What is DBaaS and Why do I Need It?

A successful business needs 2 things. Solid data and solid people. The issue at hand for many companies is the speed and complexity of data will quickly eclipse the speed of people. When Technology resources have to react to alerts at all hours of the day and night, they are not able to concentrate on strategic improvement activities. This hampers the ability of a business to fully utilize their expertise to help grow the organization. Many companies are turning to Cloud-Based Database Management as a Service (DBaaS) to take on the proactive monitoring, maintenance and tuning of the data store in the cloud environment.

What is DBaaS?

DBaaS is a Cloud Service offering that falls into the highest tier of typical Cloud offerings. The tiers are:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - The provider offers network infrastructure, virtual Servers and storage. The Customer is responsible for any Middleware, Runtime environments, Applications and Data.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - The provider offers network infrastructure, virtual Servers, storage, middleware and a runtime environment. The Customer is responsible for any Applications and Data.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) - The provider offers network infrastructure, virtual Servers, storage, middleware, runtime environment and applications and data management.

DBaaS (also known as Managed Database Service) includes the level of service and support you expect in a SaaS offering. This means it covers access and use of the database without having to purchase and maintain hardware, software and associated network infrastructure. It also covers monitoring and alerting, as well as backups. Depending upon the level of purchase, DBaaS will also include resiliency and business continuity capabilities.

Sounds great! What's the catch?

Simply put, there is no catch, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. They are:

  • There is a potentially significant migration process to move data to a new location. This requires forethought and planning, so as not to cause unnecessary downtime or potential data corruption.
  • While monitoring and alerting is available, it must be configured and thresholds must be set to ensure that only valid alerts are sent and the correct level of escalation is used.
  • There may be a learning curve for technology resources.

What's in it for me?

There are a number of significant benefits to moving an on-premise database solution to the cloud. They include:

  • Scalability - As the database or user base grows, the service can automatically scale. This alleviates the need for purchasing additional hardware and infrastructure.
  • Predictable support and management costs - As an on-premise solution grows, there is often a requirement to grow both staff and infrastructure. The SaaS model significantly lessens the burden in this area.
  • Higher level of Security around both Data and Applications - With any reputable cloud provider, security is paramount. Most have global and North American security and compliance certifications such as Payment Card Industry (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and many others. This means that they meet strict security guidelines and standards around ensuring data and access security. This means that risk and compliance attestations are much easier to obtain and maintain.
  • Quicker Time-to-Market - With a DBaaS offering, new databases can be stood up in minutes versus days or even weeks with an on-premise solution. This means that new applications and users can be brought to market at a much quicker rate. This allows your business to be much more agile and customer-centric.

Is there more?

Many solution providers add value to Database Management as a Service. This can include:

  • Migration expertise
  • Realtime proactive monitoring and tuning
  • Consulting on database tuning and optimization
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery support

Look for a Service Provider with experience and certifications in the specific area you are thinking of heading.