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I’ve been discussing for years about the importance of network to database performance, especially once I started working on VLDBs, (Very Large Databases) but its a topic that often is disregarded. Now that I’m working more and more in the cloud, it’s become more evident the importance of the network to our survival.
For each and every cloud project I’ve been involved in, there is evidently going to be multiple challenges that turn to the network administrator for a solution. I don’t blame the administrator in any way when he becomes exasperated by our requests. As it is my solemn duty to protect the database, the network administrator is the sole protector of the network. You’ll hear a frustrated DBA say, “just open the &^$# network up! Let’s just get this connected to our cloud provider!” I have to admit that this request must be akin to someone asking a DBA to provide SYSDBA to a developer in production.
So yes, there are a lot of moving parts in a cloud environment. No, not all of them are at the database level, but many of them could be at the network level. This means that your new cloud environment must connect past firewalls, proxies, blocked ports and authentication steps that may not have been required back in the sole on-premise days.
Yeah, there’s a bit more to the network than demonstrated in the picture above.
The database connection needs a secure connection past the firewall and may require proxy configurations to access via a web browser. The application interface to manage them may require proxy settings in browsers that may have automated processes to manage outside a manual proxy setting. You may have network configurations that are different from one local office to another. We’ve only discussed configuration and haven’t even considered speed, packet size and bandwidth.
So here is my recommendation- make friends with your network administrator. In fact, take the ol’ chap out for a beer or two. Learn about what it takes to master, protect and ensure the company’s network from the threats outside. Learning about the network will provide you with incredible value as a cloud administrator and you may get a great friend out of the venture, too. For those of you that don’t make friends with your network admin, I don’t want to be hearing about any mishaps with phenobarbital to get the information, OK? 🙂