Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #100 – Looking ahead

TSQL2SDAY-150x150It’s T-SQL Tuesday. But it’s not your ordinary, normal T-SQL Tuesday – it’s the 100th T-SQL Tuesday, which is a pretty significant milestone. This month, our host is the creator of this monthly blog party, Adam Machanic (b|t). Adam, thank you for introducing something that has inspired the community for so long.

Our challenge this month is to think about what the world would be like for T-SQL Tuesday #200. I can barely predict what’s going to happen in the next 10 days and I definitely don’t have the insight of “The Simpsons” writers, but I thought I’d give this a try – in terms of databases at least.

If we look at what has been going on, the trend has been about where the data lives and how we administer it. Are we storing the databases locally or in the cloud? If you’re hosting locally, are hosting the databases directly on a server or are you hosting VMs or using containers? And which operating system do you want, Windows or Linux?

In terms of administration, that basic day-to-day administrative tasks are not so day-to-day anymore. Most of that is automatically taken care of for you if you’re on the cloud. Otherwise, there are so many tools available to help automate the work – 3rd party along with open source tools. The new auto tuning features that have just been introduced with SQL Server 2017, like Adaptive Query Processing, are only going to make operational tuning tasks easier as these features get implemented, improved, and expanded over time.

It seems to me that once all of that other stuff is out of the way, what’s left is the data itself – how much data do we have, how are we using the data and how do we protect it.

Volume

There is so much data that is being collected all around us from multiple types of sources. So what do we do with the volume of data we’re collecting? Some people complain about when their databases have over 10 GB of data and others will start to complain when they hit 10 TB of data. What are we going to do as more of us start hitting 10 PB (petabytes) of data? In some cases, the question isn’t just about how and where we’re storing the data but what data are we storing and how necessary is it that we have all of it? As a database professional, I don’t like to delete anything on principle but I have to recognize the “data pack rat” and other “data hoarding” tendencies could create other challenges.

Analysis

Data science is taking off as the new track in database careers. SQL Server is making it easier to connect predictive analysis and languages which do anything remotely related to the concept of Machine Learning to the data itself. This specialty and the related technology is going to be much more widely implemented in all different areas and types of business.

Protection

Security breaches happen and data gets stolen and publicly exposed so we need to be smarter about what we’re collecting and how we’re securing that data. But now the focus is on about protecting more specific types of data. GDPR is slated to be enforced in May 2018, designed to help protect personal information. Right now, it’s specific to the European Union but I believe that other countries are looking into similar regulations. We’ll see lots of phases and modifications to these regulations over the years. And depending on who’s responsible for enforcement, that could add a whole other layer to making sure we are all compliant. It’s no longer just about protecting our data from external hostile attacks but protecting it internally as well.

So what’s to come?

I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say that I think we’ll see a lot more features related to these different areas are going to be built into SQL Server in some way, shape, or form.

  • We’re already seeing the hooks for predictive analytics being added to SQL Server so we can probably see more to come in the future.
  • We’ll continue to see new ways to improve how we handle the sheer amounts of data we have to work with.
  • We’ll continue to see new ways to add additional layers of security for our databases in general.
  • In my most forward thinking prediction – I could see data types or even possibly table types being introduced specifically for the different data that need those extra layers of protection that have encryption and security built-in so we don’t have to add it manually.

As I said, these aren’t new areas but these are coming to forefront but I think this is where our focus is going to shift. I don’t know what the solutions will be but I’m looking forward to see what happens.

And I’m looking forward to looking back on this post for T-SQL Tuesday #200.

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