Database Administrator and DevOps

Role of Database Administrator in DevOps

The Database Administrator or DBA is the person responsible for all the activities related to maintaining
the database environment. A Database Administrator designs, implements, and maintains the different
elements of a database system. It can be quite shocking that at times, during the DevOps
implementation, the database integration is actually the last component to be implemented. However,
with the rapid growth of DevOps for database recently, DevOps for DBA is taking center stage when it
comes to the implementation of DevOps.

Job Description of a DevOps Database Administrator
A DBA works in a cross-functional setting which interferes with their busy schedule. DevOps DBAs,
consequently, have two roles – a front end DBA that handles the overall database architecture, and a
back end DBA tasked with handling day-to-day issues and deployment optimization.
On the operational side, a DBA is also tasked with monitoring database behaviour under peak
application workload to ensure that they are performing as per the expectations and working together
with the operations to resolve outages and bottlenecks. They also need to manage data access and
security of the platform. They have to perform release activities to support the application and
troubleshoot the errors that occur during that process or while day-to-day operations.

DevOps and how it compares to SQL
One of the key considerations for DevOps-friendly databases is their operational simplicity. The
traditional SQL databases such as MySQL or Postgres or other known ones are well understood and they
have lots of support but they can sometimes be quite difficult and expensive to scale. The rapid rise of
NoSQL databases has enabled large datasets to be managed in a scalable and more flexible manner than
the relational databases. However, even among the NoSQL databases, there are many significant
differences. For instance, the first generation of NoSQL databases with the widely adopted Apache
Cassandra has imposed significant operational burdens in its own ways.

DevOps and how it is affecting the IT infrastructure
The IT infrastructure and trends in application development are pushing the traditional DBAs into
DevOps while the DevOps (including full-stack engineers and SREs) are taking on the responsibilities
traditionally associated with the Database Administrator. By adopting the data infrastructure which
emphasizes the operational simplicity, the ease of scale and deployment flexibility, the IT organizations
can easily reconcile those roles while at the same time, building a cloud-friendly infrastructure that
extends the DevOps tool chain to the database.
As DevOps gets more involved in database deployments, the possibility to automate routine tasks, such
as code review becomes real. Contact us at