The Role of the DBA in the "Cloud"

I really dislike the new "cloud" term, since it’s really just computing, but I get the point. The larger question is, what is the role of the DBA in a "cloud" environment? If your company moves the data substructure into a provider, what do you do?

I think that you should continue what you should be doing now – moving from a tactical role to a strategic one.

Sure, you need to know how to back up a database, where the files are stored, how to set up a table, normal forms, all that MCDBA stuff. But as I’ve preached before, you need to know your organization’s business. You need to ensure that you are thinking about larger subjects, such as data archival, access and retention strategies, business continuity and more. We need to move from being a Database Administrator to a Data Professional. Your purview is the company’s most valuable asset: its data. You need to be seen more as a business data champion than a bits and bytes kind of person.

Don’t get me wrong – we have a long way to go yet. There are still servers to install, databases to set up, maintain and tune and security patches to apply. But along the way, spend a little time understanding your company or organization and how the data is used. You’ll be ready when the "clouds" gather.