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I did a couple great sessions yesterday for the awesome Dallas Oracle User Group, (DOUG.) It was the first time I did my thought leadership piece on Making Sense of the Cloud and it was a great talk, with some incredible questions from the DOUG attendees!
This points me to a great [older] post on things IT can do to help guarantee tech projects are more successful. DevOps is a standard in most modern IT shops and DBAs are expected to find ways to be part of this valuable solution. If you inspect the graph, displaying the value of different projects in ROI, vs. how often these different types of projects run over budget and time, it may be surprising.
Where non-software projects are concerned, the project rarely runs over the schedule, but in the way of benefits, often comes up short. When we’re dealing with software, 33% of project run over time, but the ROI is excruciatingly high and worthy of the investment. You have to wonder how much of that over-allocation in time feeds into the percentage increase in cost? If this could be deterred, think about how more valuable these projects would become?
The natural life of a database is growth. Very few databases stay a consistent size, as companies prosper, critical data valuable to the company requires a secure storage location and a logical structure to report on that data is necessary for the company’s future. This is where relational databases come in and they can become the blessing and the burden of any venture. Database administrators are both respected and despised for their necessity to manage the database environment as the health of the database is an important part of the IT infrastructure and with the move to the cloud, a crucial part of any viable cloud migration project.
How much of that time, money and delay shown in those projects are due to the sheer size and complexity of the database tier? Our source data shows how often companies just aren’t able to hold it together due to lacking skills, lacking estimates in time estimates and other unknowns that come back to bit us.
I can’t stress enough why virtualization is key to removing a ton of the overhead, time and money that ends up going into software projects that include a database.
Virtualizing non-production databases results in:
It’s definitely something to think about and if you don’t believe me, test it yourself with a free trial! Not enough people are embracing virtualization and it takes so much of the headache out of RDBMS management.
For over a year I’ve been researching cloud migration best practices. Consistently there was one red flag that trips me that I’m viewing recommended migration paths. No matter what you read, just about all of them include the following high level steps:
As we can see from above, the scope of the project is identified, requirements laid out and a project team is allocated.
The next step in the project is to choose one or more clouds, choose the first environments to test out in the cloud, along with security concerns and application limitations. DBAs are tested repeatedly as they continue to try to keep up with the demand of refreshing or ensuring the cloud environments are able to keep in sync with on-prem and the cycle continues until a cutover date is issued. The migration go or no-go occurs and the either non-production or all of the environment is migrated to the cloud.
As someone who works for Delphix, I focus on the point of failure where DBAs can’t keep up with full clones and data refreshes in cloud migrations or development and testing aren’t able to complete the necessary steps that could be if the company was using virtualization. From a security standpoint, I am concerned with how few companies aren’t investing in masking with the sheer quantity of breeches in the news, but as a DBA, there is a whole different scenario that really makes me question the steps that many companies are using to migrate to the cloud.
Now here’s where they loose me every time- the last step in most cloud migration plans is to optimize.
I’m troubled by optimization being viewed as the step you take AFTER you migrate to the cloud. Yes, I believe that there will undoubtedly be unknowns that no one can take into consideration before the physical migration to a cloud environment, but to take databases, “as is” when an abundance of performance data is already known about the database that could and will impact performance, seems to be inviting unwarranted risk and business impact.
So here’s my question to those investing in a cloud migration or have already migrated to the cloud- Did you streamline and optimize your database/applications BEFORE migrating to the cloud or AFTER?