Understanding Database Challenges for DevOps Automation

DevOps Automation For Databases

Today DevOps automation is helping businesses run more efficient and cost-effective operations. According to a Statista DevOps survey, only 3% of the surveyed companies never heard of DevOps and another 9% of companies didn’t have plans for DevOps. The rest were at various stages of adoption. However, when businesses try DevOps automation for databases, they can run into a few challenges. Database designers and architects should be aware of the problems, so they can take steps to design databases that are more automation friendly.

Cost of Not Adopting DevOps for Databases

The goal of DevOps is to help development teams and operations teams work seamlessly. Instead of various teams working in their own silos, DevOps allows more coordination by using version control, continuous integration (CI), and continuous deployment (CD). Developers commit code into version control which gets checked and tested through continuous integration. Then, it can reach the customer using continuous deployment.

In the past, IT operations teams maintained more control over deployment. However, these teams became bottlenecks. DevOps solved the problem by allowing operations to participate in designing the CI/CD pipeline. But even today, database administrators are often left out of the loop. The result is that database updates are still manual. So during critical deployment, database administrators can become the new bottlenecks in the CI/CD process. As a result, businesses can lose money due to the inefficiency. https://www.dbdesigner.net database design tool can help businesses improve efficiency and save money.

Challenges of Database Automation in DevOps

Below are a few factors that contribute to the lack of database automation in DevOps environments:

Dealing with Data Persistence 

In a CI/CD pipeline, application code deployment is maintained through version control. When the application needs an update, the new code can replace the old code. But in the case of databases, if there is a schema change, there need to be steps to migrate the old data to the new structure. It makes continuous deployment of databases more complex than simple application code deployment.

Lack of Proper Database Design Tools 

Databases are still designed with legacy tools that often lack the proper processes to help future automation. Organizations still have to depend on their DBAs to make any changes. Businesses should use more modern modeling tools like DB Designer that can help generate scripts for every major database engines. It will help with DevOps automation and create more transparency in the overall process.

Out-of-date Architectures 

Organizations have a hard time automating database deployment in a tightly-coupled architecture. Businesses are realizing this problem and they are adopting more distributed architectures like microservices. In microservices, the databases are not centralized. It makes automation simpler.

Lack of DevOps Culture 

When database teams are left out of the DevOps loop, they can’t provide the input necessary to prepare the CI/CD pipeline for database deployment. So organizations need to evaluate if the database administrators are part of the DevOps culture and practice.

In Conclusion

For organizations that already have a good DevOps practice, databases might be the final frontier to fully automate their processes. For businesses who are starting their DevOps journey, keeping the automation challenges in mind will help them improve the CI/CD pipeline. 

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