Hello Cloud Goodbye DBA

No, not quite. I have had many interesting conversations around this topic and I don’t think (personal opinion) that DBAs will disappear from the world of IT. It will definitely change, the so-called “production DBAs” affected the most. With Azure SQL Database (and other company offerings – think Oracle Autonomous DB) you will need to adapt (both short term and long term) some argue with me that the long-term looks harder to predict for DBAs which is true so I can’t talk about that. I mean for example how good will automatic tuning get? Better than the average DBA? I am looking at things from a short-term perspective. What tasks are expected  of you to carry out in this new world? Well, this is from experience.


  1. Expect to be more involved with design, strategy and standards. For example should you be using elastic pools? Managed instances? Your input will mean a lot. Then depending on which route you go down depends on what you need to do.
  2. Expect to improve your knowledge of PowerShell – a great way to automate building of Azure SQL Databases especially when you are dealing with 100s.
  3. DBAs need to know about other technologies too – for example the MPP Azure SQL DW which is different to SQL DB especially from a designing and performance tuning POV.
  4. How do you size your databases? How many DTUs do you use? Should you use vCore?
  5. It will be your job to migrate the data.
  6. How do you secure your databases in Azure? Do you know about firewall rules? vNets (understanding of subnets too)?
  7. You may be asked to not all setup failover groups but to test and plan failovers to see how your applications behave.
  8. Yes Microsoft takes backups for you but do you know how to restore?
  9. You need to be strong at performance tuning TSQL. Expect more code reviews with your fellow developers.
  10. Transition “on-prem” skills to Azure such as writing extended events sessions to Azure storage containers.
  11. Slowly move into other areas such as storing data in data lakes and if you a lucky enough, learn USQL  🙂

This is just a selection of tasks that come to my mind first. The idea of patching, backups, CHECKDB etc. has gone but as you can see there is plenty to do. Do you do something not mentioned above? Let me know.






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