Sunday, October 7, 2007

Don Burleson and the Purpose of Database Automation

The following are excerpted from an eWeek article:

Oracle Database 11g is loaded with automation features that I praised highly in my review. To gain perspective on the features that will be most beneficial to Oracle shops, I asked veteran consultant Don Burleson to name the top five goodies—and gotchas—in Database 11g. Burleson is a senior consultant at Burleson Consulting, of Raleigh, N.C., and the author of more than 30 books on Oracle database management....

Oracle offers a class called the 2 Day DBA where the claim is they can teach someone enough information to manage, or really babysit, an Oracle database in 48 hours. Oracle has become so automated that you can end up with a DBA that doesn't really know what is happening, and that is getting a lot of companies in trouble....

Oracle has created artificial intelligence to advise on self-healing operations, and these are often misunderstood and misapplied by people without the requisite background.

Oracle has offered features in 11g that are geared to senior practicing DBAs that have a huge potential for abuse by dilettantes. Many times I see that people are using these automated tools beyond their level of understanding.

Burleson's attitude is that the automation tools in Oracle Database 11g shouldn't be used by newbies, but should be used by...oldbies, I guess:

For me, the most executing [heh] new features relate to tools that automate the well-structured DBA tasks, freeing-up the DBA to pursue more challenging work.


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