The short answer:
Yes, we are still needed.
The long answer:
The work of an SAP HANA database administrator is going to change as soon as the SAP HANA database is moved to SAP HANA Cloud, but the database administrator is still needed.
Comparing SAP HANA Cloud with SAP HANA on-prem show that many administrative tasks are handled as a managed service by the cloud provider. In SAP HANA Cloud the following administrative tasks are handled by the cloud provider:
- Selection, purchase and provisioning of servers and storage.
- Installing, configuring and upgrading the operating system.
- Installing, configuring and patching the database software.
- Backing up and restoring and recovering the database software.
- Tuning the database to run optimal on the underlying operating system and hardware.
As a database administrator you are still in control of these things. For example, you can deploy new SAP HANA database instances with the required RAM, CPU and disk resources whenever you need them. The big advantage is you don't need to go through the whole hardware buying, configuring and software installation process.
The automated processes within SAP HANA Cloud make sure the SAP HANA database with the requested hardware resources is available within minutes instead of weeks or sometimes months.
Database patching is fully automated and is basically reduced to a stop and a start of the SAP HANA database. The moment in time when the database patch is applied is fully controlled by the database administrator.
So, yes, we are still needed, but our work will change and we will see our duties and tasks change and we need to learn new things.
I personally would say that's the nice thing of change, but I’m sure not everyone will agree with me.