Rolling Back Database Changes

June 3, 2019
Rolling Back Database Changes

How many times has your team had to rollback a database change in production? If your answer is greater than zero, there’s a problem.

Database rollback functionality is important. It’s like having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. You’re a responsible person for having it in case of emergencies. However, if you have fires in your kitchen over and over again, it’s a problem and you probably should look into PREVENTION as well as having an emergency plan.

So, why are you rolling back database changes in production? We typically hear two reasons this happens from our customers:

Database environments aren’t in sync

In the biz, we call this configuration drift. Over time, each database environment, from Dev to QA, no longer matches Production. Ultimately, this means when database changes are tested in QA, it’s wasted effort because it’s not a true test. What’s the point of testing if what you’re spending time and effort on isn’t the same anyway?

Too many changes all at once

Many rollback scripts are executed in huge numbers, late at night. There’s no way that DBAs would be able to review and understand the impact of each change because there’s just too much going on. No one knows there’s a problem until customers start complaining about performance issues. At that point, the DBAs often have no choice but to rollback all of the changes, which means losing valuable data collected after the change was made to begin with.

A simple DB rollback is now out of the question. The DBAs will need to break down the changes and figure out a way to protect the data gathered since the change. This is a LOT of work (which means a lot of time and money lost).

Database rollbacks are for emergencies only

Datical customers don’t need to rely on daily firefighting. We focus on helping customers prevent rollbacks and save money. Database automation brings consistency to deployments, eliminating configuration drift. Our Database Change Forecast allows teams to review proposed changes before they are pushed to production.

Just like you should have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, make sure you have a database rollback plan in place in case you need it.

Remember the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Want to learn more about our clever approach to database change management? We offer demos you can sign up for at any time.

Article author
Robert Reeves Co-Founder & CTO