Cloud databases face challenges but opportunities beckon

Geva Perry (Thinking Out Cloud ), Mike Miller (Cloudant), Razi Sharir (Xeround), Jim Starkey (NimbusDB), Barry Zane (ParAccel) - Structure 2011Cloud databases present their own challenges but opportunities abound. That’s the word from a collection of cloud database executives who shared their views at the GigaOM Structure conference on the future of cloud databases.

As more and more providers build databases specifically designed for the cloud, there are issues that crop up. Razi Sharir, CEO, Xeround said despite the on-demand nature of cloud computing, the promise of tapping additional machines isn’t always there when dealing with other cloud providers. That’s the danger of relying on public clouds, said Barry Zane, CTO of ParAccel, who noted that the hardware can be a step down from what he uses. Another issue is the ability to scale smoothly and elastically, said Jim Starkey, CTO of NimbusDB.

But the promise of cloud databases is growing and with it bigger opportunities, they said. Mike Miller, founder and chief scientist at Cloudant said cloud databases open up the opportunity to bring databases closer to edge client applications, opening upa a lot of opportunities for the kinds of applications people can build and run. Starkey said the biggest opportunity lies in building scalable services for the web while Zane said the killer application will be analytics as more companies look to better leverage their data.

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