System management can be a big deal. At Etsy, we DBAs have been feeling the pain of getting spread too thin. You get a nice glibc vulnerability and have to patch and reboot hundreds of servers. There goes your plans for the week.
We decided last year to embark on a 2016 mission to get better performance, easier management and reduced power utilization through a farm reduction in server count for our user generated, sharded data.
This year at Etsy, we spun up a “Database Working Group” that talks about all things data. It’s made up of members from many teams: DBA, core development, development tools and data engineering (Hadoop/Vertica). At our last two meetings, we started talking about how many “sources of information” we have in our environment. I hesitate to call them “sources of truth” because in many cases, we just report information to them, not action data based on them. We spent a session whiteboarding all of of these sources and drawing the relationships between them. It was a bit overwhelming to actually visualize the madness.