Database as a Service (DBaaS) refers to a cloud computing managed service that enables companies to outsource most aspects of their database management system (DBMS). This includes everything from setting up the server, installing the software, configuring it and maintaining the database itself.
Most database administration and maintenance tasks – such as backing up, restoring, upgrading, patching, monitoring performance, and tuning – are handled by the service providers. Users simply log into the service and make changes to their database. They don’t have to worry about how to set up the server, install the software, configure the database, or maintain it.
The use of DBaaS has grown rapidly over the last few years because many organizations want to move away from managing their own databases. With DBaaS, they can focus on their core competencies while outsourcing the rest of the work involved in running a database.
DBaaS and on-premises database variations
In an on-premises computer environment, the database server itself is part of the IT Infrastructure in an organization’s data centers and is installed, managed, and run by the organization’s own IT staff. A Database Administrator (DBA) is tasked with configuring and maintaining the databases that run on those servers.
A database as a service (DBaaS) model differs from on-premises environments in several key ways. First, the provider takes care of everything related to hardware and software; the customer doesn’t have to worry about any of it.
Second, the provider handles administration, including installing, upgrading, backing up, restoring, tuning, monitoring, patching, and performing routine maintenance. Third, the provider does much of what used to fall under the purview of the DBA—such as creating and managing users, granting permissions, and ensuring compliance standards are met.
Fourth, the provider provides a full range of support options, including phone and email support, online self-service tools, and even 24/7 live chat. Finally, the provider often offers additional features, such as disaster recovery, backup storage, application integration, reporting, analytics, mobile apps, and more.
Database categories of DBaaS
The term “database as a service” refers to a category of software products that provide access to databases over the Internet. A DBaaS product usually includes a database instance hosted in the cloud, along with tools that enable you to manage it.
These tools might include a graphical interface, a command-line tool, a programming language library, or some combination of those things.
DBaaS vendors offer a variety of database instances, each designed to meet specific needs. For example, some DBaaS providers specialize in offering relational database solutions, while others focus on NoSQL databases, such as MongoDB, Cassandra and Couchbase.
Some DBaaS vendors offer hybrid approaches, providing both relational and NoSQL capabilities within a single solution.
Regardless of the type of database that’s used, most DBaaS solutions allow developers to deploy applications quickly without having to worry about managing servers or databases.
In addition, these companies often offer a range of features, such as security, backup, monitoring, reporting and analytics, that help businesses better understand how their data is being used.
While many enterprises are still debating whether to adopt DBaaS models, there are several compelling reasons why it makes sense for some companies.
The DBaaS model is ideally suited for smaller and medium-sized businesses that don’t have well-staffed IT departments. With the help of a DBaaS provider, SMBs can deploy applications and systems that they could never afford to build and maintain on premises.
Workloads involving data with stringent regulations, such as healthcare information, may not be suitable for DBaaS due to issues around data security and privacy. Also, mission-critical applications requiring optimal performance and uptime might not be appropriate for the DBaaS approach since it requires additional resources to ensure high availability.
However, even with those caveats, DBaaS is a viable option for some workloads. For example, developers can use DBaaS to test out prototypes without having to worry about maintaining the infrastructure themselves.
Pilot projects can be implemented quickly and easily. And, DBaaS providers can provide managed hosting options for certain types of databases.
Advantages of DBaaS
Database-as-a-service (DBaaS) is a type of software delivery model where applications are hosted in the cloud, rather than installed on customers’ computers.
This approach provides several benefits, such as reduced management requirements, elimination of physical infrastructure, reduced IT equipment costs, additional savings, increased flexibility and easier scalability, according to Gartner Research.
Gartner defines five types of cloud computing models, which it calls “the five clouds”: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Utility Computing and Community Cloud.
Each type includes multiple deployment options, ranging from public cloud offerings to hybrid solutions to private deployments. In each case, the customer pays only for what he uses, either per month or annually.
Disadvantages of DBaaS
DBaaS stands for “database as a service,” and there are both advantages and drawbacks to adopting such a model. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about managing the hardware and software required to store data, and you can focus on growing your business rather than spending time maintaining your server environment.
You also gain flexibility and scalability, since you’re able to add capacity as needed without having to invest heavily upfront. However, the lack of control over the underlying technology can lead to security issues, downtime, and poor performance.
DBaaS vs. IaaS vs. PaaS
Cloud computing includes various anything as services (XaaS). These models differ by how much of the hardware infrastructure stack they provide to end users. They include database as a service (DBaas), infrastructure as a service (Iaas), and Platform as a Service (Paas). Each one provides different levels of support for each element of the cloud stack.
The term “cloud” originally referred to a model where you rented space on someone else’s computer. Today, it refers to a software model where you rent resources like storage, processing power, networking, etc. You don’t own the equipment; you just pay for what you use.
Database as a service (DBaaS) is a form of cloud computing where you rent access to databases. DBaaS providers host databases on their servers and offer data management tools such as backup/restore, replication, and failover.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing where you buy compute capacity or storage capacity from a provider. For example, Amazon Web Services offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
This allows you to run virtualized applications without having to manage operating systems, application stacks, or network configurations.
Platform as a service (PaaS) is a model where you build applications on top of a large collection of preconfigured services. Examples of PaaS platforms include Google App Engine, Heroku, and Microsoft Azure.