New DBAs will be needed soon to support DB2 on z/OS, and they’ll need to get up-to-speed in performance tuning as soon as possible. Consider these trends:
- According to a recent IDUG survey, the most important task for the DBA is performance monitoring and tuning.
- Many of the professionals supporting DB2 in the z/OS environment are retiring.
- Outsourcing remains a viable cost-saving option for some IT functions.
- One major cost advantage of the DB2 z/OS environment over other environments is that fewer support staff are needed.
If you’re a DBA now, or may be soon, what do you need to know? Where should you begin to maximize your productivity? How can you use your experience and background to best advantage? Answers to these questions are the focus of this article.
According to a recent IDUG survey (“The Rise of the Renaissance Data Professional”):
- The DBA’s most important task is performance monitoring (81 percent).
- The top database challenge is reducing cost (47 percent).
- The most important tool functions are monitoring performance and availability (83 percent).
- The top responsibility for database monitoring is performance and tuning (70 percent).
These survey responses indicate that a great majority of current DB2 database professionals consider performance monitoring and tuning extremely important, even more important than reducing costs.
One likely scenario is that as current, highly experienced DBAs retire, they’ll be replaced by less experienced DBAs who lack the same extensive background. They’ll come from many possible areas in IT and they’ll join DBA teams that must deal with performance issues.
Differing Backgrounds, Differing Expectations
New DBAs will come from several different environments:
- Application support
- Database administration (on another platform)
- Systems programming
- University and trade school education programs.
As your organization matures, infrastructure management will be dealing with new support personnel with a variety of backgrounds, experience, skills, and strengths. The natural tendency will be to match people’s backgrounds and skills to the tasks needed in the IT support organization.
So, to support corporate databases, management may expect that DBAs be responsible for certain areas and accomplish certain tasks. These usually include: