More and more SQL Server instances are being deployed all the time. In fact, with the ease with which we can build a new virtual machine (VM) through snapshotting and cloning, it seems that many administrators are finding that the number of servers for which they are responsible might be doubling or tripling.
Even moving to the cloud doesn’t completely remove the need for some administration of your data and databases, though it does require you to rework the type of administration that you perform. I foresee more hybrid solutions over time, which will require DBAs to not only manage data, but help analyze the financial impacts of moving data (and analysis) to, or back from, the cloud.
In SQL Server 2008 we had the chance to begin managing our servers through a set of declared rules with Policy Based Management (PBM). I haven’t seen that feature take off, and it seems relatively few people are using PBM to manage their servers. I think it’s a great platform for ensuring that your instances are conforming to certain rules, though I think there is a bit of creativity needed to ensure that this system works well for you.
Powershell is becoming integrated into all Microsoft products. Virtually everything in SQL Server, perhaps even every thing by now, can be managed through Powershell scripts that access the SMO objects. I hear various people say that Powershell is a critical skill for DBAs of the future. I’m not sure of that, but I do think it will be used more and more if you have the need to perform repeated actions on multiple servers. Whether you use it now or not, it doesn’t hurt to learn how it works and what it can do for you.
It just might be the tool to make your job easier as you get more and more instances to manage, something that seems to happen more and more.
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