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Datacenter Automation: Article

Don't Forget the Database By @PetePickerill | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

Whether it's DevOps or the cloud, the database is often overlooked

When you look at the evolution of IT in the enterprise, innovation has really taken hold within the last few years. In the systems and infrastructure part of the stack, virtual machines and the public cloud have greatly reduced the need for server floorspace, cooling and other investments that are overhead-intensive. That's very tangible evidence of innovation. On the application layer of the stack, developer teams have been boosted by DevOps tools and Agile methodologies. The evidence of that innovation manifests itself in dev teams' ability to go faster than ever and constantly stage applications for release. But guess where the industry has forgotten to employ innovation? The database.

In several conversations we’ve had lately, people have asked how we’re framing our core corporate narrative and who we’re telling that story to. The first part of that answer is simple while the latter half is a bit more fluid, but they both have to do with bringing an historically forgotten component of the IT organization back into plain view.

Our value proposition and core narrative stem from databases being forgotten on a macro level. When you look at the evolution of IT in the enterprise, innovation has really taken hold within the last few years. In the systems and infrastructure part of the stack, virtual machines and the public cloud have greatly reduced the need for server floorspace, cooling and other investments that are overhead-intensive. That’s very tangible evidence of innovation. On the application layer of the stack, developer teams have been boosted by DevOps tools and Agile methodologies. The evidence of that innovation manifests itself in dev teams’ ability to go faster than ever and constantly stage applications for release. But guess where the industry has forgotten to employ innovation? The database.

That’s where our technology comes in and where we get to shine, in bringing automation and devops innovation to a portion of the stack that hasn’t seen progress in quite some time. You could call it championing the underdog of the stack. The second part of the equation is who we tell that value proposition to, and how it reverberates based on their distinct vantage points as to the impact of the database being forgotten.

When it comes to stakeholders that will realize value from bringing automation to database deployments, we typically see a tale of two cities at the team or organization level. For starters, we’ve had success demonstrating value into the teams that own and develop applications. These stakeholders have received the spark they needed in the form of extending Agile and devops to the database.   They’re keenly aware of how limitations around database change management can impact their hard work and realize the value of bringing automation to the database deployment process - the metaphorical last mile of the application release process.  The ops side of the enterprise hasn’t been so fortunate, despite being acutely cognizant of the bottleneck that they represent. Though they’re becoming more and more familiar with the devops movement, DBAs have resigned themselves to a notion that there’s no solution out there to incorporate them into the devops chain. When we go into IT organizations and show DBAs how we use database change automation, Agile and devops to help them match dev on speed and efficiency, they quickly understand how this changes their world from spending most of their time working on mundane SQL review and validate tasks to being able to spend more time valuable strategic efforts.

When we say the database shouldn’t be forgotten, we’re not referring to an antiquated, incremental technology, but to a crucial component for keeping up with the pace the digital business demands and making applications go. There’s absolutely no reason it should be constrained or ignored when it comes to innovation. We’re not, by any means, trying to be the be-all and end-all of tackling database change management. In fact, the more taking on the challenge the merrier, as there’s no shortage of issues to address or approaches to explore. Business opportunity aside, though, we should make an unspoken pact that the database will no longer be forgotten – it deserves more.

To learn more about automated database deployment please click here.

More Stories By Pete Pickerill

Pete Pickerill is Vice President of Products and Co-founder of Datical. Pete is a software industry veteran who has built his career in Austin’s technology sector. Prior to co-founding Datical, he was employee number one at Phurnace Software and helped lead the company to a high profile acquisition by BMC Software, Inc. Pete has spent the majority of his career in successful startups and the companies that acquired them including Loop One (acquired by NeoPost Solutions), WholeSecurity (acquired by Symantec, Inc.) and Phurnace Software.