Cloud DBaaS: The Future of Database Management

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The roots of India’s digital economy run deep into a dynamic ecosystem of app-ification, Internet of Things (IoT), mobility and virtualization. Fueled by a robust cloud infrastructure, India aims to achieve ambitious economic goals by 2025.

The DNA of digitization is data. Companies that process large volumes of transactions per day see great value and opportunity in leveraging a critical offshoot of digitalization: cloud-based database management systems. Cloud databases have several advantages over their on-premises counterparts. Not only do on-premises databases incur significant OPEX and CAPEX, they also require constant monitoring; and developing applications using an on-premises database involves significant development time and effort. This is where cloud databases come to the rescue. Additionally, the database-as-a-service (DBaaS) paradigm, which consists of a cloud service provider configuring, running, and managing databases for an enterprise, has proven useful. The global cloud database and database-as-a-service (DBaaS) market size is expected to grow from USD 12.0 billion in 2020 to USD 24.8 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 15.7 %, according to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.

Moving the needle for SMEs
Businesses across all industries are reaping the benefits of cloud-DBaaS investments, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) stand to gain as well. SMEs will play a more critical role in India’s digital economy in the coming months. The recent INR 20 trillion stimulus package, which is equivalent to almost 10% of India’s GDP, is expected to help revive the SME sector amid COVID-19. As SMBs experience the changes wrought by the pandemic, we are already seeing an increase in cloud adoption and, by extension, increased adoption of Cloud DBaaS as well. Many companies are already rapidly transforming their on-premises databases to the cloud. Others will soon realize that the explosion of data volumes via IoT, real-time transactions and mobility will require more resilient databases that do not have latency, speed, security issues. and availability.

Today, DBaaS providers manage the full range of operations by configuring, backing up and updating databases, eliminating the challenges faced by SMBs. Nivel Technologies, a software development company that builds web applications for other companies, is a good example. The company relied on DBaaS to focus on building applications while minimizing the complexity of database administration. Brad Kilshaw, founder of Nivel Technologies, says removing the complexity of configuring, tuning, and securing databases for production has been a game-changer for them. They can perform complex database actions with just a few clicks, unlike in the past when they spent days researching the right steps.

The right Cloud DBaaS solution
In our experience, SMBs are hesitant to adopt Cloud DBaaS for two reasons: data security and the complexity of managing a service provider. These concerns are unfounded in today’s highly evolved cloud DBaaS market. We urge them to evaluate cloud DBaaS providers on the following aspects before investing:
End-to-end security: Today, in the context of increasing cybercrime, a cloud database must ensure that data is encrypted in transit and at rest.

Practical setup: DBaaS solutions must allow SMEs to set up database clusters in a few clicks via a user-friendly interface. From there, the provider must maintain and operate the database for you and your team, freeing up your time.

Useful information and alerts: The DBaaS solution should offer an intuitive front end that monitors performance, usage, and errors. CPU, memory, and disk usage should be available on demand.

Infallible features: The DBaaS should back up data frequently and restore data when needed. Also, in case of unavailability, the cloud database should automatically fail over to another node to ensure availability.

Next Generation Performance: Databases must operate at lightning speed and scale quickly to meet new business demands.

Today, a few DBaaS vendors can support multiple database engines, from MySQL to Redis. As the demand for open source databases grows, SMBs need to choose a cloud DBaaS that makes open source database hosting hassle-free. Additionally, we urge SMBs to check the regional availability of these databases before investing and to check if the vendor makes available the latest versions/updates of the underlying database engine.

As SMEs face the pandemic, we see them playing a crucial role in reviving the Indian economy. Partnering with cloud providers and investing in the right managed DBaaS offering will help them accelerate their journey and reap the rewards of faster time to market and better performance.

(The author is Global Head – Go-To-Market at DigitalOcean)

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Maria H. Underwood