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Why DBaaS? 5 Trends Pushing Database as a Service

What if you could provision a highly available, compliant database in one click? For many, this sounds impossible…particularly behind the firewall. Yet, it is possible today because database management has changed.

The change has been driven by years, perhaps decades, of unmet needs. For example, we’ve all heard these types of comments made inside our respective companies:

  1. “Could we have a temporary copy of the database to use for a few days?”
  2. “We can finish faster doing it ourselves with a PC under someone’s desk.”
  3. “Didn’t we just buy a bunch of new database licenses?”
  4. “I have to test this with production data.”
  5. “It would be crazy to put two databases on the same server.

Five Trends Pushing Database as a Service (DBaaS)

And, these aren’t just one-off quotes about databases. These quotes correlate directly to the following enterprise trends (i.e. quote #1 above is correlated directly to trend #1 below, etc.) – trends that make the case for DBaaS:

  1. Database Sprawl and Infrastructure Growth – Over time, companies created 100s or 1000s of hardly used copies of databases that sit idle on servers and cost millions. With the growth of data, database infrastructure management has become complicated and introduced many risks.
  2. Self Service Technology – Since IT became a department, it has been overworked. Work-groups (inside and outside IT) got tired of waiting and needed “IT on demand.” When the demand for infrastructure outpaced the ability for IT to deliver, people found answers by putting a server underneath someone’s desk to “serve themselves” or by going to an external service provider. With this trend, compliance, risk, and security have had a hard time keeping up.
  3. Cost Savings from Virtualization – Virtualization has cut billions of dollars of costs from IT and has billions to go as more workloads get virtualized. Ironically, companies are seeing up to 40-50% cost reduction in infrastructure budgets, while database budgets continue to increase.
  4. Data Driven Business Decisions – Every workgroup and department is using applications to improve business operations and companies want to better understand customer usage of the internet and apps.  As we use data more to power our businesses through analytics, “real production data” becomes more and more important.
  5. Cost-Effectively Scaling the Data Layer – While people are using applications and data more than ever, the traditional database/infrastructure model has been expensive to scale at an enterprise level of SLAs. For example, growth in data often leads to new and expensive orders for both hardware and software, and there is too much expense and complexity to make Tier 2 databases highly available.

As you compare the quotes to the trends above, it’s easy to see why people might want a database solution that reduces sprawl, provides self-service capabilities, saves money, helps manage data more intelligently, scales, and improves processes overall.  This is why DBaaS is on the rise. DBaaS capabilities are changing the way databases are managed just like other “as a service” applications changed the way IT is managed.

Let’s look at just two examples of how VMware’s vFabric Data Director’s capabilities address two trends above:

Self Service Example: Provisioning a Highly Available Database

With Data Director, provisioning can be done with a simple click of a “+” button, and high availability (HA) can be provided automatically through a simple drop-down in the template UI that leverages vSphere’s HA capability.  Provisioning now happens in minutes instead of hours or days and can follow the policies you need for services in your data center.  When you can provision in a click, development cycles can accelerate and business SLAs can improve.

Data Driven/Process Example: Creating copies of a Production Database

One routine task for DBAs is creating copies of production databases for troubleshooting.
The process today is manual and takes a considerable amount of DBA time. Data Director automates the process using the in-built Physical-to-Virtual migration tool, and creation of linked (logical) clones for testing purposes. It leverages the linked clone feature of vSphere – cloning completes in minutes, and without excess storage requirements.

To Learn More

Of course, we’d appreciate any comments, dialogue, or pushback on this article in the comments below.  Tell us what you think! 

If you found this article helpful, here are some additional resources you might be interested in:

  • If you are headed to VMworld, come learn more about these trends, related use cases, and capabilities at APP-CAP 2341.
  • An earlier blog post covers some of these trends, example capabilities, and TCO information.
  • An independent quantification of cost reduction for a customer who virtualized Oracle on vSphere.
  • A white paper covering concerns against virtualization of your databases, especially from Oracle. These concerns are prevalent primarily to keep charging you the high licensing costs that you would otherwise save from virtualization. This support and licensing whitepaper addresses these concerns; we also provide more comprehensive Oracle virtualization resources.
  • Try Data Director for free today, and see how you can automate routine database management to provide database as a service to your businesses, and reduce database hardware, license and operational costs.
About the Author: Abhishek Kashyap is on the VMware vFabric Data Product team. Prior to VMware, Abhishek designed the enterprise cloud product portfolio for HP, and was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Abhishek holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and has worked at Lucent Bell Labs, IBM Research, and British Telecom Research.

20 thoughts on “Why DBaaS? 5 Trends Pushing Database as a Service

  1. Database-as-a-Service

    It seems that everyone is providing DBaaS, Amazon (RDS), OpenStack (Trove), Oracle and VMWare & Pivotal. I expect much more of this in the near future.

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