T-SQL Tuesday #89–Changing Times

tsqltuesdayThis month the invitation is from Koen Verbeeck and it has to do with the cloud changes coming to the data world, especially SQL Server. That’s an interesting topic, not necessarily technical, but it is an interesting one to think about.

I’m going to be a little short because life is busy, but I think this is an interesting item to keep an eye on for many people. Not necessarily at your current position, but what if you need to move on?

If you’re interested, I host all the T-SQL Tuesday topics at tsqltuesday.com.

The Cloud is Changing Things

I sat in a talk at SQL Bits from Conor Cunningham of Microsoft. He’s one of the principal architects of SQL Server and Azure SQL. In the talk he talked about some interesting ideas in how SQL Server engineering has changed in the last decade. Victoria Holt wrote a short piece on some of the things Conor talked about.

There are a couple interesting things that the cloud is enabling. First, Microsoft runs their cloud without any Ops team, really having developers be responsible for things in production. This is 1.7mm databases, without any DBAs. Why? They gather lots of data, so they learn when things are broken, unstable, or problematic. They do this with the 600TB of telemetry they gather every day.

Of course, you and I won’t have that much information, but the cloud does enable Microsoft to think about how to make SQL Server more stable, and also how to add automation capabilities into the product. We haven’t seen much of this change in current versions, but the Query Store is the start of one thing, and Adaptive Query Processing (coming in v.Next) is another. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more, and that means our jobs as DBAs will change.

I think there will be less, check, configure, verify, maybe even some less tuning work for DBAs. There will always be developer needs, especially with more complex reporting, visualizations, and just understanding large data sets. There will also constantly be the need to write better SQL as the optimizer can only do so much with bad queries.

The cloud interests me and excites me. There are issues, concerns, and challenges. However, I also find working with Azure through Powershell, being able to access different services from various places, keeping some data there (non PII) and avoiding the need to manage infrastructure to be key.

I don’t know if it will happen, but I would hope at some point that the Azure cloud, the AWS cloud, the Google cloud would license their service, or even allow others to resell and manage portions to encourage competition and give us some choice in who we might choose to deal with. If so, they I could see more and more companies just considering moves to the cloud for more data, especially when there could be different levels of service and protection for different needs.

The cloud is changing things, even if you aren’t in the cloud. That can be opportunity if you take advantage of it.

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