The Financial DBA

I’ve got an Azure subscription. At least, I think I have just one. I know I have a few Microsoft accounts, across 4 (or more) different email addresses, that I use for various VSTS development purposes, but only one should have any Azure resources. When  I check each of them, I find that I do only have resources (and charges) for one. However, I also found a strange charge on my credit card statement from Microsoft Azure. It was just a couple dollars, but as I started digging through the various statements, I couldn’t determine where the charge was from, or what it was for. As of now, I’ve opened a support case with Microsoft to track down my usage.

This has me thinking of the future of many data professionals, some of whom will certainly have a few assets in a cloud based environment. I have a small subscription, but plenty of resources, and keeping track of which items belong to which resources and what I need isn’t always easy. It’s quite the challenge, especially when billing and finance aren’t my job. In an organization like Redgate, I’d guess we have lots resources, some of which developer provision, need, and then might forget about. Who reconciles this and ensures the assets we have are those we need?

As we move to a world where services are used as often as assets, perhaps interchangeably, I expect that many of us will need to be accountable for not only the usage, but tracking why we’ve engaged that service. Over time, we need to retire and get rid of assets, but ensuring we remember exactly what we’re using and why can be hard over time. With a little employee movement, many of us might find ourselves in charge of services that we don’t understand, and might not be sure are necessary. We also might not be sure these services can just be discarded. The last thing we want is some uptime disruption because we terminated some service contract.

A whole new dimension to our job is likely coming, and for many of us, this will test our documentation and organizational skills. I wouldn’t be surprised to find many DBAs or lead developers having a standing monthly meeting with someone in finance to be sure we aren’t wasting money.

Steve Jones

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