How DevOps Can Work for Databases

For too many organizations, database management and optimization is stuck in the past. As other areas of IT and software development leverage transformative technologies, improved agile processes, and increased automation, database operations tend to lag behind. Bogged down by slow, manual management, databases often become a bottleneck to the modernization of a number of other systems and processes. But extending DevOps — a strategy an increasing number of businesses already use in software and app development — to databases can be the key to overcoming this problem. 

In the past, when new software releases happened less frequently (once or twice a year), it made sense for database administrators (DBAs) to review the changes made by developers and assess the potential implications on databases. Oftentimes, this happened in the final stages before deployment. Now with increased automation, however, software updates and app deployments happen far more rapidly, and the manual review of databases threatens to not only slow these deployments down but also increases the potential for error. By applying DevOps practices to databases, organizations enjoy increased speed, fewer errors, and the cost-saving benefits of greater productivity.  Want to know more? Read on, we’re answering your top Database DevOps starter questions. 

How Does DevOps Work for Database?

Simply put, database DevOps applies the principles of traditional DevOps to the way databases are changed, updated, and managed. The goal is to increase collaboration between developers and DBAs to improve the agility of database development and make it more tightly woven with application development. That means establishing automated processes for database code that allow its development and deployment to run in parallel with app code. By implementing similar, standardized DevOps-based processes for both database and applications, DBAs, developers, and operations teams can work in tandem for more efficient, higher quality app development.

How Does Database DevOps Affect the Role of DBAs?

Database administrators may be reluctant to adopt DevOps processes due to fear of the impact increased automation can have on their role within the company. But DevOps should be seen as an opportunity for the DBA to modernize and become an increasingly valuable team member. With DevOps, DBAs have room to elevate from the legacy, reactive role of creating and managing databases, performing backups, or running queries to a strategic and proactive position focused on sharing expertise and making data more accessible and scalable for developers and engineers who need it. 

How Can You Begin Database DevOps?

Databases present unique challenges that can make the implementation of DevOps more challenging than for software development. From the new tooling to the cultural shift, transitioning to DevOps requires planning, clear objectives, and buy-in from everyone involved across the business.   

One way to start implementing DevOps practices into database management is by source (or version) controlling your database. By source controlling your database, you can maintain working builds, revert to past versions if needed, and ensure an auditable history of changes. This is essential to enable true DevOps in your database and is the basis for allowing practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery.

Adding DevOps to your database can seem daunting — but in the end, it’s all about transferring the DevOps principles your organization already relies on for application development into the database space. By integrating automation with your database code changes, your business can streamline its overall software operations, deploy updates more quickly and with fewer possible errors, and once and for all remove the bottlenecks that threaten to decrease productivity. If your organization is interested in learning more about how database DevOps can take you further and how we can help, contact CentriLogic today