The importance of data resources to modern businesses has resulted in database administrators assuming a more critical role in the corporate IT landscape. DBAs are tasked with maintaining access to their systems as well as providing adequate performance levels to satisfy the demands of the user community. Mission-critical databases that power eCommerce applications or furnish business intelligence to management cannot be unavailable for any length of time without severely impacting an organization.
As if the pressure to keep vital systems running smoothly was not enough, DBAs are faced with ever-increasing diversity in the database platforms they are expected to administer. There are very few enterprises that still rely on a single type of database. With so many viable options on the market, platforms are chosen based on specific needs on an application by application basis. Another variable that DBAs need to deal with is the choice between hosting the systems on-premises or with a cloud provider.
These issues complicate the role of DBAs and require a greater degree of flexibility than in the past. The days of being an expert in a particular platform such as Db2 are long gone. IT environments are constantly evolving and a database team needs to be versatile and able to handle whatever platform is the next one rolled through the door.
Relational Versus NoSQL Databases
A basic choice that needs to be made when an organization is deciding on a database platform is whether to use a traditional relational or a NoSQL database. There are times when it is appropriate to select either one.
Relational databases should be strongly considered in these situations:
- Workload volume is consistent requiring medium to large scale processing;
- Data is highly-structured and consistent;
- Write safety is a requirement;
- Data is best expressed relationally;
- Complex queries and reports are required;
- Users are centrally located.
NoSQL databases make more sense when:
- High workload volumes are in play that demand large scale processing;
- Dynamic data is used that frequently changes;
- Write safety is less important than writing speed;
- Simple data retrieval is sufficient;
- Data can be expressed without relationships;
- Users are more widely geographically distributed.
There are several different data models that NoSQL databases use. The choice is dependent on how the enterprise plans on storing, accessing, and managing its data. Common models include:
- Document stores where data and metadata are stored hierarchically in JSON-based documents inside the database.
- Key-value stores represent data as key-value pairs and are the simplest form of NoSQL databases.
- Wide-column stores keep related data as sets of nested-key/value pairs within a single column.
- Graph stores employ a graph structure to store data as nodes and edges.
These differences just scratch the surface of the range of databases that an organization can use to store and process its data resources. DBAs need to be able to work with whatever types of databases are introduced to the environment and are expected to keep them all running at peak efficiency and full availability. It sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Keeping it All Under Control
Fortunately for database teams, working with multiple platforms does not mean that they need to use multiple administrative tools. Using an application that enables a DBA to work with all of their databases can save a lot of time and minimize the learning curve when a new type of system is brought into the fold.
Aqua Data Studio offers teams an effective tool for increasing the productivity of DBAs working in multi-platform environments.
Aqua Data Studio enables your team to connect to and administer over 30 relational and NoSQL database platforms including SQL Server, MongoDB, MySQL, Db2, and Snowflake. You can access your data resources whether they are located in an on-premises data center or the cloud and perform all of the administrative tasks retried to keep them running smoothly. A full suite of tools is included that are designed specifically for each support database platform.
An example can be seen with the Oracle DBA tools featured in Aqua Data Studio. They cover every aspect of administering Oracle databases. Offerings among the eight Oracle tools include:
- Instance Manager enables users to view and modify server parameters.
- Storage Manager allows storage to be visualized and maintained as well as providing object and file I/O statistics.
- Log Manager creates, manages, and monitors Redo and Archive logs.
- Security Manager lets the team manage user permissions, roles, and database security.
Platform-specific toolsets using the same unified interface of Aqua Data Studio gives a database team an advantage when working in diverse environments. The application can be a great productivity booster for DBAs who need to address multiple databases throughout the day. Using a common tool nicely eliminates one of the big problems faced by modern database administrators.