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  SQL Server Tips by Burleson

What Self-Managing Does Not Mean

While some enhancements are likely to get applause from DBAs and IT managers alike, the majority of critical database tasks and decisions still, and will probably always, require a trained DBA’s hand. Those thinking that the new self-management features will do away with the requirement for good DBAs are quite wrong. No matter how self-managing a database is, it will never be able to:

Design Itself: An experienced administrator or data architect is still needed to intelligently create the logical and physical design of a database for real world use. This applies even with auto-storage management.

Build Itself: An administrator will always be needed to smartly implement a physical database design and configure server resource constraints so it can stand up against today’s demanding applications.

Secure Itself: Security management is still a process that must be carefully carried out under a trained administrator’s eye.

Develop Itself: Many DBAs are called upon to help write or troubleshoot database procedural logic that is produced by a development/application staff.

Change Itself: A database cannot perform true automatic change control in terms of: smartly adding/dropping table columns; reworking security; changing index strategies, although the engines are getting better at this; or altering stored procedural code.

Test Itself: The concept of proper performance testing is not only foreign to the self-management aspects of database engines, but sadly to many DBAs as well.

Recover Itself: Yes, the automated functions of backup and recovery are much better than they were in the past. However, an administrator is still needed to properly set up, monitor, and oversee critical backup and recovery procedures.
No matter how far down the manageability path a database evolves, the disciplines mentioned above make it impossible for a serious production database to ever truly manage itself in the literal sense. Even in the areas of self-managed performance and storage, the latest releases of the database engines are not 100% complete.

The above book excerpt is from:

High-Performance SQL Server DBA
Tuning & Optimization Secrets

ISBN: 0-9761573-6-5
Robin Schumacher  

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