Why Should a DBA Learn Hadoop?

If you are in the IT world, chances are everywhere you turn you are inundated by the word ‘Big Data’. For the longest time I was put off by the words thinking that this is just a fad that will go away.

But this excellent article by Gwen Shapira – Hadoop FAQ – But What About the DBAs, changed my whole perspective and really piqued my interest.


Gwn lists a couple of advantages of why DBAs could make great Hadoop administrators

    • Everyone knows DBA stands for “Default Blame Acceptor”. Since the database is always blamed, DBAs typically have great troubleshooting skills, processes and instincts. All those are critical for good cluster admins.
    • DBAs are used to manage a system with millions of knobs to turn, all of which have critical impact on the performance and availability of the system. Hadoop is similar to databases in this sense – tons of configurations to fine-tune.
    • DBAs, much more than sysadmins, are highly skilled in keeping developers in check and making sure no one accidentally causes critical performance issues on an entire system. Critical skill when managing Hadoop clusters.

After reading this, I went on to installing a 4-node Hadoop cluster and getting my feet wet in the Big Data world. If you have been asking yourself this question, I highly recommend reading Gwen’s article and may be it will change your perspective too.

It sure did change mine.

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