44% now using SQL Server on VMs in the cloud
It’s not easy being a database administrator (DBA), and a new survey of 820 database professionals around the world by Redgate Software, a Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor, suggests it isn’t getting easier.
The company’s second State of SQL Server Monitoring report found cloud migrations, the sunset of Microsoft support for SQL Server 2008 R2 (July 9, 2019), and demand for increasingly frequent database updates are all key industry concerns.
The report, based on a survey of industry professionals using a variety of databases, including Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and IBM DB2, had last year identified security challenges as the main DBA headache.
SQL Server Estates: More of More
As Redgate’s Jamie Wallis puts it: “The organisations they [SQL server professionals] work for want the advantages the cloud brings, particularly for greenfield projects, and they also want to avoid the risk of using an unsupported platform. The task is to migrate to and manage what are now becoming hybrid server estates, yet still be able to quickly and easily monitor them for any performance issues that come up.”
This is further complicated by the growth of SQL Server estates. Those with fewer than 10 servers now make up 33 percent of the market, compared to 37 percent last year, for example, and those with 10-49 servers have also fallen by an average of four percent. In contrast, there has been in increase of around four percent in those with estates of 50 servers and more – estates which in some cases now exceed 1,000 servers.
Crucially, the report finds that databases are being updated more frequently as they become part of DevOps – 73 percent deploy changes multiple times per month, and 41 percent expect this rate to continue to increase.
(In SQL databases, related information is stored in separate tables, then linked through the use of foreign keys and joins. While such databases are fast, powerful and deeply entrenched in many businesses, any changes in schema require procedures that can take the database offline or significantly reduce application performance).
Redgate notes: “This may well be leading to the top cause of database issues highlighted in the report: human error. Quite simply, as the pace of database development and the frequency of deployments goes up, so faults creep into the development process which need to be identified and corrected.
Cloud Usage on the Rise
Cloud usage meanwhile is on the up, with 44 percent of organizations now using SQL Server on VMs in Azure, Amazon and Google Cloud at least some of the time, 38 percent using Azure SQL Database, and 23 percent using Azure Managed Instances.
The findings back up an earlier report by Gartner, which suggested Database management system (DBMS) growth is happening primarily on the cloud services side. Gartner says the DBMS market grew 18.4 percent between 2017 and 2018, to reach $46.1 billion, with 68 percent of that growth in cloud, rather than on-prem.