ready to support your data.
Manage database challenges with confidence
With more data comes more database challenges. But, with the right tools and preparation, your organization doesn’t have to constantly focus on mitigating database issues. For example, adopting a modern access control solution like strongDMwhere workflows are streamlined for DBAs or developers will go a long way in ensuring easy and secure access to databases.
Ultimately, by overcoming these five common challenges, your organization can keep data quality high, improve its security posture, and maintain data accessibility for your organization.