Due to its complexity, cloud strategy will be the most challenging business driver in the years to come.
Take everything you need to consider in the purchase of every single piece of software. Now add a dimension that should be coordinated with every other piece of software installed or being considered. That dimension is the cloud. These days, not being able to include cloud-based software in your systems is tantamount to cutting off your arm. Some software is strictly available in the cloud.
Certainly, with the data sizes involved in databases today, the cloud makes the utmost of sense for storing large, fast-growing amounts of non-sensitive data for which it is extremely difficult to estimate its ultimate size.
However, the cloud is not the cloud is not the cloud. The cloud is very multidimensional. As such, it is among the most abused terms in our industry.
The cloud can be public or private. It can be software, infrastructure, or platform as a service. It can be single- or multi-tenant (with tenants being other departments or other companies). Also, a wide variety of application areas can be deployed on the cloud.
At the least, cloud means virtualization -– the abstraction of developers from their hardware internally. I have seen many companies that begin a quasi-private-cloud journey with the system administration group creating more of an SLA-based approach to their duties: “Give us your requirements and we’ll provide the machine(s).”
Server management is one of those technologies that is not considered a core competency of developing applications. It requires unique skill sets. So it is increasingly being delivered by service level to applications, including information management applications that need servers to function, which is most of them.
This presents a reality of co-existence between on-premise, private cloud and public cloud solutions, which will be the norm for the remainder of our careers.
GigaOm is conducting original research into this rapidly changing space. We are taking a close look at relational databases in the cloud: databases built for the cloud, databases that have been reengineered to work in the cloud, and databases that can reasonably be deployed in the cloud. We will publish our findings in an upcoming report.
The main cloud benefits for databases are the following:
- Flexibility to scale computing resources
- Ability to shorten implementation windows
- Reduced cost
- Testing, development, and sandboxing environments
- Geographic scalability
Database deployments in the cloud are at an all-time high and are poised to expand dramatically. We are looking at vendors who offer these value propositions to enterprises.
In terms of architecture, an organization considering a cloud database must determine its fit in the overall architecture of their current infrastructure and information ecosystem. When architecting for current and future data needs, there are key considerations across the board including data sources, change data capture, windows for extraction, data integration, security (as well as privacy and encryption), data validation, quality assurance, and so on.
The report will also present a fast-track methodology for landing and expanding databases in the cloud for an enterprise.
The cloud has been a disruptive technology that many companies have leveraged to maintain or gain momentum as a company. The cloud offers opportunities to differentiate and innovate with database systems at a much more rapid pace than ever before possible. Cloud storage costs less, enables more rapid server deployment and application development, and offers scalability.
If your value proposition to the market includes database services in the cloud, you are invited to get in touch and share that proposition. Contact Gigaom regarding participation in our research.