It sounds like a trick question, but I’m serious.
If your company’s management is just now starting to consider the cloud in 2020, your reaction shouldn’t be to cast a shadow on cloud vendors. Instead, think of it as writing your own resume: what the capabilities that you and your team are really proud of?
What are you currently doing better than anybody else?
It’s a serious question with legitimate answers.
For example, at one of my clients with 10-20TB of data per server, the production DBA team works really hard on their restores. They have the whole process automated, and they regularly performance tune it so they can restore to a point-in-time as quickly as possible. In a matter of seconds, any DBA on their team can run a script that will:
- Put the soon-to-be-nuked database in a read-only state, keeping their application somewhat online in a degraded state
- Initiate the restore process onto the primary replica using a database with a different name
- Start communications with the affected teams (“your database restore has started” – “your database restore is now 25% complete” – “your database restore is now 50% complete – current status, seeding the AG secondaries” – and so forth)
- Rename the soon-to-be-nuked database (so that it’s still online for reads, but with a different name, so application owners can do some triage) and take it out of the Availability Group
- Rename the newly restored database to take the old one’s place
- Email the affected teams, stop the timers, and track their success metrics for their quarterly RPO/RTO service level agreement review meetings
(Don’t even get me started on why they need to do big restores so often and so quickly, but let’s just say that not everyone’s deployment processes can be done with an undo script.)
I think the time has come and gone for small businesses to even have this discussion. For small businesses, it just doesn’t make sense to try to run your own IT for new applications. However, for the kinds of readers I’ve got here – who tend to work in more specialized environments that have full time employees focused on the data – the question still has plenty of legitimate answers in the year 2020, despite what cloud vendor brochures say.
So I’m curious: what do you think you do better than the cloud?