How many databases does it take to get to work?
One Our Microsoft SQL Server consultants at DSP talks to us about one of his favourite subjects ... Databases
"While I was sitting on the slightly overcrowded train this morning, I allowed my mind to drift from the hot, slightly pungent carriage to think of my favourite topic; Databases and how important they are. Since the introduction of mainstream database in the late 70’s they have managed to be so successful, they have proliferated everywhere and are becoming more critical by the day.
How important is important I hear you ask? Well if I consider my typical daily commute to London – I wanted to work out how many databases I pass through: So here it goes…
1. I wake up – Alarm – small database = (#1)
2. I check the weather on Sky – Sky has a number of databases that ensure my sky box is getting the correct program (#2), I’m a subscriber (#3), the weather report (#4)
3. I get a text on a meeting – EE has my phone number in their database (#5)
4. Take a shower & get ready - Utilities databases (Water & Power) =(#6 & #7)
5. Get in car to drive to station – Car has SatNav Database (#8) and Traffic report (#9)
6. Get to station and park, pay for parking through phone app (#10)
7. Head to Costa, pick up coffee – Loyalty card (#11)
8. Head to station and pick up tickets – Transport Databases (#12)
9. Pay with debit card – Visa (#13), Bank Account (#14)
10. Check time of next Train – Transport database (#15)
11. Play and read various apps on phone – App store database, BBC news, Linked in(#16, #17, #18)
12. Get off at Waterloo, hit the underground (it’s raining – damn weather report was wrong)
13. Get on tube – TFL Database (#19)
14. Off at Leicester SQ. Run to office, trying to avoid rain unsuccessfully
15. Use swipe card to get into office (#20)
So that’s my journey, and I think I pass through the “system” at least 20 times just to get to work. There are probably more if you start to count train scheduling, CCTV etc…
If I were to look at the databases I use to get into the office, some of my experiences are more important than others and I would hope some of these databases have adequate DR and HA…. The Costa Coffee being absolutely the top of my priority list…
In summary, to me in my day job databases are very important. But then they should be, but to most people, databases are something that you just don’t care or worry about on a day to day basis; and you shouldn’t need to. That’s what makes a successful database.
As a Microsoft DBA at heart I worry about DR, transactions per second etc. But as a commuter every morning, I am a massive consumer of data; - it’s not about the database, it’s about how quickly and painlessly I can get to work…. “Please… no…. I can’t be late to work again!!”
So there you go, hopefully and interesting blog. So 20 databases for me, Is that an average for every person? I honestly don’t know – be cool to find out."