We’ve all become well familiar with the major iterations of the “as a service” cloud computing model over the past 5 years (PaaS, SaasS, IaaS), and seen the transformative ways that cloud has changed IT. In fact, every time you turn around it seems like there’s another new ‘as a service.’ There’s now Analytics as a Service (AaaS), which is a service platform designed for faster and scalable ways to integrate, analyze, transform, and visualize various types of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data in real time. And another one is Everything as a service, sometimes abbreviated as “XaaS,” where X is a catch all to describe how any service you want can now be obtained in the cloud.
Yet another cloud service model you should know about is Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS). The concept has been around for years but was often limited to test and development environments. But now with the massive growth of the cloud, the notion of DBaaS has grown up as well, with some analysts projecting the market to draw in $1.8 Billion in revenue by 2016. DBaaS is really a cloud based approach to managing your database; it’s a service managed by a cloud operator (public or private) that supports applications and database functionality without the need for a company to assume traditional database administrative tasks.
The real catch with DBaaS is that it allows companies to deploy new databases quickly, securely, and cheaply. Let’s walk through a number of reasons why DBaaS is changing the way startups and businesses of all sizes are managing their data, and why you should have it on your radar.
1. DBaaS is simpler to deploy
Like the cloud model in general, DBaaS is about ease of use and reducing headaches. For small businesses and startups especially, this is great news because they now have access to the same capabilities and technologies that were once reserved for large enterprises. Also, what if you’re hosting a number of different variations of storage? Wouldn’t it be nice to consolidate all those instances under one cloud umbrella? Now this doesn’t mean that customers won’t have questions or need help with elements of deployment, migration, support, off-site backup, system integration, and disaster recovery. But the overall ease of setup and use of DBaaS is much better compared to managing disparate systems onsite. Nowadays any business unit with a credit card can connect to a DBaaS service in less than 5 minutes for a fraction of the cost and no setup headaches.
2. DBaaS is cheaper
There are many advantages to adopting the DBaaS model, but the best overall is that it dramatically improves your company’s return on investment. As with most cloud models, you pay for your usage. Cloudant charges $1 on a multi-tenant cluster for each GB of data usage per month, and MongoDB offers the same for $15 per month. But no matter what your monthly rate, the overall ROI for DBaaS is good compared to onsite provisioning. Here are some of the short-term and long-term advantages of the DBaaS model: deployment costs are minimal, there are no hardware or software upgrades to worry about, downtime is reduced and customer satisfaction improves, there is better overall protection of your company data at all times across all devices, and this leads to fewer infections and malware that require reimaging your hardware assets. DBaaS is a win-win no matter how you look at it.
3. DBaaS is more secure
If you recall just a few years back many individuals and most organizations were highly skeptical about storing private information on the cloud. Though times have changed and the cloud has become a trusted location for data security, there still exists the illusion that on-premise security is ultimately more robust than offsite security. But this is incorrect. Cloud providers have to provide stringent firewalls, access credentials, and security protocols . . . not to mention the data is stored in the walls of a 365/24/7 physically secured data center facility. What this means on the ground is that DBaaS is going to do a better job of protecting your data than onsite storage, hands-down.
4. DBaaS frees up the drudgery of onsite maintenance and support
With DBaaS you won’t have to deal with lengthy and time-consuming enterprise software installation, licensing and compliance issues, not to mention on-premise servers, vendors, consultants, and maintenance – all to the tune of thousands of dollars in annual overhead. Instead of patching and managing boxes, DBaaS frees up IT teams so they can focus on strategic and architectural challenges with the assurance that corporate data remains as secure as possible.