For most businesses, data has become a gold mine for insights and analytics that can inform future strategies and improve their bottom line. At the same time, it has also created headaches for the IT executives and developers trying to manage this data across multiple applications. As the types of datastores and volume of the data continue to increase, they want to get out of the business of running data centers and focus on being more innovative.
As a result, many businesses are increasingly moving their databases online and are implementing a database-as-a-service (DBaaS) model to rapidly deploy their managed database assets in the cloud. This allows them to reduce the amount of IT management involved and gives developers more time to focus on driving business innovation.
If your business is planning to migrate to the cloud, here are some key questions you should ask before you make the switch:
Can Moving to the Cloud Save Me Money?
You shouldn’t invest in more infrastructure or capacity than you currently need. As with any SaaS-based offering, DBaaS is a subscription-based service that lets businesses “pay as they go.” It also provides a level of utilization efficiency that drives down the associated hardware and license costs making it a lower cost alternative. Local private networks within the cloud are also much faster and less expensive than running your database via the Internet.
Which Cloud Provider Should I Use?
Cloud providers are expanding their managed database services capabilities and the number of available DBaaS options is growing as well. Companies like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM BlueMix are making it easier for businesses to migrate their applications and databases to the cloud. It is important to assess your current infrastructure needs and find a cloud provider that understands the type of environment that is best suited for your business. Some organizations select multiple cloud providers to meet their various needs.
How Can I Ensure That My Data Will Be Protected?
Security remains the number one concern when it comes to cloud computing. The good news is that there have been several advancements in IT security technologies that have made the cloud more secure than ever. Look for a provider that offers SSL encryption with 100% secure connections and that also encrypts database backups to keep your data safe while it is in transition. In addition, geo location and sub-second failover are important for easy recovery from full regional outages and an extra level of protection from disaster scenarios.
Will My Database Always Be Accessible/Available?
If your database is not always available you can’t make sound business decisions. DBaaS allows you to spin up multiple entry points around the world with geo-replicated database clusters leading to more reliable access to data and ensuring data is highly available even in the event of a disaster. You should be sure that your cloud provider offers 24/7 monitoring and multi-regional read/write mirroring with 100% uptime. Most offer a variety of service level agreements that provide you with the best protection for your needs.
How Can I Ensure Optimal Performance?
There are a number of factors that can impact database performance including provisioning, database sprawl, poor database designs, coding mistakes, and the addition of more data and users. Auto provisioning simplifies and speeds deployment making it easier and faster to deploy applications across the enterprise. In addition, developing a more comprehensive, long-term approach to managing the database can help eliminate these factors.
Is the Database Scalable?
Many traditional database management services are proprietary in nature and lock in the user, making it difficult for them to migrate data and scale their architectures as they grow. Be sure to look for a provider that integrates with other cloud offerings and offers the flexibility to scale up or down depending on your specific business needs.
Should I Still Keep Some Applications/Data on Premises?
Many companies take a hybrid approach to cloud computing, moving some applications to the cloud while keeping other, more proprietary information on private networks. Many of these businesses are leveraging cloud services and while there is a big movement to the cloud, a large percentage of database infrastructures will remain on premise and or be a part of a hybrid cloud solution. Businesses can still take advantage of DBaaS on premises as much as they do on the cloud with the added flexibility to move applications from on premises to the cloud with no changes to the code.
Moving to the cloud offers many advantages such as lower cost, increased flexibility and scalability, and the ability to do more with less. Taking the time to assess your specific infrastructure needs and identify your business goals will help you find the right cloud provider(s) to meet your needs and will ensure that when you do make the move to the cloud, it is the right one.