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Database Reliability Engineering by Laine Campbell, Charity Majors

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Chapter 13. Making the Case For DBRE

Throughout this book, we have attempted to show how the landscape of database engineering has shifted over the years. Within the context of that landscape, we have enumerated the operational and developmental disciplines that the database reliability engineer (DBRE) must be involved with and how to begin to do so. Finally, we attempted to lay out the current ecosystems of storage, replication, datastores, and architectures, or at least a reasonable subset, to broaden your minds and knowledge.

The reason we feel there is a real need for an emphasis on reliability in not just the job title of the DBRE but in everything they do is because the database is a place where risk and chaos simply has no place. A lot of what is now commonplace in our day-to-day work—virtualization, infrastructure as code, containers, serverless computing, and distributed systems—all came about from risk at areas of computing where risk could be tolerated. Now that they are ubiquitous, it is up to the stewards of one of the organization’s most precious resources, the data, to find paths to bring databases into these paradigms.

A lot of this work is still aspirational. There is only so much risk that can be tolerated within any organization when data comes into play. Thus, how we introduce these concepts to the rest of the organization, or how we respond to others doing so, becomes an actual discipline and job function for us. It is not enough to have the vision and the ...

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