DocsAutoDBAAutomation Levels

Automation Levels

Comparison to self-driving cars

The automobile industry defines a six-level scale of automation (numbered 0 to 5). We use it as a reference point for measuring progress in computer system automation.

In the scale published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, level 0 means no automation. At levels 1 and 2, humans retain complete control, and the automation provides tools such as cruise control or lanekeeping assistance that make driving easier and safer. At levels 3, 4, and 5, humans increasingly delegate responsibility for driving tasks to the automated systems; under the right circumstances, they can safely take their eyes off the road and direct their attention to other things.


AutoDBA now manages caching and buffering, which are core components of autoscaling in a stateful application such as a database. It also helps eliminate frequent pain points, such as the need for vacuuming and running statistics.

We have rated AutoDBA’s current automation capabilities using a 0-5 scale, where 0 represents no automation, and 5 represents automation that outperforms a human DBA under all circumstances:

AreaPostgreSQL/Ecosystem Automation LevelCrystalDB Automation Level
Cache management04
Buffer management04
Fault tolerance23
Local query planning00
Distributed query planning00
Scaling by partitioning00
Scaling by replication00

We will update this comparison as automation levels evolve.