Concepts in database management hardly fall in the category of come-and-go, as the cost of shifting between technical approaches overwhelms producers, managers, and designers. However, there are several trends in database management, and knowing how to take advantage of them will benefit your organization. Following are the some of the current trends:
1. Databases that bridge SQL/NoSQL
The latest trends in database products are those that don’t simply embrace a single database structure. Instead, the databases bridge SQL and NoSQL, giving users the best capabilities offered by both. This includes products that allow users to access a NoSQL database in the same way as a relational database, for example.
2. Databases in the cloud/Platform as a Service
As developers continue pushing their enterprises to the cloud, organizations are carefully weighing the trade-offs associated with public versus private. Developers are also determining how to combine cloud services with existing applications and infrastructure. Providers of cloud service offer many options to database administrators. Making the move towards the cloud doesn’t mean changing organizational priorities, but finding products and services that help your group meet its goals.
3. Automated management
Automating database management is another emerging trend. The set of such techniques and tools intend to simplify maintenance, patching, provisioning, updates and upgrades — even project workflow. However, the trend may have limited usefulness since database management frequently needs human intervention.
4. An increased focus on security
While not exactly a trend given the constant focus on data security, recent ongoing retail database breaches among US-based organizations show with ample clarity the importance for database administrators to work hand-in-hand with their IT security colleagues to ensure all enterprise data remains safe. Any organization that stores data is vulnerable.
Database administrators must also work with the security team to eliminate potential internal weaknesses that could make data vulnerable. These could include issues related to network privileges, even hardware or software misconfigurations that could be misused, resulting in data leaks.
5. In-memory databases
Within the data warehousing community there are similar questions about columnar versus row-based relational tables; the rise of in-memory databases, the use of flash or solid-state disks (which also applies within transaction processing), clustered versus no-clustered solutions and so on.
6. Big Data
To be clear, big data does not necessarily mean lots of data. What it really refers to is the ability to process any type of data: what is typically referred to as semi-structured and unstructured data as well as structured data. Current thinking is that these will typically live alongside conventional solutions as separate technologies, at least in large organisations, but this will not always be the case.
Projects involving databases should not be viewed and appreciated solely on how they adhere to these trends. Ideally, each tool or process available should merge in some meaningful way with existing operations. It is important to look of these trends as items that can coincide: enhancing security and moving to the cloud coexist?