Most businesses are making the move towards one form of cloud service or another. If you have a new startup project, you may or may not have experienced by yourself the operating costs of having on-premises systems. These can include everything from building special server rooms to securing all kinds of warranties and safety environments.
If you are a veteran system admin, perhaps you have grown tired of concerns involving adjusting temperature and humidity, cyber and physical security threats, fire precautions, power issues, downtime, and connection issues – just to name a few of the issues that revolve around working with your own physical database servers.
Cloud Databases Definition
Cloud databases are databases that are similar to on-premise databases, but they are built and accessed “as-a-service” from a remote cloud computing platform, which can be private, public, or hybrid. Cloud databases can typically be divided into two main deployment models:
- Virtual machine-based independent databases: This option is more similar to on-premise, except it uses a cloud-based infrastructure. You can hire a DevOps or a traditional IT team to control and maintain the database. You can also migrate your existing database, but it is still your responsibility to oversee and manage the database.
- Full cloud database or database as a service (DBaaS): This option provides the user full maintenance of the database needs in real-time, such as scalability, management, security, and availability. It is based on the fees subscription contract. It usually includes automation, backup, scaling, and health monitoring.
Cloud Database vs On-premises Database
This comparison needs an article on its own. However, it is useful to cover some of the basic differences between cloud and on-premise databases and the main differences between both deployment models.
The main differences between cloud databases and on-premise databases include the following:
- Structure and design: The main difference with concerns to structure and design is the physical location of the database servers; on-premise database servers are located within your own company; cloud databases reside with the company deploying them and throughout their geographic zones.
- Network: On-premise databases use a local area network (LAN), while the cloud model requires a high-speed Internet connection.
- Performance: Sometimes cloud databases can be slower in response time, because it requires a round-trip with every interaction, while on-premise databases have an immediate response.
- Cost: In the cloud model, there is no need for any upfront costs for buying servers, just monthly subscription fees.
- Customization and control: The on-premise option allows for more customization and control. However, cloud options offer plenty of control and customization configurations that are enough for most needs and requirements.
The Cloud Databases Model
As is the case with the on-premise database model, the cloud databases model is also classified into relational and non-relational:
- Relational cloud database: Usually programmed in structured query language (SQL). They consist of organized linked fields of rows and columns. It is used for highly consistent needs, such as banking transactions since they rely on a specific database schema.
- Non-Relational cloud databases: Also called NoSQL databases, since they do not follow the typical table model associated with SQL databases. They save data as one document regardless of the original structure. They are more suitable for naturally unstructured information like written Internet content, audio, photos, and so forth.
Cloud Database Migration Advantages
Migration to cloud databases can bring you many benefits, regardless of your deployment model. You can try it by migrating your existing data, then by adding new data into the DBaaS.
The advantages of migrating to a cloud database include:
- Fill any IT and security knowledge or skillset gaps in your current team.
- Access databases from anywhere your team exists and at any time.
- Enhanced data processing quality when all apps and systems are in the cloud.
- Reducing costs by eliminating servers and paying only for what resources were used.
- Enabling better business application performance by taking advantage of SaaS deployment.
- Simplifying data management by combining every data source in one place.
- Lower investment barrier for startups and lower financial risk involved.
- Faster deployment than setting up and configuring an on-premise database solution.
- More reliable security.
- Increasing innovation and agility possibilities due to its ease of use and speed.
- Deliver your products or software to market faster.
- Reduction of energy costs; greener and environmentally friendly.
Cloud Databases Vendors
Major cloud computing providers are mainly also the dominant in the cloud database sector. Each one has its own features that differentiate it from others. Below is a list of some of the most well-known cloud database services and providers
- Amazon Web Service (AWS): Amazon is number one in the cloud computing field and the first one to enter this industry. It is also the leader in the market of DBaaS. Its service databases are Redshift, a data warehouse, and Data Pipeline.
- Oracle Database: Oracle was well known for servers and hosting before any other company, including Amazon. It offers enterprise-scale cloud databases with many technical facilities and solutions for data migration.
- Microsoft Azure Database: A cloud computing platform to create and deploy virtual machines and offers various software applications, alongside worldwide infrastructure and comprehensive solutions, security, and ecosystems.
- Google Cloud Platform: It has a no-nonsense solution approach that businesses of all sizes have adopted. Its documentation is comprehensive, which makes it easier for IT professionals to successfully deploy it. It also supports widespread open-source software compatibility.
- IBM DB2: IBM has an amazing relational database solution and migration process. It can provide advanced management, analytics, high performance, actionable insights, data availability and reliability, and other features for any transactional or warehousing workloads. All that is supported for Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms.
- MongoDB Atlas: One of the most well-known open-source NoSQL databases with unique features like powerful scaling, sharding, and automation capabilities. It also has strengths such as a strong support community, quick Installation, flexibility, and delivering models without the need of a database administrator.
- OpenStack Database: One of the important rivals for big players. It’s a database for both on-premise or cloud models. Users talk about its highly customizable and easy-to-understand (and implement) architecture. Moreover, for high-end scaling capabilities it is a great solution.