When they start new, one central question many of the technology companies face is whether they have to manage all their functions in-house or to outsource some of those to expert vendors. Both these approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Taking a decision could always be difficult, but this is a crucial decision that will prove expensive if you fail to execute it well.
In terms of enterprise database administration also, it is a messy and confusing decision to make. It is not easy to manage all database assets and tasks entirely in-house unless you have the most skilled DBAs onboard and a reliable support team to maintain the DB correctly. So, to help you understand whether availing database as a service (popularly known as DBaaS) could be a good option for you. In this article, we are exploring some pros and cons of the same.
Why should there be a database?
An enterprise database is a computer network, which stores indexed info. In the significant data era, information inflow is vast, so they need data storage. Most importantly, you need to store big data in various formats and retrieve the same reliably and accurately as and when required to make the business decisions. Effective databases will make this possible by storing, organizing, managing, and retrieving data to be used in the daily business process.
By default, databases now come in two basic categories as SQL and NoSQL. Currently, there is a third stream also coming up as NewSQL. SQL or Search Query Language is the programming language for building databases and querying the same for retrieving information. This is effectively used in many critical use cases based on the needs. Even though it lacks the needed flexibility in some big volume situations, SQL acts as the base of many rigid and reliable databases.
NoSQL databasesare comparatively new, and the DBs under this category, like MongoDB and MariaDB, are mostly flexible compared to their SQL counterparts. These can help make changes in databases on the go and also allow querying and info pull situationally. Even though NoSQL is suitable for all uses cases, these categories of databases are now used mainly for their added capabilities to remove data from a wide range of unique sources and manipulate the data in various ways.
Database as a Service or DBaaS
So, the key question in many of many organizational decision-makers who find it challenging to manage database administration in-house is, ‘what is the database as a service?’. At the baseline, it is a straightforward process in which a third-party vendor provides all the equipment, infrastructure, software, and professional experts to require business database management on the DBaaS platform. So, the clients do not need to put something together in-house but can avail of them remotely.If you find your in-house DB management an overhead or challenge, learn how RemoteDBA.comwill help you with this.
For a company that wants to run its database administration entirely in-house, they need to procure and set up all the required hardware, software, tools and need to recruit professionals with the technical expertise required to handle the process. The company needs to have its database system custom-built using SQL or NoSQL applications. This demands the recruitment of developers, designers, database architects, etc., which again incur a lot of time, effort, and money.
On the other hand, by avoiding all these challenges, Database-as-a-Service will empower even the non-technology users to set up, manage, and scale up the databases easily using a custom set of abstractions. DBaaS users need not care about any exact technical implementations or the abstractions for each specific database.
For example, a developer can instantiate a DB instance by using the same API calls or easy UI clicks on any databases like MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, Maria DB, or MongoDB, etc. The IT admin users could also request the database backups or resize a database cluster using the same API calls regardless of the database used. The DBaaS platform remains responsible for establishing your database and implementing the backup, cluster resizing, and other abstract operations for each underlying database.
Setting up DBaaS
Setting up the database under DBaaS involves providing a virtual machine (VM) on which the database is installed and run. The users can configurethe same based on their requirements with a set of parameters. IT admins who manage the DBaaS platform can easily choose among various setups of databases and enable a self-service model. In this model, the DevOps can create databases through the enterprise portal, SDK, or using Terraform tools for automated setup. The self-service database setup has many advantagesas zero IT intervention, free up the IT admins from the routine tasks to focus on more critical studies. Using a good DBaaS, set up time can also be reduced significantly from many weeks to a few hours.
A DBaaS system can also radically improve provisioning time as it automates the process. IT organizationscan establish the standards as per their requirement, based on which the databases may get provisioned to configure the DBaaS. Once you standardize the database provisioning and DBaaS gets configured, then database deployment can be quickly done by developers who can provide the databases without IT intervention through the API calls or in a few clicks. This will ensure more agility to the developers and enable them to provision the databases in the “single-click self-service” model. The databases can always be consistently provisioned this way, which will be aligned with the industry’s best practices for the given database.
To conclude, while you plan to outsource the database, one major factor you should consider is whether the DBaaS can offer better database admin services than you can handle it in-house. For example, if you identify yourself as a Silicon Valley giant with a full team of developers and expert IT admins, by all means, it is advisable to build a unique database for your needs in-house itself and maintain it so. Most of our enterprises, though, are not there yet. So, even the larger companies rely on DBaaS, and you can also surely give it a try.