Traditionally, being a database administrator (DBA) meant minding the store. In an on-premises environment, a lot of a DBA's time is spent attending to mundane administrative, maintenance, and performance optimization tasks, aimed at keeping systems running properly. Such tasks include keeping servers up to date, adding new disk space when capacity is exceeded, and tuning disk I/O. At Microsoft, our DBAs spent about 50 percent of their time on maintenance work.
In Azure, the DBA role has fundamentally changed. Routine administrative, maintenance, and performance management tasks are automatically managed by Azure. This means that our DBA team has free time to deliver more strategic value to the company. The team can invest in more high-value and time-intensive activities, such as data modeling, design, architecture, and code reviews. For example, we have been able to reconstruct our NoSQL data model, and perform more graph modeling.