Redgate’s third annual State of Database Monitoring Report found that businesses are reprioritizing cloud adoption and automated database monitoring due to the effects of a global lockdown, remote working and a focus on business continuity.

The State of Database Monitoring 2020 report, which surveyed nearly 1,000 respondents in April 2020, reveals that while performance monitoring and backups remain the most common responsibilities for database professionals, managing security and user permissions have leapt to third and fourth place, respectively. However, there seems to be a learning curve. As database professionals adopt these new roles, respondents say that staffing and recruitment is the second biggest challenge in managing estates.

Additionally, the two biggest causes of problems with database management come from human error (23%) and ad hoc user access (18%), which could be a result of increased remote working as tasks become more widely distributed. In support of remote teams, respondents reported a rapid increase in the use of cloud-based platforms, particularly Microsoft Azure, which is up 15 percentage points in the last year.

With many businesses like Twitter announcing that remote working will become business-as-usual in the future, the report highlights why effective, reliable monitoring of database estates is critical to business longevity. Perhaps as a consequence, only 18% of respondents continue to monitor their estates manually, and for those who are managing 50 instances or more, the number using a monitoring tool rises to 90%.

Other key findings from the State of Database Monitoring 2020 include:

  • Cloud migration and monitoring are the biggest challenges: Microsoft Azure remains the most used cloud platform, with 20% of respondents using it frequently, and a further 34% using it occasionally, but migrating to the cloud can be difficult, and doing so with a distributed team doesn’t make things easier.
  • Estates are growing: Organizations with fewer than 100 instances have dropped for a second year, those with over 100 instances have grown – and estates with over 1,000 instances grew by nine percentage points.
  • Monitoring is key to Database DevOps success: Third-party monitoring tools reduce Mean Time To Detection (MTTD) of deployment issues by 28%, and Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR) by 22%.
  • Satisfaction with monitoring tools is at an all-time high: 68% of respondents say they are happy with their third-party monitoring tools, up seven percentage points on 2019, which may reflect the increased reliance on using such tools to monitor estates remotely.
  • SQL Server remains the most popular database platform: SQL Server is used by 81% of respondents, followed by MySQL at 33%, Oracle at 29%, and PostgreSQL at 21% (multiple platforms are often in use and respondents could choose more than one platform).

As Grant Fritchey, author and co-author of several books on SQL Server and a DevOps Advocate for Redgate, comments: “While our research focused on the need for database monitoring, the issues it uncovered are practically universal given the current business environment. For example, we know that recruitment may be challenging for many, and there is a renewed desire to adopt technologies like the cloud, while still improving performance. And with the uncertainty ahead, we could see lasting changes for years to come.”

The State of Database Monitoring 2020 was based on a survey of nearly 1,000 DBAS, developers and database specialists from all industry sectors in North and South America, Europe and Russia, Africa, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.

Download the full State of Database Monitoring 2020 to access the complete and detailed findings.