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“NewSQL-as-a-Service” Cloud Database

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“NewSQL-as-a-Service” Cloud Database

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In a blog post following a recent report by the 451 Group, Matthew Aslett, a senior analyst for the research firm, defines the term “NewSQL” as a new breed of SQL database-related products.

According to the 451 Group, NewSQL refers to “various new scalable/high performance relational database products and services which are designed to bring the benefits of the relational model to distributed architectures or to improve the performance of relational databases…”

Aslett lists several categories of NewSQL vendors: MySQL storage engines (ScaleDB, Tokutek), hardware and software appliances (Clustrix, ScalArc, Schooner), transparent sharding technologies (ScaleBase, CodeFutures), new databases looking to replace MySQL (VoltDB, JustOne DB, NimbusDB) and “NewSQL-as-a-Service,” where Xeround’s cloud database is categorized. (Looking at the companies mentioned, I believe the positioning of both GenieDB and Akiban remains to be seen addressed).


NewSQL Solutions – Cloud Database Services vs. Hosted Solutions

In addition to the differentiators between the various NewSQL solutions that Aslett proposes, I’d like to add a couple more definitions into the mix to better describe the “NewSQL” database arena in order to distinguish between hosted/appliance solutions and native cloud Database-as-a-service (DBaaS) solutions.

  1. What’s considered a cloud-enabled database?Aslett did not use the term “cloud database.” I would maintain that a cloud-database is one that’s built from the ground-up optimally for the cloud environment, providing “natural” and unlimited elasticity by using only cloud resources.Tools, applications and solutions used in a traditional on-premise and/or hosted environment simply don’t cut it anymore on the uniquely distributed environment of the cloud.  To be able to really take advantage of the benefits of the cloud, a cloud-enabled solution needs to be designed, built and deployed in a cloud fashion, so that the core technology relies on virtualized resources with the cloud as an abstract management layer on top.

    Simply running a traditional hosted database in a VM is not sufficient for providing a database service that’s optimal for the cloud.

  2. What’s considered a Database-as-a-Service? In my view, a Database-as-a-service means the focus of the developer is on the application and not on the database backend. A Database-as-a-Service is supposed to provide the user with the peace of mind knowing that high availability, elastic scalability and distribution (across clouds/zones) are all taken care of in an on-demand plug-and-play fashion. And what’s more, the user would only pay for what he actually consumed (the cost reduction promise of the cloud) and not for the dedicated servers he reserves for future use (as with traditional on-premise datacenters).

With all the various NewSQL solutions listed by the 451 Group and looking at the two points raised above, Xeround is the only NewSQL solution to offer a native cloud Database-as-a-Service. The other solutions – all viable ones for what they’re designed for – range from various downloadable plug-ins, engines etc., to middleware-like tools to boost read scalability (not write) and hardware/software appliances. (As you can see from our feature comparison table, Amazon RDS offers a DBaaS solution, but it is simply an implementation of MySQL on EC2, not a cloud database.)

At Xeround, we combine the best of both worlds: NoSQL and SQL (Does NewSQL sound familiar? :-)).

Underneath the hood, we’re a fully virtualized cloud NoSQL database (DHT + distributed b-tree indexes and object store,) and on the forefront, we have a customized parser that enables us to offer various database flavors which currently expose MySQL via the storage engine API.

With the on-going addition of cloud service providers and automation capabilities to take the pain out of scaling your database in the cloud and maintaining always-on availability, Xeround DBaaS is the most optimal solution for your database in the cloud.



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