Database as a Service or DBaaS is a popular product provided by cloud vendors like Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud Platform. These cloud vendors basically take on the burden of most operational tasks for managing databases, such as patching and upgrading, backups, failures, and even a portion of data security. Then they package that into a black box as a product for you. This leaves you as the customer only with the burden of access control, configuration schema management, and your data. In this article, I will discuss DBaaS in detail. So, let’s get started.
What is DBaaS?
Database as a Service, or DBaaS, is an architectural and operational approach that enables database administrators to deliver functionalities of a database as a service to internal and/or external customers. Database as a service is a service managed by either public or private cloud operators. It supports data driven applications without having to manage database administration functions. So, application developers do not have to rely on a database administrator for maintaining the database.
DBaaS provides standardization and optimizes the platform requirements, eliminating the need to deploy, manage, and support dedicated database hardware and software or each project’s development, testing, production, and failover environments. The architectures of DBaaS products are inherently designed for elasticity and resource pooling. They provide production and non-production database services that are used to support average daily workload requirements and are not impacted by resource limitations, budgets, time sensitive projects, or hardware limitations. Below are some crucial capabilities that are supported by the architecture of the database as a service:
- Provisioning and management of customer side database instances using on demand, self-service mechanisms
- Automation of monitoring with provider defined service definitions, attributes, and quality SLAs
- Fine grained metering of database usage enabling show battery coating or change back for both internal and external functionality or each individual consumer
Oracle’s database as a service gives their customers the ability to access their record database from anywhere in the world, with complete administrative control and managed service options. In addition, it helps the client develop and use applications by providing complete control over dedicated database instances, supporting all database applications, and offering users more flexibility and options over their database services.
Benefits of DBaaS
There are plenty of significant operational, financial, and strategic benefits of using the database as a service in your organization in comparison to deploying an on premises database management system.
- Cost Saving: It is very expensive to set up a complete database management system because scaling database management will be costly and underutilized most of the time. By using the database as a service, the organization only needs to pay for the resources they consume. So, there won’t be any need to buy additional capacity for hypothetical future needs.
- Rapid development: When you have a database system set up on-premises, developers always need to send requests to the IT team, which sometimes takes a few days or weeks. On the other hand, Database as a service allows developers to spin up and configure a database by themselves, which they can integrate with their applications in just a few minutes. This helps in developing the product quicker and then the organization to market the product faster.
- Scalability: Database as a service allows you to scale up and down quickly and easily. You can add additional computing and storage capacity at runtime as per your requirements and scale down the database cluster when the usage is less. It is going to save a lot of costs also.
- Simplicity: You need a completely dedicated in house administrative team in order to manage and maintain a database system on-premises. But with the database as a service, everything is managed by a cloud provider. You can also tell the cloud provider how you want databases services to be managed. This removes a lot of the burden of administrative tasks from your existing IT staff, which gives them the free time to work more on innovations and applications.
- Software Quality: All the cloud providers come with configurable databases service options, pre-selected for quality, so you don’t need to look into hundreds of different databases.
- Data and application security: With DBaaS, you work with cloud providers with excellent enterprise grade security. They offer features like data encryption, identity, and access management, etc. Some of them also come with regulatory compliance standards.
- Reduced Risk: when you use the database as a service from the cloud providers, this will typically have a service level agreement that will guarantee the service uptime. So in case, the cloud provider does not meet the SLA, you will be very well compensated for the downtime.
How does DBaaS work?
You can add a database as a service to your databases and streamline your daily tasks. It will remove all the time consuming and tedious administrative tasks with the help of one click automated operations. Moreover, it helps in increasing the business performance of database administrators by assisting them in starting their project grand workloads without any delay.
Once you move the database onto the cloud, you can also add software as a service to the deployment. This will help in simplifying the processes and making the information available through internet-based connections. In addition, large organizations can combine multiple databases of different departments, which can be connected and hosted onto the cloud as a single database management system.
Should DBAs worry about DBaaS?
The problem for many database administrators is that these vendors have automated a large portion of their day-to-day traditional duties. And if these tasks are automated, now what is going to be the justification of their role in an organization. So when database administrators think about automation, there might be a lot of fear for the future. I think the concern boils basically down to one of job security, and if your job security is tied to you doing low impact tasks for much of your week, you probably have more significant issues.
Cloud vendors have put the majority of database operations in this black box called DBaaS, but it is not magic, and humans made that black box, so it is prone to have issues and mistakes. A data person follows an old Russian proverb, trust but verify. So do not trust the DBaaS vendors completely with your data. You will have to learn about the product, know the limitations, know how to get visibility into your data. Because, at the end of the day, it is still your data, and you are responsible for it.
So that was all about the database as a service. There are all kinds and sizes of businesses data using the database as a service today. The main advantages of using the database as a service are the ease of use and scalability that makes it easier to deploy and manage the growing demand of data driven apps. Also, a database as a service can significantly reduce operational overhead. So go ahead and start exploring database as a service now.