As a DBA, you don’t work in a vacuum. You’re responsible for database uptime, performance, capacity, security and the like, but you also work in a macrocosm of related trends and technologies that affect how you do your job.

In The Real World of the Database Administrator, Unisphere Research asked 300 DBAs, managers and developers about the external factors they believe will have the greatest impact on database administration over the next few years. The graphic above shows that almost two-thirds of respondents think they’ll be dealing more with cloud computing in the future. About half of them think virtualization and big data will be of importance.

Look farther down the list. I posted a couple of weeks ago about technologies for managing non-relational information, such as Hadoop and NoSQL databases. Even though most DBAs believe that it will eventually fall to them to administer those technologies, only about one-third of them think NoSQL and Hadoop will play much of a role in their job.

So the writing on the wall indicates that you will do well to focus on your usual DBA duties while keeping cloud, virtualization and big data in your peripheral vision. They represent good directions for broadening your skill set and maintaining your effectiveness (and marketability).

Which trends and technologies do you see coming? Let me know in the comments below, and have a look at the Unisphere report, The Real World of the Database Administrator, to find out more.


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