Everyone has seen the meme that the cloud is just someone else’s computer. Or that people don’t understand the cloud. I think either has become too simplistic of an explanation. The fact of the matter is, we all have embraced the cloud in some fashion.

cloud outageThink about our Google or iCloud drives that we save documents, music, or photos to. How many of us subscribe to a music app that delivers music over the net? Streamers? Do we have TV streamers around? The cloud is taking over for sure. It’s starting to become the platform of choice in business. It’s fast to ramp additional resources, it simplifies the infrastructure, and all you need to do as the consumer is to feed it money.

No ground under the cloud

What happens to your music, documents, pictures, or SQL server if the internet is down? Or there is an outage because not only did a fiber line get cut, but the electrical grid had a massive failure? How resilient is the cloud then? What’s the cost associated with that outage and is it worth it?

Obviously the cloud is here to stay….but jumping all in may not be the best practice either. As a DBA, I always work at leaving myself an out. If code goes bad, a server crashes or some other unplanned nuisance rears its ugly head, I generally have an alternative in mind. We should be adopting that same strategy with the cloud as well. If Amazon, Azure, or someone else goes down for an extended time…..what’s the fall back plan other than just being down? In other words, do you have a parachute, and is it working?

When it comes to working with other people it is always best to remember that others are not always on the same page. In fact, when dealing with others that work alongside you, it is imperative to remember they are most likely to see and evaluate issues and opportunities differently from you, especially when you work in different technologies. These differences typically are what makes teams work so well and helps everyone get along.

I recently had an interaction with a colleague who is a developer. This interaction came about when another DBA and I saw a query come across our monitoring tool in a different fashion. The conversation went from a question with the purpose of trying to understand what the developers were doing to sliding off the rails because the initial explanation was dismissive.  Which led to the DBA’s questioning the security and performance of the developer’s new strategy. What came next was just appalling. The developer responded with some snide remark about questioning their approach, their intent was beyond the understanding of the DBAs, and source control was the main objective.

I have to admit, I was left floored. In all my time in IT, I don’t think I have ever been patronized or dismissed so out of hand because I questioned the performance impacts of a development approach in regards to a database server. I also understand that source control is the new hotness and all the rage, but writing code strictly for the sake of better source control sacrifices performance.

Developers and DBAs should be working together. Lord knows most DBAs do not understand all of the implications and complexity of writing front end code, and the same is true of developers with SQL. Getting along is what makes the late nights easier, the troubleshooting faster, and inevitable pissing matches less. It also removes the resentment that leads to higher turnover.