All the Advocates at Redgate (Kathi, Grant, myself) got asked about some of the future predictions we might have, based on some of the data from The 2021 State of Database DevOps and The 2021 State of Database Monitoring. We each came up with a few things and then someone summarized them. Grant has an official blog post, but I thought I’d glance through the summary, see what the others wrote, and then come up with a few things.
Side note: I hope to review this next January and see how I did.
I didn’t do this last year, but I’m going to separate the DevOps and monitoring topics and give a few thoughts on each.
DevOps continues to grow and really become almost a mainstream idea. I don’t know if I think the majority of companies are really adopting much of it, but many are adopting something. I rarely need to explain DevOps, though I do often need to define it for me and level set how I view it. It still seems everyone things about this differently.
The main challenges for DevOps are adding automation, moving to the cloud (or hybrid) and writing better code. DevOps can help with all these things, but I think far too many organizations still want to tackle these are projects, not an ongoing habit.
Well, all but the last one. It seems no one really prioritizing better code in most management I encounter.
Automation is the easiest of these, and I find that more and more DBAs are embracing automation in different ways. Some still want to do everything manually, but more of them are starting to accept that a framework (like Flyway) or even a simple automated script runner can be used without them needing to connect with SSMS.
I see this as a trend that will continue to increase, and eventually we’ll expect 95% of all deployment code to run with an automated process of some sort. Bt process I mean you aren’t connecting to a production server from your workstation.
My prediction for 2022 is also that I won’t see anyone create new repos in a version system other than git. I do tend to work in the MS stack or the Flyway area, and I don’t expect to encounter any clients still trying to work with SVN, CVS, Vault, Perforce. or even TFVC. Any why should they?
I also expect that we will see more cross platform work from everyone, which means that we will want a fairly consistent way of managing development, whether this is on SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB. I know that deploying code here means more chances for mistakes, so having a consistent high level process is important. This might mean that you use one type of framework for SQL Server and another for PostgreSQL, but the flow will be the same. Save code, run CI, deploy with automation. Hopefully testing in there somewhere.
The cloud encourages automation, but not completely. The portals are complex, the offerings changing, and no one wants to worry about which version of a CLI you have on which machines. Still, I hope to see more GitOps or Infrastructure as Code used by clients.
I think two things here. First, people are going to rely more and more on monitoring systems to manage the disparate and ever-growing estates of data stores they have. This is going to come about with the problem for many people of not only managing different platforms, but also different monitoring tools.
People already struggle with SQL Server and Oracle (or any other combination of platforms). I expect they will have AWS and Azure to contend with as well, though likely each organization will lean more heavily on one than the other. However, they’re also going to be dealing with different products for different platforms.
I predict some stress, confusion, and anxiety about incidents and employees trying to decide how to find and use information.
The second prediction is that we are going to see another security issue with a monitoring and/or management platform. We had a big one last year, but I bet hackers are working out how to attack other platforms, especially those that require sysadmin privileges and also allow the tools to change the remote systems.
Security is always a problem and after last year’s incident, I expect other software to be targeted in this same way.
If you are trying to find a new job, or improve your career, here’s what I suggest. First, learn to write and speak. However you can, but working with others, advocating your position, and improving your showing at interviews will matter.
In terms of tech, get good at something but learn a bit of many things. Pick a cloud and learn how the general infrastructure of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS work. Things will vary a bit from Azure to AWS to GCP, but the core remains the same. Learn how to spin up and work with a variety of technologies related to data. Be comfortable with version control, with repos, with CI, with CLI tools, with finding answers on how to accomplish tasks. Knowing a bit and how to find out more might be a good way to answer some of those interview questions.