Diving into DevOps

Database DevOps Adoption Accelerates, Lags in Some Industries

The number of enterprise developers and their teams adopting DevOps practices across both applications and databases saw something of a spike last year, a Redgate Software survey concluded. This year's edition of that survey suggests that, although that trend is continuing generally, some industry verticals are "turning their backs on DevOps."

While 60 percent of survey respondents in the retail and IT services industries report that they are already using DevOps, less than 40 percent of respondents in the government/education and not-for-profit sectors have adopted it, and more than a third of those (36 percent) say they have no plans to implement DevOps within the next two years.

Cambridge, U.K.-based Redgate's annual "State of Database DevOps Survey" gathered responses from more than 700 SQL Server professionals this year "from across the globe and representing a wide range of job roles, company sizes and industries." Redgate develops software for SQL Server, .NET, and Azure.

In this year's survey, 82 percent of respondents said they have either already adopted DevOps or plan to do so in the next two years, which is a slight increase over last year's 80 percent. More than half of respondents (52 percent) have already implemented DevOps process on some or all of their projects, which is a jump from 47 percent last year.

The survey also found:

  • Traditional barriers between developers and database administrators (DBAs) are breaking down, which the survey's authors saw as "a key cultural requirement for DevOps to succeed. 58 percent of respondents said that collaboration between these teams is either good or great, rising to 68 percent among those who have already adopted DevOps. Over three quarters (76 percent) of teams have developers who are responsible for both database and application development, the survey found, showing an increasingly collaborative approach. 75 percent said developers typically build database deployment scripts, with this group responsible for deploying database changes to production in 47 percent of organizations.
  • While teams are working more closely together, the survey found they are not yet adopting common practices. For example, 81 percent of organizations use version control in application development, but just 53 percent within database development. A similar gap exists in other areas, such as continuous integration, with 40 percent using it within application development and 21 percent in the database.
  • The key challenges to integrating the database into DevOps that respondents reported in 2018 were similar to those reported in 2017. Nearly a third (31 percent) cited synchronizing application and database changes as the biggest issue, followed by overcoming different development approaches (23 percent).
  • Two thirds (67 percent) of respondents reported using production data in their development, test, or QA environments. This use of "real" data helps speed development, but also brings compliance and privacy concerns, the report's authors wrote. And 57 percent of respondents recognize that data will need to be modified or masked before being used in non-production environments.

More than half of the respondents to his year's survey (57 percent) were based in North America, with 27 percent in Europe. There was an equal split between organizations employing up to/over 500 staff, and 14 percent of respondents work for companies with 10,000 employees or more.

The survey is available for download on the Redgate Web site.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].