As a CIO you specialize in utilizing technology to support efficiency and growth within your organization. Your IT leadership and contribution to the bottom line is evident in how well you make investments that support the business, manage risk, and build for growth and scalability.
There is a lot to be said for solutions that not only provide much needed functionality - including real-time data availability and mobile access - but also allow you to extend the value of and fill the gaps between your legacy systems through easy integration.
Cloud solutions let you achieve this while reducing infrastructure and implementation pain and costs - while also keeping your company data secure - another critical responsibility.
So the question needs to be asked = is Database as a Service (DaaS) a viable option for my organization at this point?
Check With Oracle First
We might as well check with Oracle as they continue to be the database market leader. Recently, Oracle announced at OpenWorld they now offe its flagship Database as a Service. The new database option is potentially a big leap forward for Oracle customers looking to expand their cloud options. Currently new instances (and therefore new applications ) of Oracle can be installed on AWS. With DaaS Oracle provides the ability to easily move existing on-premises instances of Oracle Database 11g and 12c to the cloud.
This means that Oracle has really mastered their Replication Services - of both data, application code, as well as the datbase itself. Pretty cool capabilites if you are a DBA looking for flexibility and deployment options or as an established Oracle Database client looking to move from on-site to a cloud based solution.
Today the trend is to deliver all services from the cloud - so why not the database? How should it all work and tie together my systems and applications?
There are a couple of options how the cloud can be used in context of database systems:
1. Extending storage - The DBMS still runs on its own server, but storage capacities are mounted from the cloud. Think of this as a remote NFSmount for Linux Systems Administrators.
2. Hosted DBMS - the DBMS is hosted on a cloud platform, while the user is still responsible for its maintenance. The platform exposes the DBMS-specific API, so that an application connects to the remote DBMS on the platform and configuration and provisioning tasks are performed via a web console. For example, most of the leading database vendors provide specific configurations of their systems on the Amazon Web Service Marketplace for installation on Amazon EC2.
3. Database as a Service (DBaaS) - some cloud platforms offer web services to store, query and retrieve data. The supported data models vary between the platforms but include relational as well as NoSQL types. The underlying database technology is completely transparent to the user. Some platforms may utilize a standard DBMS, others support the service with proprietary applications. The most relevant aspect in this scenario for the user is the definition of the API as well as the capability of the platform.
Here is a brief list of current Database as a Service offerings:
Microsoft Azure SQL Database
Microsoft Azure DocumentDB
Google Cloud Datastore
As a CIO you want to push the technology envelope but you never want to be the first kid on the block to but the first release of an application or service. These DBaaS offerings are now starting to mature a bit and some are now ready for serious consideration.
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