Following on from my previous post, I wanted to discuss the results of the polls regarding database provisioning.
This was the first question I asked.
A couple of years ago I stopped putting GUI installation articles on my website. They look pretty and seem to get a lot of views, but I thought posting them was wrong because I never use GUI installations. Posting them felt like I was sending the wrong message. I wrote about that here. This was one of the reasons I lead with this question. I was pleased with the results of the poll.
- Using GUI: I understand some people don’t want to take a step backwards to move forwards, but at nearly 20%, this number is still too high IMHO. You can’t check button clicks into version control. I’m sure some smart arse will tell me you can if you use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to click them. 🙂
- Shell scripts: If I’m honest I thought 34% was on the low side. I was expecting more people to be using silent installations using shell scripts, but the number is lower because of the next option. If people have made a big investment into writing robust shell scripts with good error handling, I can understand the reluctance to move away from them. Ansible and Terraform are nice, but they are not magic. 🙂
- Ansible/Terraform/Other: This was actually the surprise of bunch. I wasn’t expecting this number to be so high, but I was pleasantly surprised. The previous post showed lots of people running their databases in the cloud, which has no doubt helped to drive the uptake of automation tools like Ansible and Terraform. Happy days!
Spurred on by a question from Jasmin Fluri, I asked the following question to drill down a little more.
This was also a pleasant surprise.
- We run it manually: I was expecting this to be way ahead of the pack, but at nearly 38% I was wrong, which made me happy. I have no problem if people are running Ansible or Terraform manually. A pipeline is just a bunch of building blocks threaded together. The fact people have taken the time to build these blocks is great. Threading them together is nice, but it’s not the “be all and end all”. The important bit is the definitions of the systems are in code!
- Automated pipeline: Over 33% made me happy. My assumption was this would be lower, and I wrong and I’m glad.
- Terrahawks was a cartoon: The people who picked this were wrong! Terrahawks was a kids TV show using puppets, not animation. I’m really surprised nobody noticed this. The community let me down! 😉 If we discount this response from the mix, it makes the other two responses close to 50:50, which is cool.
On a bit of a tangent, I wanted to know how dominant Git was these days.
- Git – On Prem: I knew Git would dominate, but I wasn’t sure if people would be hosting their repositories on-prem or in the cloud. With a response of over 30%, that means nearly half of the Git users were hosting their repositories on-prem, which was higher than I expected.
- Git – Cloud-based: I expected this to dominate, so 37% was a little lower than I expected. Only a little over half of the Git users were using cloud-based repositories. We use cloud-based Git repositories, but we always keep a backup on-prem. Just in case.
- Other VCS – Not Git: I expected this to have a reasonable showing as VCS software like Subversion used to be really popular, so I knew things would linger. Nearly 19% isn’t bad. I don’t think there is anything wrong with using something other than Git, but Git has become so pervasive in tooling it probably makes sense to take the plunge.
- VCS is for wimps: I’m hoping nearly 13% of the respondents were picking this to wind me up, but I suspect they weren’t. If you are not currently using version control, please start!
Version control is at the heart of automation, DevOps, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and all that funky business, so if people can just get that right they have taken the first step on the journey.
So overall this makes very pleasant reading. Lots of people are provisioning databases using some form of scripting, rather than GUIs, and a bunch of people are automating that provisioning. This is what I wanted to hear.
PS. You know the caveats. These are small sample sizes. My audience has an Oracle bias. I’m no expert at automation, DevOps and the cloud. Just a keen dabbler.