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Concerns With Databases Today


by Tom Smith Oct. 16, 17 Database Zone

Read why times series is the fastest growing database category.

To gather insights on the state of databases today and their future, we spoke to 27 executives at 23 companies who are
involved in the creation and maintenance of databases.

We asked these executives, "What are your biggest concerns regarding databases today?" Here's what they told us:

Legacy Thinking
The fact that database process has stayed the way it has is either negligent or criminal.
Databases created 10 to 20 years ago were created with antiquated data models were taking operations from a
serial to parallel level. We started from the ground up leveraging GPUs in 2009. Companies still working on
legacy idioms and data models cannot take advantage of parallelism.
I am frankly less concerned about the space as a whole as I was a few years ago. The NoSQL cat is out of the bag,
and the initial hype has given way to some really excellent progress and value. My concerns are for the companies
that do not carefully consider both this new value and the strengths of more established solutions
when setting out to build something. They need to remain open minded with experienced engineers and business
managers.

Lack of Skills
Theres a skills and knowledge gap and its hard for the companies to adapt because they do not have the
specialists. While theres a tussle between open-source and proprietary databases, especially in the Cassandra
space, open source is here to stay.
Users are sent on a wild goose chase because they dont understand the right technology for the job either due to
lack of knowledge or because the vendors are misleading (for example, non-native graph databases). It can be
confusing.
For me, its skill sets. Databases are not just shrink-wrapped software thats deployed and then looked after by a
DBA. Databases are now part of the DevOps fabric. It takes a different skill set to get business value from them
these days. You have to be part-programmer, part-automator, part-infrastructure-admin, and part-database-admin.
Thats a unicorn these days.

Other
Five years ago, there were few data stores. Today, theres a proliferation of databases with microservices enabling
access to different databases. The challenge is how to integrate and how to build tools that work with all
databases since there are a number of databases for specific applications and business problems.
The focus is less on the technology and more on the price. Cloud vendors database pricing model to
store compute is still expensive for people looking at the bottom line.
Lack of security of databases, protection of PII and PCI.
Databases today have little choices with existing solutions. Cloud is a bandaid look at the distributed system
architecture from application to databases. Change quickly and be flexible to deal with the changes.
The role of the DBA is changing significantly. They need to learn new roles and responsibilities, adopt new
processes and tools.
Dont create another silo. Renaissance creating new database ideas and technologies. But were creating new
silos with new data. As people transition in the building apps, they bring the old way of doing into the new
architecture and this slow adoption of the new architecture.
None. Some consolidation. A lot of diversity. Too many vendors of databases. Expensive and difficult to
manage.
Data volumes are growing. Come at big data from a different perspective due to scaling issues. Cost effective
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09/11/2017 Concerns With Databases Today - DZone Database

platform interconnectivity skills are required. Take skill from SQL and security and take it to Hadoop. Develop
applications that have a tolerance for people, not database experts.
With the increasing number of database platforms on the market, its impossible for anyone to be an expert in
everything. However, the rising adoption of open-source databases can also mean a lack of good advice when
you get into a jam.
I feel the biggest concern that were seeing today regarding databases pertain to user-friendly SDK needed to
develop complex business applications quickly.
For the most part, RDBMSs have matured to a stable point of functionality. However, as indicated earlier, the
dynamics of organizations large and small have evolved dramatically over the last few years. One area of continual
focus is the empowerment of users, many of whom have no IT or analytics experience. So we continue to work
on ways and solutions that empower users to act independently with data and to democratize access to data for a
broader user base.

What are your concerns with databases?

Heres who we talked to:

Emma McGrattan, S.V.P. of Engineering, Actian


Zack Kendra, Principal Software Engineer, Blue Medora
Subra Ramesh, VP of Products and Engineering, Dataguise
Robert Reeves, Co-founder and CTO and Ben Gellar, VP of Marketing, Datical
Peter Smails, VP of Marketing and Business Development and Shalabh Goyal, Director of Product, Datos IO
Anders Wallgren, CTO and Avantika Mathur, Project Manager, Electric Cloud
Lucas Vogel, Founder, Endpoint Systems
Yu Xu, CEO, TigerGraph
Avinash Lakshman, CEO, Hedvig
Matthias Funke, Director, Offering Manager, Hybrid Data Management, IBM
Vicky Harp, Senior Product Manager, IDERA
Ben Bromhead, CTO, Instaclustr
Julie Lockner, Global Product Marketing, Data Platforms, InterSystems
Amit Vij, CEO and Co-founder, Kinetica
Anoop Dawar, V.P. Product Marketing and Management, MapR
Shane Johnson, Senior Director of Product Marketing, MariaDB
Derek Smith, CEO and Sean Cavanaugh, Director of Sales, Naveego
Philip Rathle, V.P. Products, Neo4j
Ariff Kassam, V.P. Products, NuoDB
William Hardie, V.P. Oracle Database Product Management, Oracle
Kate Duggan, Marketing Manager, Redgate Software Ltd.
Syed Rasheed, Director Solutions Marketing Middleware Technologies, Red Hat
John Hugg, Founding Engineer, VoltDB
Milt Reder, V.P. of Engineering, Yet Analytics

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