A Look Beyond The Basics Of Cloud Database Services: What’s Next? Part 1

Ken Tsai

Part 1 in a 2-part series. Read Part 2. 

When it comes to choosing the right database management system (DBMS), developers and data analysts today face considerable choices and opportunities, and many of them lie beyond the traditional on-premises options. There are best-of-breed DBMS products with freemium offerings for developers to get started on their laptop or operate directly within a cloud platform, not to mention the vast amount of options available within the open source communities. I really think we’re living in the renaissance age with an embarrassment of riches.

Recently, much of the growth and attention has focused on cloud-based database services. After all, cloud database services promise fewer headaches – easier starting, developing, versioning, maintaining – with the added benefit of pay-as-you-go. You just need to remember to shut it down when you don’t use it, if this isn’t included as a built-in option (as it is in Oracle’s autonomous DB in the cloud, for example).

So how can developers or data analysts decide which approach (e.g., cloud, your own data center, laptop) and which product is right for their analytics or application use case? Looking at this from a user perspective, should this even be a choice up front?

Most importantly, besides looking for ways to further lower the costs of operation and usage, improve performance, add more specialized data engines for new data types, and scale the compute engines and data pipeline massively across potentially multiple clouds and private clouds … what’s next?

Are there unforeseen and unique application scenarios we have yet to address by data being distributed across multiple private cloud and public cloud destinations? How do we further simplify the usage of the rapidly growing set of data processing technologies? How would the roles of database administrators (DBAs) evolve in the next few years?

Advantages of the cloud – the basics: scalability, ease of use, and cost savings

With the cloud, one can theoretically “scale out” to have better performance – assuming the application and platform stack you’re using supports this and you’ve architected your application appropriately based on a cloud-native architecture. For others, the more compelling advantage is ease of use. When you migrate over to the cloud environment, all that management can be available as a service for an additional fee (look out, DBAs!).

So from a developer perspective, and from the usage and trial perspective, it becomes a no-brainer – it’s much easier to do. From a cost perspective, the only thing you need to worry about is paying for the software stack above and the long set of infrastructure-as-a-service. If you don’t want to pay for any computing, networking, or storage resources, then you can operate on your laptop or operate your own data centers.

I don’t think the DBA’s job will go away. I do see DBAs taking on a much more important and business-relevant role within IT. (But that is the subject of another blog.)

One step beyond the basics: cloud flexibility enabling faster development and experimentation

There is one more advantage that has really driven a lot of the acceleration of cloud adoption: The availability of the entire application and integration platform stack in the cloud. This saves upfront hardware for experimental projects, making it very easy for users to try new things, toy around with new technologies, and start new development.

Ultimately, they may change their minds in terms of how they want the final production-ready architecture deployment to look. But they can do so without wasting time procuring and setting up hardware and software.

In Part 2 of this series May 21, we’ll take a look at opportunities and trends in this space.

I’d like to hear what you think. What do you see as the challenges for DBaaS? What are you most excited about? Leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Learn more

To learn how your organization can benefit from a hosted data management platform in multi-clouds and cloud/on-premise deployments, visit sap.com/HANA.

If you’re missing the live launch at SAPPHIRE NOW, register for our webcast June 21, 11 a.m. EDT/5 p.m. CET to get the latest information.

This article originally appeared on Hackernoon.com and is republished by permission. Special thanks to David Fletcher and CloudTweaks.com for the use of their cartoons. You can follow them on Twitter at @CloudTweaks.


Ken Tsai

About Ken Tsai

Ken Tsai is the global VP and head of database and data management at SAP, and leads the global product marketing efforts for SAP’s flagship SAP HANA platform and the portfolio of SAP data management solutions. Ken has more than 20 years of experiences in the IT industry, responsible for application development, services, presales, business development, and marketing. Ken is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.