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  • September 26, 2018

Every DBA Needs to Understand the Impacts of Oracle Autonomous Database

Moe Fardoost
Senior Director of Product Marketing


For DBAs, chances are your responsibilities look like the list shown above for Daniel and Mia. Daniel is focused on the system itself, and Mia is responsible for the business applications. In fact, there are many different types of DBAs. In addition to System DBAs and Application DBAs, there are DBAs who say they are database architects or data modelers. Some say they are a generalist whilst others say they are specialist DBAs such as a performance tuning expert or data warehouse administrator.

Regardless of the classification, DBAs are responsible for many repetitive tasks that can take much of their time. Some of these tasks are listed in figure 1.  Although these tasks may only provide incremental value to the business, nonetheless, these tasks can't be ignored. And that’s why the Autonomous Database is a gamechanger for DBAs.

Figure 1: Typical System DBA Responsibilities


How DBA Duties Have Changed


Many of you recognized the value of automating these tasks, and painstakingly set up and managed your own routines. Oracle also recognized this pain point, going back to the releases of Oracle Database 9i and 10g, Oracle introduced the self-managing database with its ingenious performance data warehouse (AWR) and the Automatic Database Diagnostics Monitor (ADDM).

Subsequently, Oracle Enterprise Manager introduced the diagnostics and tuning packs to deliver full automation for diagnostics and performance tuning. The solution was revolutionary for its day! Still, there were challenges, like the restricted amount of data stored for diagnostics purposes, and the labor-intensive effort to set up or update environments to be monitored. At least apps didn’t change frequently in those days, so the pain was somewhat manageable.

Today brings new opportunities, and new challenges. The pace of change has accelerated with mobile and web applications released and updated weekly or even daily. The manual efforts for threshold setting and the volume of telemetry and metrics and logs data has skyrocketed. The good news is, the Autonomous Database from Oracle revolutionizes how databases are being managed, essentially automating up to 95% of the system DBA responsibilities.  


How Oracle’s Autonomous Database Makes the DBA Job Easier


  • The Autonomous Database runs in the Oracle Cloud. The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is based on the Oracle Exadata platform which can deliver unmatched performance and high availability to ensure 99.995 uptime access for your workloads.
  • The Oracle Cloud also delivers higher flexibility than commodity clouds with instant elasticity where compute and storage resources can be scaled independently while the application is running, with no downtime. There is no manual sizing of database workloads.
  • With Oracle Cloud, there is no limit on how much diagnostics and audit data can be stored for your database workloads. You can collect and analyze as much diagnostics data as you want to solve a problem and get answers without any impact to your database performance.

The autonomous database uses AI and adaptive machine learning to automatically self-patch, self-tune, detect and resolve anomalies, and optimizes indexes much more quickly and efficiently than manual hands-on processing.

Figure 2: Autonomous Database Automates up to 95% of manual tasks


Focus Areas for Successful DBAs


Whether or not you are a System DBA, this technology can have a major impact on your productivity and your career. For example, by adopting the Autonomous Database, system DBAs can now expand their responsibilities to cover more high value areas or specialize in areas with higher business value including:

  • Spend more time on data model enhancements
  • Focus more on the database architecture
  • Spend more time with developers and line of business
  • Focus on any other task that can benefit from a proactive approach e.g. plan capacity, eliminate systemic issues

You can see there are compelling reasons for a system DBA to consider the Autonomous Database. What about other DBA roles?

Arguably, the application DBA has the most complex responsibilities. Let's now look at the application DBA requirements.


Figure 3: Many Application DBA responsibilities require cross-domain expertise

When applications run on the Autonomous Database, they automatically benefit from better performance, higher availability and resilience as well as better security. This enables DBAs to effectively direct resources when unknown issues arise, requiring rapid troubleshooting. This typically involves the assembly of large war rooms where architects, administrators and developers from across the IT landscape show up with their data to troubleshoot the issue. But in practice, people are there to disprove that the problem is in their respective areas. Oracle now provides Oracle Management Cloud to provide DBAs with complete visibility into their application environments to help avoid war room finger pointing and other challenges associated with multi-tier troubleshooting. Check out this great blogpost by Tim Mooney where he explains the benefits Oracle Management Cloud. 


How to Use Autonomous Database with Oracle Management Cloud


By working together, the Autonomous Database and Oracle Management Cloud can help provide complete visibility and automation for the entire application environment. 

Figure 4: Automation of repetitive tasks by Autonomous Database and Oracle Management Cloud

  • Move your databases to Autonomous Database to automate the manual tasks associated with database infrastructure and processes.
  • Add Oracle Management Cloud to automate tasks such as user experience monitoring, multi-tier performance troubleshooting, security monitoring for hybrid cloud, and configuration and compliance monitoring.

Taking a step-by-step approach will get you started quickly with immediate benefits. Start with the Autonomous Database and deploy Oracle Management Cloud for multi-tier troubleshooting using log analytics. 


Figure 5: A simple, high value use case

You can be underway in minutes. Check out our step-by-step EasyStart toolkit that makes it easy to start using logs across your enterprise to troubleshoot issues spanning application, database and infrastructure. 


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