Database growth requires greater team collaboration

With data storage expected to grow 240% by 2025, a new study has found that database administrators (DBAs) are expanding their teams to enable them to manage larger database server farms.

The latest from IDC StorageSphere Global Forecast2021-25, shows that global data storage capacity will increase from 6.7 zettabytes in 2020 to 16.1 zettabytes in 2025. This 240% increase in the infrastructure and servers needed to store and manage data, which whether on-premises or in the cloud, puts already busy DBAs and data professionals under tremendous pressure.

A survey of 2,500 IT professionals for Redgate’s 2021 Database Monitoring Status A study found that DBAs now manage more servers than a year ago. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of DBAs in the survey indicated that as the data base has grown over the past 12 months, they have become personally responsible for a greater number of database instances.

Redgate found that this is further complicated by the hybrid nature of domains, with some servers on-premises and others in the cloud, and with different cloud platforms in play depending on different use cases.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also added to what has become a perfect storm for DBAs. Remote working has made monitoring onsite servers more difficult, the seismic shift in how organizations have moved many services online has increased the complexity and speed of collecting and accessing data, and hiring freezes and layoffs have limited hiring options.

Most DBAs who participated in the survey said they had personally managed between one and nine instances of relational databases in previous years.

But in 2021, they reported an increase in the number of database server instances from 20 to 49. According to Redgate, this means that database professionals have to accomplish more in less time, which increases the pressure on an already overburdened part of the business.

In previous studies conducted by Redgate, the majority of DBAs said they worked individually. But its latest data from 2021 shows that organizations are now using teams of three to four people.

“We saw a seven percentage point increase in teams of three and an eight percentage point increase in teams of four,” the company said. “There was a corresponding decrease of 11 percentage points in the number of people working alone. With this change comes an increased need for collaboration tools, which encourage and enable team cohesion, knowledge and understanding of the areas they manage.

As database administration teams grow in size, Redgate said there is a greater need for collaboration and cooperation to standardize how database server farms are monitored.

Grant Fritchey, a product advocate at Redgate, said, “The more infrastructure you manage, the more systems go wrong. Responding to these incidents can easily overwhelm a DBA team. Understanding and improving the health of a growing domain is therefore essential to ensure performance and security.

Maria H. Underwood