Michelle Malcher

DBA Transformations

Building Your Career in the Transition to On-Demand Cloud Computing and Extreme Automation

Michelle Malcher

Huntley, Illinois, USA

Any source code or other supplementary material referenced by the author in this book is available to readers on GitHub via the book’s product page, located at www.apress.com/9781484232422. For more detailed information, please visit http://www.apress.com/source-code.

ISBN 978-1-4842-3242-2

e-ISBN 978-1-4842-3243-9


Library of Congress Control Number: 2017962867

© Michelle Malcher 2018

This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed.

Trademarked names, logos, and images may appear in this book. Rather than use a trademark symbol with every occurrence of a trademarked name, logo, or image we use the names, logos, and images only in an editorial fashion and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark. The use in this publication of trade names, trademarks, service marks, and similar terms, even if they are not identified as such, is not to be taken as an expression of opinion as to whether or not they are subject to proprietary rights.

While the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication, neither the authors nor the editors nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein.

Printed on acid-free paper

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Every day amazed at how my girls grow and I am so proud. Thank you, Amanda and Emily.


A book like this has been a long time coming. Being a DBA is not an easy calling – especially in today’s world. There was a time when DBAs were prized keepers of data within organizations. What we did was a mystery to most, but the role was somewhat predictable. With the introduction of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence, the role of the DBA has markedly changed. No two days are even remotely alike, and it seems the rate of change has accelerated beyond what most of us can comfortably cope with.

Everything evolves and the role of the DBA is no different. What separates those who thrive and feel energized from those who feel defeated, is whether one sees opportunity or dreads the tsunami of change that is upon us.

Michelle is not only a brilliant technologist, data security expert, and recognized author – she has also lived the life of a DBA for many years, and witnessed the dramatic change in the data ecosystem. Michelle’s book describes what the DBA of the future might look like and how to achieve success. For the first time ever, data has become a strategic resource in many organizations, offering a competitive edge if it is mined appropriately. While this poses many questions and raises concerns, it also provides immense opportunities for the DBA. No longer is the DBA responsible for mundane, predictable work; a whole new world of data (not database!) management has opened up that is fluid. The DBA role is now no longer rigidly defined but it must be co-created to incorporate many facets of data management. It is no longer about the technology, but about the enablement of business and strategy through technology.

I have had the pleasure of calling Michelle my friend for years. Michelle and I were introduced to each other through IOUG when we were both DBAs so we ‘get’ it. This book may surprise, startle, and energize you to grasp the future, whatever that looks like. One thing is for certain – you will become a better DBA as a result of reading this book. I will leave you with an important question to reflect on as you read Michelle’s book: what type of DBA do you want to be?

Maria Anderson

Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1:​ Types of DBAs
    1. Where Do DBAs Fit?​
    2. System DBAs
    3. Application DBAs
    4. Automation DBAs
    5. Next
    6. Conclusion
  2. Chapter 2:​ The Set of Skills
    1. Technical Skills
      1. Platform Specific
      2. Testing and Implementation
      3. Installs and Upgrades
    2. Soft Skills
      1. Communication
      2. Documentation
      3. Relationship Building (Interpersonal Skills)
      4. Adaptability
      5. Organizational
      6. Leadership
    3. Conclusion
  3. Chapter 3:​ The Future State of Databases
    1. Technology
      1. Storage
      2. Data
    2. Disruptors
      1. Technology
      2. Social Networking
      3. Security
      4. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence
    3. Many Platforms
    4. Database as a Service
    5. Databases in the Cloud
    6. Conclusion
  4. Chapter 4:​ The Database Machine Administrator (DMA)
    1. Exadata Database Machine
    2. Appliances
    3. Cloud Engineered Systems
    4. SuperCluster and Other Servers
    5. Architecture Decisions
    6. Automation
    7. DMA
    8. Conclusion
  5. Chapter 5:​ Cloud Database Administration
    1. Type of Clouds
    2. Tasks
    3. Tools
    4. Capacity Planning
      1. Discovery
      2. Workload and Data Analysis
    5. Security
    6. Migrations
    7. Application vs.​ Cloud DBA
      1. DBaaS DBA vs.​ Cloud DBA
    8. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 6:​ Database Security
    1. Security Teams
      1. Building a Team
      2. Security on DBA Team
    2. Security Planning
    3. Reducing Risk
    4. Cloud Security
    5. Auditing and Reporting
      1. Automation Security
    6. Addressing Vulnerabilities
    7. Security Learning
    8. Conclusion
  7. Chapter 7:​ Data Professionals
    1. Data Quality
    2. Data Integrations
    3. BIG DATA
    4. Conclusion
  8. Chapter 8:​ The Art of Automation
    1. Tasks
    2. Dependencies
    3. Automating Test Plans
    4. Conclusion
  9. Chapter 9:​ Change and Cloud Therapy
    1. Job Satisfaction
    2. Cloud Therapy
    3. Change Management
    4. Work–Life Balance
    5. Skill Development
      1. Test Environments
      2. Life Learner
    6. Conclusion
  10. Chapter 10:​ Creating a Transformation Plan
    1. Transformation
    2. Evaluation
    3. New Skills
      1. Planning
      2. Acquiring
    4. Mentoring
    5. What Stays the Same
    6. Not Just a DBA
    7. Conclusion
  11. Index

About the Author

Michelle Malcher is a database professional with a vast knowledge in database environments and security, developed from her 17+ years in this field. She is a well-known volunteer leader in the database and security communities, with roles as Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG) past president, and as a Fuel Founding board member. Her deep technical expertise from database to development, as well as her senior-level contributions as a speaker, author, Oracle ACE Director, and customer advisory board participant, have aided many corporations spanning architecture and risk assessment, purchasing and installation, and ongoing systems oversight, including large financial institutions. Michelle is currently a security architect for Extreme Scale Solutions.

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