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The Myth of the DBA-Free Cloud

Matthew McGiffen lays out an explanation:

I was chatting with a cloud consultant who was advising on a large scale migration to AWS. He told me that one of the advantages of going for a PaaS offering (Platform as a Service) was that DBAs were no longer required as backups and restores were handled for you. PaaS services for SQL Server include AWS RDS and Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance.

I found it quite a funny conversation, partly as I don’t think he realised being a DBA was part of my job role, but also because I don’t know a single DBA who spends a significant amount of their time doing backups and restores.

I still remember (through others—I wasn’t in this space yet) the advertising campaign that SQL Server 2005 would completely eliminate the need for a DBA because everything would just work on its own, even sweet database tuning using the Database Tuning Advisor. The same thing applies today: even those DBA-free databases eventually need somebody to optimize them along various dimensions, ensure they are running smoothly, and correct issues if they are not. Perhaps we could call this role the Administrator of a Database or AoD, so as not to scare the DBA-free database vendors. “No, we don’t have DBAs—we just need you to have a few AoDs on staff.”