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Cloud database management systems lower costs, improve agility

Enterprise IT is migrating to public, private, and hybrid clouds at a rapid rate. Fully 80% of enterprise workloads will move to the cloud by 2020. Cloud database management systems are similarly gaining adoption, propelled by an exploding number of choices from cloud providers. 

AWS has first-mover advantage with its wide range of cloud database management systems. However, buyers should expect more choices in the future from multiple cloud providers for hosting production workloads or analytics. In response, ZDNET recently published a valuable snapshot of cloud provider market trends. Hacker Noon released another useful post summarizing the popular cloud database management systems.  Here is an excerpt:

“Cloud databases are extremely important for removing IT complexities and to drive business goals home. Apart from handling installation, maintenance and scaling of IT infrastructures, constant upgrades by cloud service providers make it easier for enterprises to cut down operational costs without compromising on security and quality. Flexibility, agility and cost savings are the three main factors why cloud database has become a force to reckon with.”

The year-end cloud and big data conferences will certainly include plenty of announcements from cloud vendors of new cloud database management systems products and price adjustments.

What are the key considerations for cloud database management systems?

1. Choose DBaaS

IT faces a fundamental choice regarding cloud database management systems: embrace database-as-a-service (DBaaS) or retain operational control by using a traditional database on cloud infrastructure. DBaaS removes the day-to-day operational burden of database and infrastructure maintenance so the data team can focus on the data. In addition, DBaaS tightly couples the cloud database management systems with the underlying software stack. As a result, DBaaS can more quickly exploit cloud price/performance improvements as they occur. 

In contrast, a “lift and shift” database migration is an appealing, low-risk option to avoid an IT infrastructure refresh. In particular, lift-and-shift into VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS is a compelling choice. VMware has optimized vSphere for database workloads, and a cloud database management system with identical characteristics maintains that performance. For business-critical workloads, zero downtime or “live migration” using logical database replication can ensure timely application validation and cut-over.

2. Eliminate Oracle with database modernization

Modernization of legacy databases to cloud-first or open source cloud database management systems can achieve transformative changes in cost and agility. Database modernization must usually be accompanied by application modernization to update dependencies on stored procedures and variations in query language, and is frequently part of an application re-architecture to microservices. Typically, modernization opportunities apply to databases supporting custom applications or changes in an application ISV. 

Many organizations accomplish Oracle modernization to a cloud database management based on Postgres. Amazon AWS Aurora and Azure SQL/Postgres are two DBaaS that provide strong query compatibility with Oracle. Database modernization provides the ideal opportunity to update the data layout or distribution for resilience or global performance. Logical database replication provides the key to success. It enables iterative testing and application development with constantly fresh data before switching over to the new environment. 

The most transformative approach is to modernize a monolithic Oracle database to multiple best-fit cloud database management systems. A single Oracle modernization might migrate operational data to Postgres, reference data to MongoDB, and reporting data into a cloud big data platform or data warehouse. For the latter, many suitable choices exist, such as Hadoop Hive, AWS RedShift, Snowflake, or SQL Data Warehouse.  Because of this unwinding of legacy data into optimized data services, developers can optimize application design.

3. Embrace multi-cloud

Today, most organizations have purchase agreements in place with multiple cloud providers.  Business units frequently make independent cloud choices for each project, and special incentives motivate switching between clouds.  The market wins as multi-cloud quickly becomes the de-facto IT architecture. Before making purchase decisions, users of cloud database management systems must consider two important factors: 

  • Multi-cloud data portability: Migrating between clouds is as important as migration into clouds. This is true because moving across cloud database management systems on different clouds takes advantage of technology and price improvements. Furthermore, multi-cloud portability eliminates the possibility of vendor lock-in and isolated data silos which destroy integration. 
  • Multi-cloud data integration: Connecting data across multi-cloud is critical. Therefore, solutions must scale and work seamlessly across multiple clouds and cloud database management systems while delivering high data integrity.

Next step

Griddable delivers the data portability and integration required in a modern multi-cloud strategy utilizing multiple cloud database management systems.  To see Griddable in action, click the “Demo Now” button for a 10 minute, no-obligation tour.

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