Furthermore, the applications used to support business activity are built differently. Problems are harder to diagnose, and DBAs, with their unique skillset, will need to partner with other disciplines to resolve issues and ensure that business systems remain available. For this reason, autonomic databases and the tools that enable lights-out diagnosis can serve essential roles in addressing—but not eliminating—this challenge.
Can Tools Bridge the Skills Gap?
In his book Basic Economics, Stanford University economist Thomas Sowell discusses the concept of productivity, framing the argument that it’s the quality of the equipment, the workers themselves, and management’s ability to recognize and provide the best tools, which influence productivity. This applies to IT organizations, too. Remove any of those three elements, and the ability of IT investments to deliver efficiency and value is hampered.
Extending Sowell’s concepts, IT organizations must partner with those who can deliver on the wants related to hardware, databases, and applications, with tools that extend the value of their technology investment and enable their staffs to migrate their existing skills to new environments at a relatively low cost. To operate effectively, new IT solutions, especially those in the database space, must have:
• The ability to enable true heterogeneous database skills migration
• Low-risk implementation
• Ease of integration
• Functionality that enables objective problem resolution.
The need for broad expertise in multiple database disciplines—coupled with the need to integrate leading-edge components to deliver comprehensive solutions— represent significant challenges. IT vendors must demonstrate these business values while positioning their solutions as integrated best-of-breed platforms, and do so without driving up the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). As an added challenge, these integrated solutions must be capable of reconciling themselves into their discrete components that also can integrate with other vendors’ solutions. This is where z/Linux is such an asset.
The biggest barrier to the adoption of best-of-breed technology has been high TCO due to ongoing management and skills migration costs. Combining multiple databases, housed on a single mainframe machine in multiple Linux address spaces, reduces the ongoing costs of managing separate machines (each with its own Linux operating system). Of course, there are big-iron benefits— not the least of which is recovery—to running z/Linux that make it attractive for both DBAs and systems administrators. Compared with running Linux on multiple independent machines, each with its own communications, and applications nuances, recovering z/Linux is an “all at once” exercise, where all the associated processes and applications are recovered simultaneously with the operating system. Combined with platform-agnostic tools that enable IT professionals of all skill levels to proactively manage heterogeneous database environments, the total costs are reduced even further.